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833 01814 9150 ^ ^«275b4 






Ii«STRUC?roR IN Greek and Civics, Lincoln High School, 1889-1S92; 

AND Author of "The Evoltttion of thb 

Ordinance of 17^7." 


J. H. Miller, Publisher. 






Lincoln, Neb : 
Pace, Williams &. North, 


MX\) Parents 

Sh JRfcognition of tljetr Denotuin to ^fnnttlg, iCotjalh) to 

©onntmj, anb ©tjoronglj iiitcgritij 

in All ®^lngB, 

tljts iBook 




1. Phypical Features 1-21 

IT. Indians 22-26 

III. Explorers, Missional•i^'s and Traders 27-.32 

IV. Advance Movement!^ 33-35 

V. The Acquisition of the Territory 36-38 

YI. The Kansas-Nebraska Act in Congress 39-43 

VII. The Bill Itself 44-46 

VIII. The Territory of Nebraska 47-60 

IX. The State 61-69 

X. Development of the Resources of Nebraska... 70-73 


I. United States Land Survey 77-81 

II. The School District 82-85 

III. Cities and Villages 86-89 

IV. The County 90-95 

V. The State 96-124 


I. Constilutional Studies 98-107 

II. Taxation 107-112 

III. Elections 112-119 

IV. Education 119-122 

V. Public Institutions 122-124 

VI. Federal Relations 12.")-131 

APPENDIX. Constitution of Nebraska 133-161 

INDEX 163 



I. Lines of Elevation 4 

II. River Systems 6 

III. Geological Map 13 

IV. Territory of Nebraska 48 

V. Territory of Nebraska 50 

VI. Judicial Districts 106 

VII. Congressional Districts 130 


The annals of Nebraska are so little known and 
the place of a citizen is so faintly comprehended, 
that no apology is necessary for offering this 
volume to the teachers and scholars of the State. 
A man cannot know his duty to his neighbor or to 
his government unless he understands how he is 
related to the other members of society. This 
work is offered in the hope that it may be easier 
for teachers to create an interest in this line of 
study, and also that the work may be useful in 
private study. 

I desire to thank the several friends that have 
helped me in preparing this book, especially Mr. 
Frank E. Bishop and Mr. George W. "Woodbury. 
To Prof. George E. Howard I am indebted for 
my interest in historical work, and I wish to pub- 
licly express my appreciation of his fidelity as a 



Lincoln, August 22, 1892. 


The American people are but just beginning to 
realize the importance of the study of history ; es- 
pecially of their own history, and more espe- 
cially of local history. Indeed, the latter has long 
been in the condition of the prophet who is 
always A^ithout honor in his own country. Men 
have travelled many weary miles, and have ex- 
pended large sums of money and hours of valua- 
ble time, to learn that which has lain at the door 
of some really intelligent citizen without his ever 
recognizing that it was or could be of value or 
interest to himself or to others. The history of 
some other state, or county, or town — of some 
other people — that is grand and stirring, and 
its perusal is fraught with inspiration, with warn- 
ing, with instruction, with reproof. But we have 
lived such monotonous lives, Ave have always been 
such common people, there has been so little that 
has been at all striking or out of the usual run 
of things; of what earthly value or interest are 
our simple chronicles? Great men and great 
events are like the ague — always in the next 

But the time has come when we begin to rec- 
ognize that this country of ours has been made 
what it is, not by so-called leaders, or by speech- 
makers, or by any imposing figures on the can- 


vass, but by very common people indeed. We 
have advanced, not by startling leaps and rapid 
bounds, but by painful and continuous effort, and 
by this effort on the part of all the people. And 
we have come to understand that this progress of 
the people and of the whole people is of more 
value and of more interest than the pedigree of 
kings ; no matter what kind of kings they may be. 
The mad career of robber Rome, the rush of 
mailed knights, the battles of kingdoms for exist- 
ence — in order that they might the more success- 
fully prey upon each other ; this is or at least has 
been very taking, and has been on the tongues' 
end of all our children. But now we ask more 
about the white-wained prairie schooners, the 
little settlements that gradually encroach upon 
the desert or the wilderness; the men and women 
who made homes in the sod houses and the dug- 
outs, and the simple folk that while laboring for 
their daily bread created magnificent mediterran- 
ean republics in this but recently an unknown 

He who calls attention to the beginnings of 
things in this spirit of thankfulness for the work 
that was thus done and thus well done, who is 
willing to embalm the more simple story of early 
struggles for a free state, who calls attention to 
our own ancestry and our own past, he is worthy 
of both recognition and gratitude. Mr. Barrett 
has done this and more in the little volume for 
which he has very courteously asked me to write 


the introduction. Faithfully and patiently he haa 
threaded together the events of early Nebraska 
life, and has put the result within the reach of 
every child in the State. The little volume is 
intended primarily for use in the schools, and 
that is exactly where it ought to be placed. In 
the hands of a good teacher, and there should be 
no others, it will go very far towards giving a 
correct perspective of our history, towards plac- 
ing things in their true light and true relations. 
That the narrative is correctly given is vouched 
for by the training of the author, received at that 
University which this State has wisely placed at 
the head of its system of free schools, and by the 
excellent work which he has done in other lines 
and which has received due and prompt recogni- 
tion by those amply able to speak with authority 
in such matters. 

In adding the chapters on Local Government, 
the author has greatlv increased the value of the 
volume. Many a man knows all about how the 
national government is and should be regulated, 
but cannot name the more simple duties and re- 
sponsibilities of a probate judge. Many a man 
can discuss the tariff very learnedly, but has very 
little idea about local taxation. But the fact is 
that the home government demands our first at- 
tention and our greatest care. That touches ua 
more closely than any other form of public life 
or organization. Only as the local work is well 
done and intelligently done, can we hope that the 


government of the nation will be what it ought 
to be. 

The references to some of the more elementary- 
authorities in the volume lead naturally to the 
remark, which cannot be out of place here, that 
there ought to be in every common school in the 
State a good library, which shall be at the same 
time a circulating library for the families of the 
district. A small sum intelligently expended each 
year would soon work wonders. It is not difficult 
to see how even this slight addition to the amount 
now raised, would in some districts, because of 
our wretchedly unequal method of taxation, seem 
unbearable. But the good sense of the people of 
this State will not long endure such a system as 
is now in vogue. When a county tax is substi- 
tuted for the present inefficient and unnecessarily 
burdensome system, the school library will be 
within easy reach. 

No lover of Nebraska, and no one desiring to 
see better citizenship in this State, can fail to 
welcome as earnest and painstaking and success- 
ful an effort as is this little volume. 


Lincoln, August 15, 1892. 


History of Nebraska. 



The location of a city or state has much to do 
with the amount of its rainfall, the strength of its 
winds and the severity of its weather. It is not 
enough, therefore, to say that the piece of country 
called Nebraska lies slightly north of the center 
of the United States. More than that, it lies on 
the western side of the great valley drained by the 
Missouri and Mississippi rivers, bordering on the 
siTUA- former. It stretches from that muddy 
TioN. river on the east to the foothills of the 
Rocky Mountains on the west. The presence 
of this high range between Nebraska and the 
Pacific Ocean keeps out winds and moisture 
from that direction. Its situation, also, with re- 
gard to the large body of water south of it must 
not be overlooked. The Gulf does not seem to be 
near enough to affect Nebraska much, yet it has 
a very important influence upon the climate. Only 
level country intervenes between this state and the 
water to the south. 

In size Nebraska is much larger than the 
average state. If all divisions of the United 
States were made the same in size, each would be 
about 63,000 square miles in extent. Nebraska 

2 History of Nebraska. 

has 76,885 square miles. Such large figures, 
however, do not give much idea of its vastness. 
South Dakota has almost exactly the same area, but 
Kansas, Utah and Minnesota are somewhat larger, 
each having over 80,000 square miles. How 
many of the eastern states could be comfortably 
located in one of these ordinary western common- 
wealths like Nebraska or Kansas? From their 
areas, it appears that all the New England states, 
with Delaware and New Jersey besides, 


have about 72,000 square miles. How 
do these divisions of the western prairies, of 
which there are so many that they seem very 
ordinary to Americans, compare with European 
countries? The larger areas of that continent 
are, of course, very much greater in extent. 
Austria, the German Empire, or France, is about 
three times the size of Nebraska. Spain, Turkey, 
Sweden, Norway and Italy are each more exten- 
sive. But with the smaller areas, most of the 
republics contained in the Union compare very 
favorably. Greece with all its islands, Denmark, 
Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and Wales are to- 
gether about equal to Nebraska in size. 

The northern and southern boundaries of the 
State are formed, for the most part, by the paral- 
lels of 40° and 43°. The Missouri, flowing south- 
east, is the eastern boundary between these lines. 
The place where this river crosses the northern 
parallel is about twenty-one and one-half degrees 
west of Washington, and at the southeastern cor- 

Phjsicti] Features. 3 

ner of the State the river is eighteen and one-half 
degrees. Therefore the Missouri, as a boundary 
of the State, flows eastward about 170 miles and 
BOUND, southward over 200. The parallel of 40° 
ABIES, jg ^}jQ southern boundary only as tar west 
as the 25th meridian from Washington. The line 
then follows this meridian to the parallel of 41° 
which forms the remainder of the southern bound- 
ary, thus leaving a large rectangular area out of 
the southwestern corner. The western limit is 
the 27th meridian. The longest distance across 
the State from east to west is about 420 miles. 
From north to south, about 208. The lonofest 
distance within the limits, from southeast to 
northwest, is over 500 miles. 

Nebraska is distant nearly 850 miles in a direct 
line from the mouth of the Mississippi river. The 
descent from the upper valleys averages only one 
foot to the mile, making the southeastern corner of 
the State somewhat less than 875 feet above the 
Gulf. Starting from this lowest land, the rise is 
both north and west. At Omaha, which is about 

. one hundred miles north in a direct line, 

Ain>' ^^^ surface is a hundred feet higher, and 
SI.OFZ:. g^i- Covington, another hundi-ed miles fur- 
ther north, the river varies between 1,076 and 1,100 
feet. The land all along the eastern border lies 
high above the level of the river, in bluffs and 
steep ascents. Along the southern boundary the 
rise is more rapid. From the general level of the 
southeastern county, beginning at 900 feet, the 

4 History of Nebraska. 

country attains an elevation of 3,258 feet at 
Haigler, in the southwestern corner. This dis- 
tance is about 360 miles, and the rise is therefore 
about six and one-half feet to the mile. This 
rise is quite gradual the whole distance, but a 
little more rapid in the western part. Similarly 
the Platte valley descends from 4,096 feet at Sid- 
ney to 950 feet at its mouth. From Ponca, in the 

(After Henry Gannett, 1880. Ho. Misc. Doc. 47th Cong., 2nd Seas., Vol. 
13. Map 19. Washington, 1883.) 

northeastern corner, which is 1,141 feet, the State 
rises to 3,628 feet at Mansfield, in the extreme 
northwest. Across the State, from north to south, 
there does not seem to be great difference between 
the elevations of the river valleys and of the land 
which separates them. Four valleys show the 
following altitudes a little west of center of the 
State : 

The Republican, at Culbertson, 2,565 feet. 

The Platte, at North Platte, 2,804 feet. 

Physical Features. 5 

The Middle Loup, at Thedford, 2,842 feet 
The Niobrara, at Valentine, 2,579 feet. 
It would seem from these that the center of the 
State is higher than the northern and southern 
borders, and that the Niobrara and the Republican 
rivers are of about the same height above the Gulf. 
The highest points in the State are in the extreme 
west. The map shows that the land all along the 
western boundary is above 4,000 feet. Scott's 
Bluff is thought to be the highest point in the 
State and is given at nearly 6,000 feet, while Pine 
Ridge lacks only 500 feet of this. 

Nebraska is very well situated in respect to 
drainage, and is well supplied with rivers and 
creeks. The smooth and gently sloping surface 
has a tendency to distribute the running water 
evenly over the surface of the country. There are 
three separate valleys of considerable size. In the 
center of the State and running the whole length 
from west to east is the Platte River. Its valley 
occupies very nearly half the State. Most of its 
tributaries are on the north side, because the 
water-shed which separates it from the Republi- 
can Valley on the south is close to it. It drains 
the country much more than half way to the Nio- 
brara on the north. The names Platte and iVe- 
hraska are the same in meaning, the first being 
DBAizr. Trench and the latter Indian. They sig- 
■*-®^- nify shallow ivater. Extending almost the 
whole length of the northern border is the valley 
of the Niobrara, which is said to be a Ponca 

6 History of Nebraska. 

word meaning the same as the word Nebraska. 
This river drains about a sixth of the State. The 
Republican River, which courses half the length 
of the southern boundary and then turns south 
into Kansas, receives the water from a larger part 
of the State than the Niobrara by about 2,000 
square miles. In the northeast and southeast, 


A. Valley of the Platte. 

1$. Valley of the Uepub lean. 

C. Valley of the Niobrara. 

D. Lanils draining directly into the Missouri. 
K. I.andu without surface drainage. 

F. Lands drained by the Cheyenne and White rivers. 

small areas drain directly into the Missouri. In 
the northwestern part is a triangular piece of 
country that does not appear to have any connec- 
tion with the large rivers that drain the State, at 
least on the surface. There are some small creeks 
which run a few miles and then are entirely taken 

Physical Features. 7 

into the soil again. This tract occupies upward 
of 7,000 square miles. 

The mean annual temperature of the State 
varies from 46° to 51°. As in the case of the 

rainfall, it is highest in the southeast. 
CLIWIRTE. During the spring and summer there are 

many consecutive days with the tempera- 
ture above 50°, and this fact is of great impor- 
tance to the farmers. The highest temperaturies 
that occur anywhere in North America are found 
within a tract of country extending the full length 

of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, 
FESA- a^d lying for the most part west of them. 
TUBE. rpjjQ central and southeastern parts of Ne- 
braska lie in this region. It is expected that at 
times the mercury will reach a high figure. The 
greatest recorded temperature of the State is 112° 
above zero, and the lowest 35° below. There is 
therefore a range of 147°. 

Temperature and rainfall in Nebraska seem to 
be arranged so that the farmer may get the largest 
amount of good at the growing season. The 
annual fall of rain is twenty-four inches, a very 
ordinary amount compared with other places fur- 
ther east. If this were evenly distributed through- 
out the year, there would be for each month only 
two inches of rain. This would not be enough to 
allow the crops usually planted in the State to 
mature properly. Fortunately it is not so distrib- 
uted, for much of it comes just when the growing 
and maturing crops need it. About two-thirds of 

8 History of Nebraska. 

all the rain falls during the five months from April 
to August inclusive. In the winter months, when 
there is less need for rain, very little falls. For 
each of the months of November, December, Jan- 
BAiN- uary and February, the average is less 
FAI.I.. than an inch. In comparison with the 
states directly east of it, Nebraska has not so large 
an annual fall of rain, but the country is as fav- 
orably situated for agriculture, because that which 
does fall comes when it does the most good. 
In its distribution over the State, the southeast is 
more fortunate than the west. The rainfall in the 
former is even greater than in the extreme eastern 
states, from Maine to Virginia. The amount 
gradually decreases toward the western and north- 
western regions of the State, where the average 
for the year is smaller than in the eastern half of 
the United States. It is often insufficient to pro- 
duce good crops. The weather reports fail to show 
that there is any increase in the rainfall, yet there 
is a general impression that the amount is greater 
than it was many years ago. 

West of the Mississippi, from the Gulf to Brit- 
ish America, is an uninterrupted plain, sloping 
gradually from north to south. A former Chief 
Signal Officer of the United States, Gen. A. W. 
Greeley, says that there is here, perhaps, the 
most remarkable wind system in the world.' The 
winds blow continuously and often violently over 
these plains, because they are so extensive and 

^Awerican Weather, 172. 

Physical Features. 9 

almost no obstructions exist. In general, the 
winds are strongest near the sea, and their force 
grows less and less towards the interior of a 
country. But here is found a notable exception. 
Here the winds are as strong: as near the 


coast and are often more violent. In 
a country heated as readily by the sun as these 
plains are, there will be occasional breezes from 
every quarter. But the surroundings of the 
region give the prevailing direction to the winds. 
One expects to find them blowing mostly from the 
north or from the south, because the great Eocky 
Mountain Eange extends all along the west. The 
weather reports show that this is true. During 
the year 1890, more than half of the monthly 
reports from weather stations in Nebraska gave 
prevailing north and northwest winds. A smaller 
number of reports showed winds from the very 
opposite direction. There was scarcely any east 
wind, and comparatively few times did west and 
southwest winds prevail. The wind in Nebraska 
most frequently blows in the same direction in 
which the Rocky Mountains and the Missouri river 
extend. In the year mentioned, north and north- 
west winds prevailed during the eight months 
from October to May inclusive. For the four 
other months of the year, the winds were from 
the south and southeast. 

Among the things which visitors remember 
longest after passing a winter or a summer in the 
State of Nebraska, are the storms. Especially is 

1 History of Nebraska. 

this true of the winter storm called a blizzard, 
which occurs here quite as frequently as 

STORMS . i 1 ^ 

in Dakota or Minnesota. The disturb- 
ances of the atmosphere called by the Weather 
Bureau ^^loio area storms'''' and '^high area storms, ^^ 
usually start on the eastern slopes of the Rocky 
Mountains, either at the northwest near the head- 
waters of the Missouri, or at the southwest in 
New Mexico, If they start in the northwest, 
they generally take one of two directions: either 
they pass eastward over the Great Lakes, 
Area or else they go southeast, following the 

storms. • n Til 

Missouri valley. In the latter case the 
storm is felt in Nebraska, but commonly passes 
too far to the north to affect the State seriously. 
When currents of air over a large extent of territory 
move towards the center, going round in the direc- 
tion opposite to a clock's motion as they come 
together, and rising there, the whole is called a 
cyclonic or low area storm. The center of the 
disturbance also moves along like the little eddies 
or whirls of water in the rivers. In the case of a 
storm such as this, the air is disturbed for hun- 
dreds of miles on every side. In any one place 
the wind blows toward the center of the storm, 
unless that is near. The general rule is "Turn 
your back to the wind, and the center of the storm 
is to your left." It is usually in the southeastern 
Torna- P^^'^ o^ these low area storms that torna- 
*'*®^' does occur. These are so-called by the 
Weather Bureau, but they are known in the news- 

Physical Features. 11 

papers as cyclones. Nebraska is so situated with 
regard to the passage of low area storms, either 
from the northwest or from the southwest, as to 
escape many that occur to the northeast, east, or 
southeast. As storms pass up from the south- 
west, many tornadoes begin in the eastern part of 
Kansas, and go over into Missouri. The loss of 
life from tornadoes in the latter state is greater 
than anywhere else in the United States. 

Winter storms are generally of the other kind- 
In these the air moves in the opposite direction in 
all respects. It goes away from the center, at 
which the air is descending, and circles round in 
the same direction as the hands of a clock. An- 
other name for them is anti-cyclones. During this 
kind of a. storm, the cold air pours down from the 
north across the smooth plains, often swiftly 
and violently. With enough snow to fill the air, 
it becomes the blizzard. It begins in 
Area the north, above Montana and Dakota, 

BtOXXUS. Ill, 

and either passes directly to the south 
across Nebraska and Kansas, or crosses the 
country eastward a^d enters the St. Lawrence 
valley. Sometimes it takes a half-way course be- 
tween these two. The danger from blizzards in the 
north lies in the combination of high wind, in- 
tense cold, and drifting snow. High area storms 
also cause great damage to crops further south, 
by carrying snow and cold even into Florida. To 
this class belong the great storms of February 
9-14, 1881, and January 12, 1888. 

12 History of Nebraska,. 

There is sucli an immediate connection between 
the agriculture of a state and its geology, that it is 
proper to take a glance here at the rocks of Ne- 
ROfKS braska. In its youth the Earth was 
AND mostly covered with water. It has been 
SOILS. found out that the part of North America 
which first showed itself, was a V-shaped piece of 
land extending northward from the Great Lakes. 
Nebraska was still sea-bottom. The ceaseless 
action of the water upon the original rocks con- 
stantly formed sediment, and during untold ages 
layers were gathering over the surface of the State, 
For an inconceivably long time this process went 
on, the land-surface slowly increasing and the 
water growing more shallow. The sediment de- 
posited by the water became hard, and is 
EST ^^' ^o"^ called limestone, sandstone and shales. 
ROCKS. rpjjgj.Q finally came a period when the 
whole swampy region from Pennsylvania to Ne- 
braska was covered by the rankest growth of 
vegetation. After great masses of plant life had 
accumulated, the level of the surface sank, letting 
in the salt water again and causing a 1 lyer of 
sediment over the vegetation. In this mariner the 
crreat coal beds of the country were formed. The 
crrowth of plant life was not so heavy in the 
West as in Pennsylvania and the East, for the 
beds of coal that are found in Nebraska are com- 
paratively thin. This process of forming coal beds 
went on until there were in some parts of North 
America as many as seventy-six seams of coal with 

Physical Features. 


the intervening deposits of rock. All 
MEAS- these layers together are called the coal 

measures. It is only in the southeastern 
part of Nebraska that these rocks appear. The 
layers of coal are too thin and the quality too 
poor for it to be mined, except for local use. Of 
the limestone, shale and sandstone which make 
up the sediment deposited at this time, the first is 
the most important, both for making soil and for 
building purposes. These oldest rocks on the 

(After a map of Prof. Lewis E. Hicks in Agricultural Report of he- 
braska, 1SS9, p36-.) 


A. Coal Measures. 

B. Permian. 

C. Dakota Group. 

D.F. Colorado Group. 
K. Area of the Lake 


surface of the State cover a little more than six 
counties in the southeastern corner. 

The name Carboniferous is applied to the age 
of coal The following period the geologists call 
the Permian. Almost all the rocks of this time 
that appear in Nebraska are in Gage county. 
They resemble rocks previously made, but are 

14 History of Nebraska. 

without coal. During the two following pe- 
riods Nebraska was out of water, and the re- 
sults are apparent only in the valleys, which were 
made at that time by the water just about where 
they are to-day. Then the sea came again at the 
slow sinking of the land, and the valleys became 
gulfs or bays, into which were brought 
TWO many kinds of stones, sands, and clays. 

GROUPS ' ' .J 

OF THE Such are the shaly and hard sandstones, 

GRETA- -^ ' 

PERIOD 9.uartzite, lignite, etc., called altogether 
the Dakota Group. The surface of the 
State where this is exposed, is in the northeast, 
next to the Missouri, extending to the south 
and southwest through Saunders, Lancaster, Sa- 
line and Jefferson counties. Next west of these 
rocks comes the Colorado Group, in the eastern 
and northeastern part of the State, with a small 
area in Cheyenne and Keith counties. The readi- 
ness with which these rocks are broken gives them 
the name of rotten limestone, and the presence of 
chalk in them in some localities causes them to be 
called chalk rock. They consist of limestones, 
shales and clays. All rocks of the cretaceous 
period were deposited by the sea, and fossils of 
^jjjj marine life occur throughout them. The 
^Ij^^lf remaining surface of the State was cov- 
1.AK1:. Qy.Q^ during the next period by a fresh- 
water lake. This left upon its bottom all the 
kinds of rock that were formed earlier. The 
layers of each period overlap the earlier layers, 
with the newest at the West and the earliest at the 

Physical Features. 15 

From rocks comes directly and indirectly the 
soil that covers them. Air, water, heat and cold, 
and many other forces besides, act upon the 
hardest substance, cracking and crumbling it, and 
finally reducing it to dust. All the rocks laid upon 
the face of Nebraska ages ago now themselves are 
covered by this dust, mixed with decayed veo'eta- 
ble and animal life that lived upon it. The de- 
posits on the surface of Nebraska make as fertile 
soils for the farmer as are known in the world. 
The special soil of each locality, however, 
needs to be studied by the one who tills it. 
The accumulations from the wearing of the rocks 
receive special names, according to the time or 
manner in which they came. Thus there is the 
glacial drift, that was scattered over the State by 
the action of the great ice fields that once lay north 
of Nebraska. There are also loess, adobe, alluvium, 
muck, peat and marl, each of great value to plant 

The inhabitants of Nebraska laugh at the old 
geographies, in which was told a story of the 
"Great American Desert" west of the Missouri 
PI INT Ri"^'©!'- After James Monroe took his first 
LIFE. journey over the Allegheny Mountains 
into the Ohio valley in 1785, he wrote to Thomas 
Jefferson as follows: " A great part of the territory 
is miserably poor, especially that near Lakes 
Michigan and Erie ; and that upon the Mississippi 
and Illinois consists of extensive plains which 
have not had, from appearances, and will not have 

16 History of Nebraska. 

a single bush on them for ages."' The millions 
of bushels of grain raised in that region every 
year show that Mr. Monroe was very much mis- 
taken, and so were the geographers later, when 
THE they made a guess about the lands be- 
oivA tween the Missouri and the Rockies. A 
party of explorers and scientists, after 
spending the winter of 18 19-20 a few miles north of 
where Omaha now is, followed the Platte Eiver to 
the south fork, and turning south made their way 
back along the Arkansas River. They thought 
that they had "completely established one im- 
portant fact: that the whole division of North 
America drained by the Missouri, the Arkansas 
and their tributaries, between the meridian of the 
mouth of the Platte and the Rocky Mountains, is 
almost entirely unfit for cultivation and therefore 
uninhabitable by a people depending upon agri- 
culture for their subsistence."^ 

All the plant life that grows wild in a particu- 
lar state or country is called its flora. Students 
have been diligently at work collecting the dif- 
ferent kinds of plant life that grow in Nebraska 
and up to 1892 they have found about 2,500 spe- 
ies. When each hill and valley has been 


searched, no doubt the number will be 
very much larger. Each locality usually has a 
variety of plants that have become suited to its 
soil, elevation, and climate, or have been brought 

) Bancroft, History of Formation of Const., i., 480-1. 
2Qov. Black, quoting the published narrative oJ Long's Expedition, 
1819, written by Dr. James. CouncilJournal, 6tb Session, p. 9. 

Physical Features. 17 

there by accident. A large state usually has sev- 
eral regions with somewhat different flora. Ne- 
braska has three: the part along the Missouri, 
^HE *^^ most western portion and the interven- 
BE- mg district. In the eastern part is found 
the kind of plant life that resembles the 
flora of the Mississippi Valley at the same latitude. 
In the western part appear species that belong 
to the Rocky Mountains. The central part of 
Nebraska is a section of the Great Plains stretch- 
ing far to the north and to the south, which have 
their own peculiar set of plants. 

Salt and alkali are found at places in the State. 
This allows the growth of plants not usually found 
except along the coast of the sea. Such a region 
is the Salt Basin near Lincoln, the flora of which 
is very interesting on this account. Another 
SPE- special feature of botanical study in Ne- 
PEA^ braska is the abundance of native grasses, 
TUBES. ^£ -^tiich 154 species have been already 
discovered. The composites, or plants like the 
sun flower and golden rod, are plentiful, and this 
state is fairly the home of plants having pods 
like the pods of peas and beans (Leguminosse). 

There is a question among botanists whether 
this treeless plain was always so. There are ev- 
idences which seem to tell a story of great 
THEBE forests anciently. If it is true that trees 

POB^ *' 

loHG ^^^^ covered the surface of the state from 
^^**** the mountains to the Missouri, the annual 
burning off of the grass by the Indians explains 

18 History of Nebraska. 

"why the trees were almost all gone when the 
settlers entered Nebraska. Now there are no 
more great prairie fires, and Arbor Day has be- 
come a legal holiday in the State. Botanists think, 
however, that the trees were gradually spreading 
up the valleys from the east before the farmer 

The large mammals that have inhabited Ne- 
braska are fast becoming extinct. As late as 1872 
a grand duke of Russia came to Nebraska for a 

buffalo hunt, and a party of government 
fNIWftL officials and Indians, led by Buffalo Bill, 

had a grand chase. ' In Zoology there is 
a difference between a bison and a buffalo. The 
ani-mals hunted in Nebraska were bison, but they 
are almost always spoken of as buffalo. They 
roamed over the plains in great droves, and were 
BUP- ^^® chief game of the Indians. They have 
OB^** now disappeared from our limits. Elk, 

deer, and antelope, were numerous when 
sett-lement was begun, but they are now rare. 
Even many years ago bears seem to have been 
few. Now they are scarcely heard of. The smaller 
animals, such as wild cats, woh'es, coyotes, and 
foxes, become fewer with the growth of popula- 
tion, like the buffalo and deer. They are hunted 
less and escape more easily, so that they remain 
when the buffalo is gone. A complete study of 
the small animals like moles, mice, and squirrels, 
has not been made, so that the whole number of 
mammals cannot be stated with accuracy. 

Physical Features. 19 

Of the reptiles in the State probably the ser- 
pents have been most carefully studied. Twenty- 
SEB- three species are known, among which 
PENTs. ^j.Q ^i^Yee kinds of rattlesnakes. None of 
the others are poisonous. 

About four hundred species of birds are found 
in the State. These include those birds which 
stay here all the time, and those stoppino- 
in Nebraska during their yearly miora- 
tions. The study of the insects of the State is 
very interesting because their number is very 
large. This arises from the favorable position of 
Nebraska. It holds a midway place in the country, 
both between the north and the south and be- 
tween the east and the west. Kinds of insects 
that appear only in one of these regions are usu- 
ally found here. Insects are like plants in re- 
spect to altitude. , Some prefer high places and 
jjj_ some the plains, and on account of the 
SECTS, range of elevation a large number of in- 
sects find a home in the State. Probably more 
species of the grasshopper kind are found here 
than anywhere else in the country. The annals 
of Nebraska tell of the dreadful "grasshopper 
year," but the insect that visits the State in 
swarms is a locust. The year 1874 is popularly 
known as the grasshopper year, because such 
large numbers came at that time. In reality, 
however, some section of the State is visited al- 
most every year by these travelers. A dry coun- 
try without trees favors them. They stay most 

20 History of Nebraska. 

of the time in the high plains at the head waters 
of the great rivers which rise in the B/Ocky Moun- 
j^Q_ tains, from parallel 40° far to the north 
cusTS. -j^^Q British America. From this part of 
the country, which is called their Permanent 
Home, they come out upon the surrounding 
country in swarms. Their number depends upon 
the kind of season. As far back as there is rec- 
ord of this country, locusts have visited it, and 
they will continue to visit Nebraska as long as 
they multiply rapidly in their dry, treeless homes. 
When trees have been planted through the West, 
it is supposed that the locusts will not increase so 
rapidly, while the insects and birds that are 
harmful to them will be present in greater num- 
bers than before. 



Elevation and Slope — Sources of information are mainly 

(1) Elevations given by Railroads; 

(2) Bulletin of U. S. GeoL Harvey, No. 76., A Table of 

Drainage— Rand, McNally & Co., Pocket Map of Nebraska 


Monthly and Annual Reports of the Nebraska Weather 

Daily Bulletins of U. S. Signal Service. 

The Chmate of Nebraska (Washington, 1891), Sen. Ex. 

Docs., IstSess., 50th Cong., 1H89-90, 
Gen. A. W. Greeley, American Weather. 
Rocks and Soixr— 

Annual Reports of Neb. State Board of Agriculture> 
1889: Article by Prof. L. E. Hicks. 

Annual Reports of Neb. State Board of Horticulture, 

1887-88, pp. 123-129. 
Prof. Samuel Aughey, Physical Geog. and GeoL of Ne- 


Physical Features. 21 

Plant Life— 

Annual Reports of the Neb. State Board of Agriculture, 

especially 1889, 1892. 
Annual Reports of Neb. State Board of Horticulture, 

especially 1892. 
Contributions from the Botanical Department of the 
University of Nebraska, New Series, III. 
Animal Life— 

Prof. Aughey, Physical Geography of Nebraska. 

State Agricultural Reports. 

U.S. Entomological Reports, Articles by Prof. Bruner. 


1. Map out the drainage system of your own county. 

2. Where in the State has irrigation been iried, and with 
what success? State Horticultural Reports, 1891, p. 148; 
1892, p. 78. 

3. Can rainfall be artificially produced? What experi- 
ments in Nebraska and what results? 

4. For the study of climate, every school should have the 
U. S. weather bulletins. Undoubtedly they will be sent to 
high schools asking for them. With the help of Gen. Gree- 
ley's book called American Weather, the maps afford large 
room for study of the winds, temperature, and storms of the 
State and of the neighboring region. 

5. What is thesigniflcanceof the terms " low area storm " 
and "high area storm?" See American Weather, Chap. 


(), Winds.— Watch carefully the movements of the clouds 
during a day or a week, and note the following: 

(a) The number of different currents blowing at the same 

{b) The direction of each, beginning at the lowest. (Fre- 
quently the wind is blowing in different directions at differ- 
ent heights.) 

(c) The swiftest current. 

Id) Time of day of the greatest wind on the surface of 

7. in the study of storms observe (1) the direction from 
which they come, and (2) changes in the direction of the 
wind during the storm. How can the direction of the center 
of the storm be ascertained from the winds? See American 
Weather, p. 195. 

8. School Collections for Scientific Study.— Students 
should make collections for their schools in the several 
lines to which their attention is called, as flora of the county 
or township, insects, birds, etc. After a beginning is made 
and a place has been provided to receive specimens, addi- 
tions are easily made. Very few school boards will refuse to 
fix a place for specimens. Collections are as necessary to 
the study of botany, geology, etc., as the library is to the 
study of history. 

22 History of Nebraska. 


When white men first crossed the Missouri, 
Nebraska was not thickly populated with Indians. 
The prairies formed an excellent hunting ground, 

and the few tribes in possession of the 
OTOES, gQ^jj^j.y went from place to place in pur- 
PAW- 'suit of large game like deer and buffalo. 
OMA. ' Captains Lewis and Clark found the Otoe, 

Missouri, and Pawnee Indians located on 
the Platte, the Omaha tribe to the northeast, and 
the Ponca tribe near the mouth of the Niobrara. 
These were estimated to be a thousand or fifteen 
hundred warriors at that time. Treaties were 
made with them immediately after France ceded 
the country, as had been done with others farther 
east. The two explorers just mentioned made 
peace with the tribes of Indians all along their 
way, in the expedition of 1804. Early treaties 

were almost entirely of peace and friend- 
TiEsorship. During the period up to 1830, 
(b) Com- 'trade also was regulated by treaty. Fi- 

merce, , , . 

(c)Ces- nally the Indians began to give up their 
lands. Cessions seem to begin about 1830, 
when a tract was reserved between the Great 
Nemaha and Little Nemaha rivers, called the 
"half-breed tract." From this time, by many 
treaties, more and more of the country was given 
up to the United States, until at last each tribe 

The ludians. 23 

was confined to quite narrow limits, called a re- 
serve or reservation. Not all the Indians now in 
KES- *^^ State were originally here, nor are all 
ifojfs. *^® tribes still here that were found when 
the United States took possession. Some, 
like the Iowa and Winnebago tribes, were brought 
from other states to live on land chosen for them 
in Nebraska. The Pawnees, whose home was 
here, sold their land in 1876 and were removed to 
Indian Territory.' 

The Lacotas, called by the whites Dakoias, 
once possessed all the region west of the Missis- 
sippi, north of the Arkansas Kiver, and east of 
the Rocky Mountains. This nation of Indians 
is more commonly known as the Sioux. Four of 
THE the seven tribes which compose it once oc- 
szouz. cupiejj Dakota and Minnesota, and are 
known as the Santee Sioux. The greatest of the 
Sioux Nation is the Teton Tribe, whose territory 
was north of the Platte, from the Missouri to the 
mountains. The Tetons are made up of seven 
families, among them being the Blackfeet, the 
Brules, and the Ogallalas. 

The most abiding hatred existed between the 
Pawnees and the Sioux, who spoke altogether dif- 
ferent languages. Great battles were fought 

iThe Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1S91, p. 114, 
gives the following figures regardiDg the Indians now within thelimita 
of Nebraska: the number of acres of undivided land belonging to each 
tribe, and not owned by individual Indiana: Iowa tribe, 11953; Sante« 
Sioux, 1131; Omaha, 65191; Sauc and Fox, 8013; Ogallala Sioux, 32000; 
Winnebago, 14612. Altogether this amounts to 208 square miles. 

24 History of Nebraska. 

before settlers came to disturb them. One 
memorable coDflict occurred in the year 

STRUG- •' 

OVER 1832, in what is now Jefferson County, 
^J^^" near the mouth of the Big Sandy River. 
GROUNDgj^^QQjj thousand warriors took part in the 
struggle, which lasted for three days. It is said 
that the Sioux lost three thousand men, and that 
the Pawnees bought their victory with the lives of 
two thousand.' The last battle between these 
same bands occurred in the autumn of 1873, a 
few miles west of the present site of Culbertson, 
in Hitchcock County. The Sioux surprised the 
Pawnees while the latter were at one of their 
annual buffalo hunts, overpowering and defeating 

The history of the relation between the Indians 
and settlers is one long account of petty troubles. 
In early times, before the Civil War began in 
1861, there seems to have been no general hostil- 
ity towards the settlers. Histories of counties 
are full of the details of Indian scares and of the 
stealinor of cattle and horses, and some 
TioN loss of life, too, is recorded. On the 

B E- 

INDIAN other hand it may be said that the Indians 
SET- were ill treated, not by the peaceable set- 
uteeforetler, but by the rougher class of men who 
always stay on the frontier. The Indians 
resented any personal injury and took vengeance 
upon all white people alike. Considering the sav- 

1 Johnson, History of Nebraska, 991, where the tradition of the 
battle is given on the authority of an old French trader, Mont Crevie. 

2 Johnson, History of Nebraska, 967-8. 

The Indians. 25 

age nature of the Indians, one might readily ex- 
pect more deeds of cruelty than there really were. 
Settlers kept themselves ready to meet such bands 
of Indians as tried to do any damage. Reports 
of cattle thieving were sufficient to bring to- 
gether hundreds of armed men. Punishment was 
not delayed, and probably this explaius, to some 
extent, the usually good behavior of the savage 
tribes. A marked change was apparent as soon as 
the Civil War began. The Indians became more 
hostile. While it lasted, not only did they attack 
and murder small parties and raid settlements 
(ft) Dur- ^^^'^ ^^^ there, but the spirit of enmity 
c^vii^* caused many bands of savages all through 
^^'' the Northwest to combine in attacking 
settlements. One of the most notable raids was 
made August 7, 1864, upon the pioneers of Ne- 
braska. At about the same hour of the day all 
the homes except two along a route of two hun- 
dred miles were surrounded and burned. The in- 
mates who could not escape were killed, and their 
provisions and goods were carried off. The out- 
breaks did not cease when peace came, although 
the unusual hostility of the Indians during the 
war was generally attributed to the influence of 
white men who favored the South. A writer says 
that in the neighborhood of Lincoln County the 
attacks of Indians continued for five years. Since 
Nebraska became a state comparatively little 
trouble has arisen, because the limits of their res- 
ervations have become too narrow, and the In- 

20 History of Nebraska. 

dians themselves have improved. Even up* to a 
very recent date, however, Indian outbreaks have 
annoyed the northwestern frontier. The so-called 
Indian War of 1890-91, like almost all the previ- 
"WAR ^^^ conflicts with Indians, began by the 
f^Jf»°'failure of the United States to keep its 
promises. The starving condition of the Indians 
was only aggravated by the blunders of agents 
who did not understand how to deal with them. 
The fighting that occurred may be truly said to 
have been due to the policy of the government.* 


Neb. State Hist. Soc. Pub., especially L, 47-49, 73-85 ; II., 
133-166,246-48; III., 125-190, 279-286; IV., 30-50, 

On Indian Treaties, U. 6'. Statutes at Large, VII. (Indian 
Treaties); IX., 949; X., 1038, 1043; XL, 729; XIV., 
667, 675; XIX., 29, 192, 287, etc. 

Johnson's History of Nebraska. 55-57, and at various pla- 
ces. This book containsanimmeiiseamount of valuable 
history. Some of the county histories in it are based on 
the personal knowledge of the writers. It must not be 
depended on altogether, because it is frequently inaccu- 

Mrs. Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor, Chap, 
v., The Sioux; Chap. VI., The Poncas; Chap. VII., The 

On classification, see No. Amer. Rev., 110: 45, 55, and 
General Colby in State Hist. Soc. Pub., III., 144-5. 


1. Is the government justified in its method of making 
treaties with the Indians? 

2, Is the plan of reservations successful? 

1 Further reading upon the history of special tribes and upon the 
relation between the government and the Indians may be made in Mrs. 
Jackson's "A Ceoturj of Dishonor." 

Explorers, Missionaries, and Traders, 27 



The storv of the comingr of white men into the 
valleys where our state now is, begins far back 
before the times which are usually associated 
with Plymouth Rock and Pocahontas. There is 
even more romance about the expeditions of the 
Spaniards from Mexico and the South into 


uiTY the unexplored interior of the western 


i^3^^-»- countrv than there is about the landing 
of the pilgrim fathers, or about the plant- 
ing of a colony at Jamestown, The Spaniards 
lived in romance. It adds no real dignity to the 
history of the states that now occupy these 
prairie lands, to know that it begins as far back 
as 1541, when Coronado, a Spanish cavalier, came 
up across the country from the southwest with a 
coBO- large body of men; still there is a poetry 
NABO. a)3out such a beginning that makes it at- 
tractive. After the conquest of Mexico by Cor- 
tez, beginning about 1520, that country was ruled 
by governors. As fast as the natives were con- 
quered, new districts were formed and governors 
appointed to rule them. In the western part of 
Mexico was a province called Nueva Galicia over 
which Coronado was appointed provincial gov- 
ernor in 1538. About that time story was 
told the Spaniards of seven cities of Cibola to 

28 History of Nebraska. 

the Djorth, in which there were immense treas- 
THE ures of silver and gold. Coronado was 
CITIES greatly charmed by the prospect of obtain- 
CIBOI.A. ing vast riches by conquest of these cities, 
and fitted out an expedition. The place was found 
in the summer of 1541, far north of Mexico. 
Most historians think that the present town of Zuni 
stands upon the spot. Although Coronado was 
disappointed in regard to the gold, he went fur- 
ther, to find the land of the Quivera, where also 
there was untold wealth to be had. It is 


I.AND not certain lust what the route of the 

or THE •" 

VERA Spaniards was after they left the seven 
cities. By the accounts it is certain that 
Coronado went east and northeast. It is said that 
he reached the fortieth degree of north latitude. 
If he did, he and his companions actually set foot 
on the soil of Nebraska. But he might 
RBACH easily have been mistaken in supposing 
BRAS- that he came as far north as the southern 


boundary of Nebraska. It is sure, at any 
rate, that he visited the plains on which the two 
states of Kansas and Nebraska lie. Whether he 
really came within the limits of this State is not 
so important after all. The great fact is that 
this marks the beginning of the history of white 
men on these plains. This was the same year 
that De Soto was wandering from Florida across 
the southern slopes to the Mississippi. Henry 
III. was then King of England; Francis I. held 
the throne of France, Charles V. was plotting 

Explorers, Missionaries, and Traders. 29 

in the east, and Paul III. was Pope at Rome. 
WHAT Europe as a whole was in the midst of 
THE The Eeformation, and Luther had shortly 


TKE before finished his work. The story of 
DOING? the hills and valleys of Nebraska before 
the time of Coronado must be told by the rocks and 
revealed by the traditions of the Red Man. 

A Spanish expedition about 1601, of which 
there is a record, took the same general direction 
as Coronado' 8. There is also an account of a third, 
made by the Count of Penelosa in 1662, but strong 
reasons are found for believing that this one was 
merely one of the stories that the Count told over 
OTHER i^ Spain. In 1673 Father Marquette 
EXFI.O- ^Qj^ted down the Mississippi and learned 
SPAN-' from- the natives about the Missouri and 

ZSH AND , , -r,., -TT 1 T . 1 

FSENCH about the Platte. He recorded these riv- 
ers on a map just as they were told to him, and 
this drawing is still preserved. Probably this is 
the first map of the region. In 1719 Dustine 
came across the country from the southeast and 
met the tribes of Indians in the eastern part of 
Kansas. This is significant of the coming of the 
French into the plains west of the Missouri and 
Mississippi. Twenty years after Dustine, two 
brothers by the name of Mallet came into the 
country north of the Platte, and explored the river 
as far west as the Forks. 

The history of fur trading in the northwest 
deals first with the French. In the great center 
of fur trade, Wisconsin, trading began as early 

30 History of Nebraska. 

as 1634. After England obtained possession 
TRADE: of Canada, the period of French trade 
prench, was followed by many years of Brit- 
1763. ish traffic. This period may be said to 
British, besfin in 1763 and end in 1816, when 

1763- ^ 

1816. Congress passed a law prohibiting for- 
eigners from trading within the limits of the 
United States. The Americans began to compete 
with the English very early, but the formation of 
the large companies of the United States 
ican, begins in 1809, when John Jacob Astor 

1816-34. *= . T-i /-I 

had the American Fur Company char- 
tered. In 1810 two expeditions were started out, 
one by way of the Missouri Kiver. This year 
saw a post established at Bellevue. Long before 
this, however, traders had kept their places of bar- 
ter on the banks of the Missouri and received the 
deer and buffalo skins from the Indians. Amer- 
ican explorers found traders on Nebraska soil 
soon after the opening of this century. The an- 
nual value of the fur business was very great. 
During the forty years up to 1847, the annual 
value to St. Louis is said to have been from two 
to three hundred thousand dollars. 

The expedition made for the government by 
Lewis and Clark, starting out in 1804, marks the 
time when the growing power of the great 
CAN " American Republic began to reach out to 
rxxTD- these plains. Following this were the 
undertakings of Major Long in 1819, W. 
H. Ashley in 1822, Rev. Samuel Parker in 1835, 

Explorers, Missionaries, and Traders. 31 

and the well-known expedition of the government 
under the command of Gen. Fremont in 1842. 

By such means as these, information came to 
the cities and towns of the east, and there began 
to be an increasing tide of people westward. 
Traders continued to come to get furs from the 
Indians, the hunters came for buffalo robes, mis- 
sionaries came to bring the Gospel to the Indians, 
and finally the adventurer came to make his for- 
tune. The missionaries separated, some 
siON- going to one tribe and some to another. 
One of the very earliest within our bor- 
ders was Moses Merrill, who lived and preached 
among the Otoes from 1833 to 1810.' 

Following him were many who went to the va- 
rious tribes to teach them. Great honor is due 
the men and women who do this work of self-sac- 
rifice in the early history of any country. 


1. Coronafio's Expedition. 

H. H. Bancroft's Works, Vols. XVII. and XXV*!!.: Ari- 
zona and Aen' Mexico, pp. 33-72, History of the North- 
west Coast, I., 44-46. In the former a long list of 
■books concerning the subject is given in note 17, 
p. 37. 

Geo. J. H. Smithsonian Reports, 309-34(3. 

Judge Savage, in State Bist. Soc. Pub., I., 180-202. 

Magazine of Amer. Hist., XXIM., 288. 

Johnson, Hist, of Nebraska, 33-38. 

2. Other early explorations. 

State Hist. Soc. Pub., II., 114-131; III., 67-73. 
Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico, 169. 
Hale, Kansas and Nebraska (Boston, 1854), 15, 16. 
Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist, of Amer., V., 55, note 2. 
Johnson, Bist. of Nebr., 43. 

iThe diary of Mr. Merrill is found in the St»te Historical Socletj 
Publications, IV., 160-191. 

82 History of Nebraska. 

3. American Explorations. 

Lewis and CJark's Travels, (London, 1815, 3 Vols.) I., 

Johnson, Hist. ofNebr., 46-55. 
Journal of an Exploring Tour, by Rev. Samuel Parker, 

(Ithaca, 1842), 39-68. 
Fremont, Report of the Exploring Expedition (Wash- 

infjton, 1845), 15-22. 

4. Fur Trading. 

F. J. Turner, Character and InSuence of the Fur Trade 
in Wisconsin, Wis. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1889. 

Washington Irving's Works: Astoria, Chaps. I.-IIL, 
XIII.-XVII. Bonneville's Adventures, Chaps. II.-IV. 

Encyclopsedias, under names John Jacob Astur, Fur 
Trade, etc. 

Johilson, Hist. ofNebr., 98, 1361, etc. 

Mag. of Amer. Hist., XII., 509. 

5. Missionaries. 

State Hist. Soc. Pub., II., 133-166; III., 125-143; IV., 

Johnson, Hist. ofNebr., 98, 1363, etc. 

Advance Movements. 33 


Two very interesting things happened when 
the valleys of our state first began to be colonized. 
They are interesting because they are peculiar, 
not because they have had a very great effect upon 
the population of the state. The first is the com- 
ing of the Mormons into the country. These 
religious people, with their strange beliefs and 
practices, were compelled to leave their homes in 
Illinois in 1844. The next year they took up 
their journey westward and crossed the Missouri 
at two or three places. The main colony gathered 
about six miles north of the present site of Omaha, 
■where their town was called "Winter Quarters." 
In two years the settlement grew to 15,000 inhab- 
itants. Such things as the country of- 
MoB- fered, thev took for food and shelter. 


The amount of forage and timber required 
to sustain such a fair sized city was not small, 
and the removal of forests and game disturbed 
the Indians. The land belonged to the Eed Man, 
and the government was compelled to stand by 
his rights. The Mormons had to move. From 
this place they scattered, some crossing the Mis- 
souri and others making the long, tedious journey 
to a new home at Salt Lake. Settlements were 
made here and there by Mormon families, and in 
some places enough of them collected to maintain 

34 History of Nebraska. 

a church. As late as 1857 they made a settle- 
ment at Genoa, now in the eastern part of Nance 
County. A hundred families received shares of 
the thousand acres which they inclosed 
and in a few years their colony was very 
prosperous. But the Indians again interfered, 
for the Pawnees came to occupy the reservation 
assigned them by the government. Wars be- 
tween the Pawnees and the Sioux constantly an- 
noyed them, and in five or six years after Genoa 
was founded, the Mormons had again dispersed to 
other parts. At that place are left only earth- 
works to mark their former abode. 

The second feature of interest is the wonderful 
gold panic which seized the people of the East, 
when it was announced in 1849 that gold had 
been discovered in California. The valley of the 
Platte was the natural avenue by which to ap- 
proach the mountains, especially from the north- 
ern states. People arrived in great numbers 
THE ^^ ^^® places where the Missouri was 
Sunt- crossed, and for a short time the fords of 
■^^^' the river were crowded. They made their 
way across the plains with such means as they 
had, either on foot, or with the ox-team, or on 
horse-back. Ill prepared for the most part, many 
perished in the long marches. A few gave up 
their hope of finding riches and began life as 
pioneers in the new country. They were among 
the early settlers of Nebraska, but their number 
was not large. One must have a strong imagina- 

Advance Movements. 35 

tion to realize even dimly the long lines of toilers 
across the continent, the hardships and the heart- 
aches, and the terrible suffering, which left the 
whole way marked by castaway garments, by 
beasts of burden that had perished, and by graves 
of weary pilgrims. This sad picture points to a 
moral about fortune-hunting.^ 

1 Johnson, History of Nebraska, 9S-100. Schonler, History of 
U. S.. v., 130-148. 

36 History of Nebraska. 


Before the organization of the country into 
territories can be discussed, it is necessary to 
know how the United States came to own it. 
When the thirteen original states banded them- 
selves together into a nation in 1788, the people 
and their representatives in Congress did not look 
beyond the Mississippi River. This was the west- 
ern boundary as mentioned in the treaty of 1783 
THE between the United States and Great Brit- 
souki 9'iii' Spain held the land west of this 
BoimD- river, which long before had been named 
Louisiana for Louis XIV. When two na- 
tions hold opposite banks of a stream, it is under- 
stood that both have a right to use it, each one own- 
ing to the center. In the case of this river, not only 
did Spain possess the land on the west, but the 
mouth was entirely in Spanish territory. There 
Spain owned both sides. All went well as long as 
the commerce of the people living west of the Al- 
leghenies was allowed to pass into the Gulf. But 
Spain was not to be depended on and sometimes 
closed the mouth of the river. This caused bad 
feeling between the two nations concerned, and 
made it very desirable for the United States to 
obtain at least all of the east bank of the river, if 
opportunity offered itself. In one of the turns of 

The Acquisition of the Territory. 37 

European politics in 1800, Spain gave to France 
the whole country west of the Mississippi, as far 
as Spanish claims extended. Thomas Jefferson, 
just elected president, saw a chance for the United 
States to buy a portion from France. He there- 
fore told Mr. Livingstone, minister at Paris, to 
try to make the purchase, and in May, 1803, Mon- 
roe also was sent to France to aid him. At 


PUR- length Napoleon decided to cede the whole 

CHASE. . . 

of Louisiana to the United States. This 
seems to have come about, not through the skill 
of the men trying to make the purchase, but 
because of the condition in which the affairs of 
France were at that time. The price of this whole 
country, from the Mississippi to the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and from the Gulf of Mexico to British 
America, was $15,000,000. In the treaty there 
is nothing said about boundaries. To the north- 
west very little was known accurately about the 
extent of the claim, so that little could be said. 

A moment's thought makes plain how great a 
difference this purchase has made in the growth 
of the United States. What would the career of 
the Union have been, hemmed in by the Missis- 
sippi, with European nations on the west? What 
EFFECT great success this change has brought to 
THE^A-tlie idea of a Republic! How much more 
TZON. (jigQJty and importance among the nations 
of the world this growth to a land empire has 
given to the United States! Together with 
other additions to our domain, it has made the 

38 History of Nebraska. 

Nation more symmetrical, and has thrown under 
one flag the slopes of the great Mississippi and 
Missouri valleys. Who will say that by the ac- 
quisition of this 900,000 square miles of territory 
the controlling influence in North America, and 
perhaps in the Western Hemisphere, did not pass 
to the United States? 

Very soon after the purchase Congress took 
steps to form the country into one or more terri- 
tories, and to extend the laws formally over the 
land. From that time the maps showed various 
divisions, but until the prairies were peopled the 
changes were of small importance. It was mostly 
^^ Indian Country'''' until 1854. 


Henry Adams, Hist, of V. S. during 1st Administration of 

Th. Jefferson, II., Chaps. II.-VI. 
Von Hoist, Hist, of U. S., 1750-1832, Chap. V., pp. 183- 

Schouler, Hist, of U. S., II., 36-52. 
Johnson, Hist, of Nebraska, 44-46, giving a text of the 

Morse, Thomas Jefferson, 231. 
The American Statesman, 203-210. 

The Kansas-Nebraska Act in Congress. 39 



The beginning of the history of Nebraska as a 
territory must be studied in the records of Con- 
gress. Long before there were white people 
enough in the valley of the Platte to make a small 
dinner party, the law-makers at Washington had 
HIS- begun to think about forming a territory. 
OP THE Government was not needed there yet. 
TORY " It was a political matter. The questions 
IN POL- about the Oregon boundary, the settle- 


ments in California, the Republic of 
Texas, and the new territory acquired from Mex- 
ico constantly drew the attention of Congress to 
matters beyond the Mississippi River. The sub- 
ject of a new territory at the mouth of the Platte 
River arose in 1844, ten years before a bill estab- 
lishing it was really passed by Congress and 
signed by the president. Efforts were made sev- 
eral times between 1844 and 1854 to bring this 
about, and chief among the men interested in it 

iThis was called the Nebraska and Kansas Bill, or the Nebraska 
Bill, during the debates upon it in Congress. The name Nebraska was 
ftrst suggested as a name for the Territory by William Wilkins, Secre- 
tary of War, in his annual report, on November 30, 1844. He wrote: 
"The Piatt or Nebraska, being the central stream leading into or from 
the Great South Pass, would very properly furnish a name for the Ter- 
ritory, which I propose suggesting to be erected into a territorial goT- 
ernment." Congressional Globe, Ist Sess., 33d Cong., App., p. 715. 

40 History of Nebraska. 

was Stephen A. Douglas. He was a democrat, 
and a very shrewd politician. He began 
DOUG-'^"^^^ career in Congress in 1843 as a repre- 
^^^- seutative from Illinois. In 1847 he en- 
tered the Senate, where he served for twelve 
years. Mr. Douglas was very prominent in the 
discussions which led to the organization of Ne- 
braska, and a study of the bill by which this was 
done rightly begins with a study of him. 

He was prime mover in urging the subject 
upon Congress. His motives, his ambition, his 
schemes, all are a part of the history of Nebraska. 
The influence of this man and the acts of Con- 
gress from 1844 to 1854 are not alone sufficient 
to show the reason why Nebraska became a terri- 
tory when it did. The subject of slavery entered 
almost everything that was done in Congress for 
years before Nebraska was organized. Trouble 
arose in Congress whenever new territories were 
made, because slave-holders wanted slavery al- 
lowed and the opposers of slavery at the 
^^^ North desired to prohibit the whole ervil. 
M?ssou-There had been an agreement in Congress 
PKo^^'iii 1820, which readers of American His- 
tory are familiar with under the name of 
the Missouri Compromise. 

By this bill anti-slavery men in Congress had 
consented not to interfere with the question of 
slavery in the Southwest. On the other hand, 
the slavery men had agreed not to introduce 
Blavery into the Louisiana Purchase, north of the 

The Kansas-Nebraska Act in Congress. 41 

parallel of latitude 36° 30'. Although Mis- 
souri is north of that line, slavery was not pro- 
hibited within its limits. Mr. Douglas claimed 
that the Compromise of 1850 took the place of the 
Missouri Co'inpromise, because, as he said, 
COM- the former allowed a territory to have slaves 


MisE or not, iust as it chose. This was not true, 

OP 1850. ' '' ' 

but it served as his pretext. He was the 
chairman of the Committee on Territories, and 
reported to the Senate on January 23, 1854, a 
bill which provided for two territories. In the 
previous bills only one was mentioned. Mr. 
Douglas was the author of the section of the bill 

which contained the idea of a territory reg- 
TijR ulatinor slavery within its own boundaries. 

SOVEB- O '' 

EIGHTY This doctrine is called "Popular Sover- 
eignty" or "Squatter Sovereignty." From the 
time when the news of the bill spread through 
the country, every community was stirred 
OF THE up over the subject. In Congress the 
Ikaska gi'eatest struggle in its history took place. 
Son" "Why should this bill cause such a com- 
fS'on^hl motion?" may be asked. It re-opened 
People. ^^^ question of slavery, which many sup- 
posed to have been settled by the compromises. 
The Kansas-Nebraska Bill, as it is called, brought 
on the contest between the supporters and the op- 
posers of slavery. It destroyed the Whig party, 
and divided the people on the subject of slavery 
alone. The new Kepublican Party, whose pur- 
pose at first was to prevent the spread of slavery 

42 History of Nebraska. 

and afterwards to stop it altogether, dates from this 
(oon time. Inhabitants of Nebraska probably 
Parties. ^^.^ ^^^^ proud of the fact that the bill 
which organized the valley of the Platte into a 
territory came from those who upheld slavery, 
and that it was passed by their votes. ^ But they 
may be glad that the schemes of Mr. Douglas 
helped only to unite the parties of the North 
against the one great curse of the Nation, and led 
directly to the freedom of the slaves. The idea 
of Popular Sovereignty is not that splendid prin- 
ciple that the will of a people shall rule supreme, 
but only a mockery of it. 


Von Hoist, History ofU. S., 1850-1854. Chaps. VI.-VIII. 

Schouler, History of the U. S., V., 276-292. 

Congressional GlobBfYo]. 28, pt. I., B'Sd Cong. 1st session, p. 

221, etc. 
Seward's Works (Boston, 1884), IV., 433-479. 
Johnson, Hist. Amer. Politics (N. Y., 1884), 157-166. 
Sterne, Const. Hist, and Political Development ofU. S.,1SQ- 

Young, American Statesman. 940-960; Chaps. 75 and 76. 
Shepard, Martin Van Buren, 376-379. 
Roosevelt, T. H. Benton. 315-349. 
Mag of Amer. Hist., XVIIL, 478. 
Spencer, Hist, of U. S., III., 50 4-6. 
Crafts, Hist, of U. S. of Amer., I., 578-580. 
Andrews, Brief Institutes of our Const. Hist., 226. 
Davis, Rise and Fall ofConfed. Gov't., I., Chap. V. 
Lalor Cyclopedia of Pol. Sci., II., 667-670. 


What was the Oregon Boundary matter? See Barrow's 
Oregon (Commonwealth Series). 
Schouler, Hist, of U. S., IV., 504-514. 
How did California come to be a part of the U. S.? See 

' In Its final form, the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed the House May 
22, 1S54, by a vote of 113 to 100. The Senate approved it three days 
later by a vote of 35 to 13, and the President signed it on May 30, 1854. 

The Kansas-Nebraska Act in Congress. 


Schouler, Hist, of U. S., IV., 247, 445-7, 528-o35. 

When did Texas become a republic and how long was it 
independent? See Schouler,V., index. 

Was Douglas sincere in hia views? Kead speeches of 
Douglas and Lincoln. 

44 History of Nebraska. 


The law passed by Congress to organize the 
territory of Nebraska resembles an old law of the 
Continental Congress. Indeed, every time that 
OBDi- Congress has passed a law to form a ter- 
^^^^^ ritory, the Ordinance of 1787, as this old 
■'■^^^' law is called, has been the model for it. An 
act or law which organizes a territorial govern- 
ment, naming the boundaries, the officers, and the 
manner of their appointment, is called the Or- 
ganic Act. Such for our territory was the part 
ORGAN- ^^ ^^® Kansas-Nebraska act which Delates 
ic ACT. ^Q Nebraska. The whole bill consists of 
thirty-seven sections, of which the first eighteen 
apply to Nebraska alone. Three departments 
were made, just as in the constitutions of the 
United States and of each state. The general 
plan is the same everywhere in this Republic, and 
the territorial constitution, as might have been 
expected, provided for governor, legislature, and 
supreme court. The first governor of a territory 
EXECu- i^ ^^® United States was appointed by 
OPFI- the President and Senate, and this mode 
of appointment has not been changed. 
In the same manner, a secretary, attorney, and 
marshal received their offices. The secretary had 
a term of five years, but the others, including the 

1 United States Statutes, X., 277. 

The BUI Itself. 45 

governor, had one of but four years. It is inter- 
esting to note that since the time of the Ordi- 
nance of 1787 these terms of office had increased 
by one year. 

The fourth section of the bill provided for a 
council of thirteen members and a house of twenty- 
six. The governor had the usual veto upon leg- 
islation, which began in 1787 with absolute power 
to forbid a bill to become a law. It was very soon 
modified, however, so that a certain majority of 
members could pass bills over his veto. The 
three judges of the supreme court received their 
appointment in the same manner as the governor. 

This territory had the very same kind of 
lA- representation in Congress as the old North- 

west Territory had under the Ordinance of 
1787, namely, a delegate to the House of Eepresen- 
tatives, with right to discuss and advise concern- 
ing the territory, but without right to vote. One 

of the important provisions of the bill 



TosiAi. (Sec. 16) reserved two square miles out of 

GATE, each township for purposes of education, 
but it seems that Nebraska received no benefit 
from this while a territory.^ There are certain 
things in the Organic act that show in whose in- 
terest the bill was made and by whose votes it 
was passed. (1) The voters are only the "white" 
population (Sec. 5). (2) It is especially stated 
that the two acts of Congress of the years 1793 
and 1850, about fugitive slaves, should be in force 

1 Governor's MesBage, 9th Session. 

46 History of Nebraska. 

in the territory (Sees. 9 and 10). (3) In the last 
half of the 14th section, the Missouri Compromise 
act is declared of no efifect, and the idea of non- 
intervention by Congress is expressed. This idea 
was that Congress should not interfere with any 
state in its own private affairs: that the people 
should regulate their domestic institutions in their 
own way, subject only to the Constitution of the 
United States. This is the doctrine of "Popular 
Sovereignty. " At the time the old Ordinance 
of 1787 was passed, there was little opposition 
when Nathan Dane, a Massachusetts lawyer, 
moved to add a paragraph prohibiting slavery 
in the territory north of the Ohio River. Be- 
tween that time and 1854 things had changed. 
It was no longer possible to pass a bill with a 
clause in it prohibiting slavery in a territory, 
although the land might lie farther north than the 
Ohio Eiver. The Ordinance of 1787 was the 
first act of the United States that contained a fu- 
gitive slave clause and the Kansas-Nebraska Bill 
was the last.^ 

iThis latter statement remains to be verified, but seems to be trne 

The Territorj of Nebraska. 47 


When the territory of Oregon was established 
in 18i8, the summit of the Rocky Mountains be- 
tween the parallels of 42° and 49° became a part 
of the boundary. In 1850, at the formation of 
Utah Territory, the same mountains were made 
the eastern boundary between the 30th and 40th 
BounD- parallels. "When Nebraska was organ- 
ABiEs. J2;ed, the summit of the Rockies easily be- 
came the western limit, because it was already a 
boundary line. Just where the "summit of the 
Rocky Mountains" is, the members of Congress 
themselves probably did not know. In Map IV. 
it is taken as the water-shed, on one side of which 
the rivers flow to the Gulf of Mexico and on the 
other to the Pacific Ocean. The western boundary 
of Minnesota, which was formed into a territory 
five years before Nebraska, followed the Missouri 
towards the northwest as far as White Earth 
River, and then turned northward along this 
stream to the British line. The northeast bound- 
ary of the Territory of Nebraska likewise followed 
these rivers.' 

No one need think that the exact location of 
these lines which Congress had fixed, except the 
boundary between Kansas and Nebraska, made 

1 White liarth Hiver rises south of British America. Doubtless the 
boundary would be toiiipleted by a line drawn north from the source of 
this riyer to tho -I'Jtli parallel. 


History oi Nebraska. 


A. White Earth River. 

K. Portion removed by formation of Colorado. 

C. Present liimits. 

The Territory of Xebrnska. 49 

any difference at all between the inhabitants of 
the Territory. The few white persons in the 
country were at the southeast corner, and the Red 
Man knew no boundaries. Since the western 
country was being settled rapidly, these extensive 
limits could not long remain. In February, 1861, 
Colorado Territory was created, taking a small 
piece out of the southwestern corner of Nebraska. 
Two mouths later Dakota Territory was formed, 
which removed all the stretch of country north of 
the 43d parallel. At the same time two tracts 
were added to Nebraska from Utah and Washing- 
ton territories. The effect was to change the 
western boundarvfrom the indefinite "summit of 
the Rocky Mountains" to the 33d meridian west 
of Washington. Nebraska Territory was now 
nearly four times as long as it was wide, stretqh- 
ing in fact, about fifteen degrees in longitude. 

It so remained for two years. At the formation 
of Idaho Territory, March, 1863, all west of the 
27th meridian was taken away. With these def- 
inite boundaries it remained, even after it became 
a state in 1867. 

The organization of the Territory of Nebraska 

begins with the appointment of Francis Burt, of 

South Carolina, as governor, by the president, 

Franklin Pierce. With the arrival of Mr. 

SSl^'^^" Burt at Bellevue, October 7, 1854, came 

TIOK. . ,1 111 

the enforcement of law m the new settle- 
ments. Hardly had the governor begun his work 
when he died, and the secretary, T. B. Cuming, 


History of Nebraska. 

Tbe Territory of Nebraska. 


became acting governor, as the bill provided. By 
the hand of the latter the wheels of govern- 
ment were set in motion. First, districts were 
laid out in order that a census might be taken. 
After the population had been ascertained, the 
FIRST thirteen councilmen and twenty-six rep- 

STEPS •' ir 

resentatives were apportioned for election 
among eight districts or counties.' On elec- 
tion day, December 12, not only were members 
of the legislature selected, but also a delegate for 
Congress. The returns showed a voting popula- 
tion of 800, but some allowance must be made for 
the tendency of non-residents to come across the 
river to vote. The acting governor assigned the 
three judges to districts, set the time for holding 
terms of court, and appointed county officers. 
Members of the legislature were duly elected, and 
the government of the Territory had started. 
The history of the legislature of the Territory 

'The following shows the first eiprht counties, with the vote of each 
for delejrate to Congress, and the number of conscilioen and representa- 
tives assigned : — 











Douglas .'..... 













Burt : 













There w£ka from the start a struggle for the capital between the vari- 
ous places, especially between the region.? Horth and south ©f the Platte. 
These figures are of use in the study of that subject. 

52 History of Nebraska. 

consists of twelve regular sessions, of which the 
first began January 16, 1855, and the last one 
January 10, 1867. The time of meeting was 
often changed, however. The second session be- 
_ . . gan in December, the third in January, 
TION. and the fourth in December. From the 
fourth to the eighth sessions inclusive, the open- 
ing day fell in the latter part of the year, while 
for the four remaining it was changed back to 
January. From 1855 to 1867 twelve yearly ses- 
sions were held, with the exception of the year 
1863.^ The membership of the house of represen- 
tatives was increased from twenty-six to 

MEM- •' 

SH^ Qpthirty-five at the second session, and later 
i,EGXs- ^Q thirty-nine, the limit set by the Kan- 
TUSE. gas-Nebraska Bill. There was no change 
in the number of members in the council. 

Law-making in a territory is different in many 
respects from the same thing in a state. In the 
latter, the power of the body that makes the law 
is very much restricted by the constitution. In 
almost every state in the Union there is a long 
list of subjects concerning which the legislature 
is forbidden to make special laws. It is 
Ai. AND thought better to make general laws that 


cia£ apply to all the cases of the same kind. 

For example, the legislature of Nebraska 

is forbidden to make a charter for any particular 

city. But a law may be made applying to all the 

I This was in the middle of the war, when money was scarce. The 
financial reason is the only one assigned for the failure to bold a session 
In that year. 

Tbfi Territory of Nebraska. 53 

cities of a certain class, the class being deter- 
mined by population. But the territorial legisla- 
ture was not restricted at all in this regard, and 
laws upon all sorts of special subjects are found 
in the statutes. Divorces were granted by act of 
the legislature, every town was formed by a sep- 
arate law, and the territorial assembly smiled upon 
every academy and "university," which lived, per- 
haps, only upon paper. But the Territory of Ne- 
braska did not continue through the whole period 
to make law in so clumsy a manner. Grad- 
OP- uallv the work of legislation was made 
TO^^N-jj^Qi-e expeditious by the passage of general 
lAws. ^p|.g Qjj various subjects. A law of 1864 
gave the courts jurisdiction of the subject of di- 
vorce. Another law was passed by which compa- 
nies could be organized by taking certain legal 
steps, instead of asking the legislature to attend 
to every individual case. By one of the acts at 
the first session, a great part of the statutes of 
Ipwa became the laws of the Territory. This is 
a good illustration of how a newly organized com- 
munity gets its laws. At first all the states had a 
common model to follow in the English Statutes, 
which had accumulated for many centuries. But 
as soon as one state had excellent laws, it was an 
easy matter for another state to adopt them. This 
adoption of statutes has prevailed to a large ex- 
tent in the western states, where the laws of New 
York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan have re- 
peatedly been copied. Part of the Iowa laws 

54 History of Nebrnskn. 

thus broucfht into Nebraska defines crimes and 
their punishment, and part of them regulates civil 
processes, such as the manner of bringing suits, 
etc. The former is called a criminal code and 
the latter a code of civil procedure. The territo- 
rial legislature at its third session foolishly re- 
pealed both these and left no others in place of 
them. Governor Cuming told the fourth 


OP THE legislature that the laws were " limited, 

IiAWS. ^ 

confused, and contradictory, " and that 
careful legislation was necessary. The question 
of the removal of the capitol was uppermost in 
the minds of the representatives, and adjournment 
came without the needed laws. In the autumn of 
1858, Govenor Richardson called the legislature 
in special session, three months before the regu- 
lar time, principally to pass laws in place of those 
that had been repealed. Many of the 
OP THE criminal laws enacted at this fifth, or spe- 

SES- cial session, remained in force until 1873 
sioir; . . . ' 

when the criminal code of Ohio was 
adopted. At the same time civil laws also were 
passed, which were re-enacted in 1866. 

The earliest liquor law of Nebraska was the 
most stringent. The first legislature in 1855 pro- 
, hibited not only the manufacture of liquor in the 
^jj Territory, but also selling, exchanging, 

J^^^jjand giving intoxicating drinks. In 1858 
'"^^' this was modified by a license law. Slav- 
ery in Nebraska and Kansas is of special inter- 
est. In Kansas was fought the real battle of the 

'The Territory of Nebraska. 55 

frontier, between the slavery and anti-slavery fac- 
tions, and one can appreciate the victory only by 
reading the history of that time, Nebraska Terri- 
tory knew little of the conjaict because slave labor 
SI.AV- ^^^ unprofitable so far north. Yet there 
^^'^' were some slaves even in the small settle- 
ments here, for the territorial ofiicers who came 
from the Southern States brought slaves with 
them. Opinions on both sides of the question 
are found in the Journals of the legfislature. 
There were attempts to make it unlawful for a 
free negro to settle in the Territory, and bills were 
introduced to prevent slavery altogether within 
the limits of Nebraska. The history of the Terri- 
tory is closely connected with the subject of abo- 
lition, in the career of John Brown, who spent 
much time in the southeastern counties just be- 
JOHN ^^^^ ^^® ^^^' lielping fugitive slaves to 
^^**^^' escape from Kansas by his so-called "un- 
derground railway." This was a special route, 
of which Falls City was the first station in the 
Territory, and Nebraska City or Brownville the 
second, where runawav slaves crossed the river on 
their way to Canada. By this means many a ne- 
gro sought and gained his freedom. 

The Federal Government paid the salaries of 

the governor, secretary, judges, and members of 

the legislature, while the attorney-general and 

marshal received only fees. For this 

"reason, the expenses of the territory were 

comparatively light. It seems that the lands re- 

56 History of Nebrnska. 

served for school purposes could not be used dur- 
ing the territorial period.' This threw the ex- 
pense of establishing a school system upon the 
people, which with other matters of expenditure 
caused a small debt to accumulate. It is 
easiest for a city or state to raise money 
by issuing bonds bearing interest for a number of 
years. The territory did this, but the debt in- 
curred was never large. E-esources were usually 
larger than liabilities in the ac3ounts of the 
treasurer and auditor. The laws of the Territory 
REV- concerning taxation were poor, so that 
LAWS, money came into the treasury slowly. 
Governor Cuming spoke of the revenue laws in 
his message to the fourth legislature, as "inappli- 
cable and almost inoperative." Of course the 
taxes increased with the growth of population. 
The financial reports show that all the money paid 
in 185(3 came from three counties and amounted 
to $1,236.00. The annual revenues for ten years, 
benfinninoj with 1856, averao^ed over $10,- 
Does a 000.00. In 1865 the annual taxes had 


^i^\^G«^ reached nearly $54,000.00. This may be 
*^°^*' said to be what it cost the people directly 
to carry on the territorial government. There 
are many other things, however, that should be 
added to this to find the real cost, such as the 
fees received by the attorney And marshal. 
There may also be added to the territorial ex- 
penses paid by the people the annual appropriation 

1 Governor's Message, 9th session. 

The Territory of Nebraska. 57 

by the Federal Goveriiment of about $17,000.00 
for salaries, and large amounts for improvements. 
Among the latter was an item of 350,000.00, 
granted for a road between Omaha and Kearney. 
When a movement was started to form a state 
government, opponents argued that a territory 
costs less than a state. In the case of a country 
like Nebraska, into which the tide of population 
was fairly rushing, the expenses of the territory 
and of the state which follows are not to be 

Life in the Territory of Nebraska was not with- 
out its exciting political quarrels. The most 
bitter fights in politics are over the location of 
county seats and state capitals, and this was sadly 
true here. The death of Governor Burt, who in- 
tended to make Bellevue the capital, gave 
^^x^' the acting governor ah opportunity to de- 
FiGHT. pJ^Iq ^^pQi^ Omaha instead. Intense feel- 
ing was aroused at once. From this time on the 
Territory never lacked sites for the capitol. The 
pull was both north and south, to Florence, Platts- 
mouth, Nebraska City, and the interior of the 
country. In 1855, 1857, 1858, and 18G7, the 
strife between the North and South Platte regions 
was mentioned with regret by the governors 
in their messages to the legislature. One gov- 
ernor argued that a bridge across the Platte 
would tend to allay the feeling. At the fourth 
session, part of the legislature actually withdrew 
to Florence, north of Omaha, but the move was 

58 History of Nebraska. 

unsuccessful. A bill had been introduced into 
the previous legislature, 1857, concerning a re- 
moval of the capital from Omaha to a town bj the 
name of Douglas, Lancaster County, which ex- 
isted only on paper, A writer who took part in 
the politics of that time says that the apportion- 
ment of members for the first legislature was 
made in such a way that the members would sus- 
tain Governor Cuming's decision, when the ques- 
tion of the location of the capital came before 

The wonderful settlement of the western coun- 
try is naturally a subject of inquiry. What led 
people westward in such numbers ? The discovery 
of gold in California late in the forties first in- 
duced people to turn their faces toward the Pa- 
cific. Five or six years after this, the Kansas- 
Nebraska bill by its prominence advertised the 
Great Plains, and in 1859 gold was discovered at 
Pike's Peak. The effect of this discovery, 
BAPiDi- coming during hard times, -was probably 
EXTEN T much greater than it otherwise would have 

or SE7- 

TLE- been. The exceptional advantages offered 
to all classes by a new country accounts 
largely for the tide of immigration. The pre-emp- 
tion and homestead laws of the United States 
served to bring the matter of lands and homes 
more sharply to the attention of eastern citizens 

I J. S. Morton, in State Hist. Soc. Pub., III., 10$. A compariBon of 
each apportionment and the political majorities of the counties in each 
district afford room for special study. See Fiske, Civil Government, L'16. 

The Territory of Nebraska. 59 

and promised them undisputed possession of west- 
ern farms. The rapid settlement of Nebraska, too, 
was made, notwithstanding the unfavorable opinion 
in the East about the quality of Nebraska soil. 
Had the toiling farmer of New York and Ohio 
known that in a few years Nebraska would out- 
rank all the other states in its yield of corn per 
acre, would not the rate of immigration have been 
more surprising? The settlements, as a rule, pro- 
ceeded from the Missouri Eiver westward. Some 
particular circumstance here and there, such as 
the location of a fort, led settlers to go far out on 
the frontier to make homes for themselves. There 
was also a tendency to settle near the usually trav- 
eled wagon routes, along which freighters stopped 
on their way to Pike's Peak, Utah, and California. 
In 1859 the white population extended from the 
river 140 miles westward, and the number of 
counties had grown from eight in 1855 to thirty- 
five four years later. 

In this first decade great strides had been made 
towards accumulating material wealth and estab- 
lishing prosperous homes. Population had in- 
creased marvelously. Assessors' rolls for the year 
WEAI.TH 1866 showed a million and a half of dol- 
TERBi^ lars invested in merchandise, |143,000.00 
^*** ' in manufactures, and upwards of $85,- 
000.00 in household furniture. For that time 
such material progress means much. Agriculture 
was firmly established, and the richness of the soil 
of Nebraska was abundantly proved. The value 


History of Nebraska. 

of farm stock lacked little of three million dollars. 
Altogether the wealth of the Territory was placed 
at eighteen millions. 

The State. 61 


Before the Territory was scarcely five years 
old, the question of changing to a state govern- 
ment began to be discussed. The greater part of 
the message of Governor Black to the leg:- 
jlQj^ islature in December, 1859, was devoted 
to it,' and that body passed a bill provid- 
ing for an election in March, 1860, to decide 
whether or not a state organization should be 
effected." The vote of the people favored the con- 
tinuance of the territorial form. The 
AT- subiect appears not to have been dis- 
cussed seriously for four years. In Feb- 
ruary, 1864, the legislature asked Congress to 
permit Nebraska to become a state,^ and about 
two mouths later their petition was granted in the 
passage of an ^'■Emihling Act.'''' However 
BI.ING the only action taken in Nebraska under 

ACT. '' . . 

this provision was to elect members to a 
convention, which met and adjourned without ac- 
complishing its purpose. The legislature did 
not discuss the subject again until the session of 
1866. This time it was left to no "constitutional 
convention" to draw up a constitution, but that 
work was done by a committee and was submitted 

ICouncil Journal, 6th Spr8 , l."j-22. 

SLaiis ol Territory, ISfiO. pp , 45-4S. Jobneon, Bist. ofSeb., 120. 

3iani ofJertitorj-, lsfi4, pp., 282, 283. 

62 History of Nebraska. 

to the people for approval on June 2.' The con- 
test was very close and exciting, and the new 
form of government was adopted by a majority 
coNSTi-of only one hundred out of nearly 7,800 

TTJTION ■, m T • T 1 . 

or 1866. votes cast. Two political parties, taking 
opposites of the question, nominated full sets of 
officers and completed a thorough organization. 
The republicans favored and the democrats op- 
posed the adoption of the new constitution. In 
their stump speeches the orators talked only about 
the advisability of state government or no state 
government, but the political leaders were mainly 
concerned with the effect of the issue upon na- 
tional politics. 

From the election in June until early in 1867, 
Nebraska had both a territorial and a state form 
of government. The authorities of the 
^EGis- Territory continued in office, and the ter- 
TURES I'itorial legislature, on January 10, 1867, 
ONCE, ^^t ^o^ i^s twelfth and last session. Mean- 
while, the new state legislature had its first 
meeting July 4, 1866, and was again called to- 
gether February 20, 1867, only two days after the 
last territorial legislature had adjourned, in order 
to accept a certain requirement imposed by the 
Federal Government. 

The constitution of 1866 was not satisfactory 
to a large number of people, so that a convention 
to draw up another was authorized by the 

i Council Journal, 11th Sess., 129, 170. 184. 

2 Johnson, Hist, of Neb., 128. Vote: 3938 to 3838. 

The State. 63 

legislature at its eighth session.^ The election of 
l^pyj.p-|._ members of the convention came in May, 
STITU- The document which they drew up was 
lUnb. submitted to the people for their approval, 
September 19, 1871. Several amendments were 
ONE proposed, each of which aroused the oppo- 
posED sition of a particular class. One pro- 

TJT 1371 

vided for the taxation of church property, 
another for compulsory education, and a third 
that counties and cities should not vote aid to cor- 
porations, such as railroads. Five such amend- 
ments were voted on separately, and all were re- 
jected along with the constitution itself.^ Four 
ONE years later, on October 12, 1875, the peo- 
ED°N^' pie adopted a more satisfactory constitu- 


tion.^ At the same time two separate 
propositions voted upon were also approved. The 
constitution of 1875 went into efPect November 1, 
of that year, and still continues almost unchanged 

From 1866 to 1891 inclusive, twenty-two ses- 
sions of the state legislature have been held.* 

^Statutes. 1871, 63-65. 

2Vote: foi% 79S6; against, 8627. Johnson, Bist. of\eh., 145. 

SVote: for, 30202; against, .'5474. Johnson, Hist, of Neb., 151. 
*The fallowing are the twenty-two sessions. Those marked.* were 

special or extra sessions: 

1. July 4-11, 1866. 11. January 7-Feb. 25, 1875. 

•2. Feb. 20-21, 1^67. "12. Dec. 5, 1S76. 

3. May 16-June 24. 1867. *13. Dec. 5, 1876. 

*4. Oct. 27-2S, 1S6S. 14. Jan. 2-Feb. 15, 1877. 

5. Jan. 7-Feb. In, 1869. 15. Jan 7-Feb. 25. 1n79. 

*6. Feb. 17-Mnrch 4, 1870. 16. Jan. 4-Feb. 26, 1S81: 40 days. 

*7. March 4, 1870. '17. May 10-24, 1SS2. 

8. Jan.5-Mar.28; May30-Jnne 18. Jan. 2-Feb. 26. ISS.'?: 42 days. 

6, 1S71. 19. Jan. 6-Mar. 5, 1S85: 43 days. 

Sth Adjourned. Jan. 9-19, 1872. 20. Jan. 4-Mar. 31, 1SS7: 61 days. 

9. January li-Mar. .3, 1873. 21. Jan. 1-Mar. 30,18Si): 67 days. 
•10. Mar. 27-29, 1S73. 22. Jan. O-.Vpril 4, 1891: 71 days. 

64 History of Nebraska. 

The first constitution allowed biennial sessions of 
LEGISLA- ^oi'^y clays each, which was not changed 
TURE. by the constitution of 1875. There were 
several special or "called" sessions, and one "ad- 
journed" session, which varied somewhat in length. 

Nine meetings were very short/ The 
Ies^^ seventh met but one day, and the twelfth 

and thirteenth were both held on the fifth 
of December, 1876." As the state grew in popu- 
lation and wealth, its interests largely increased 
and the legislature found it difficult to transact 
all the necessary business in the allotted forty 
days. This length of time was exceeded by two 
CHANGE ^^y® ^^ ^^® eighteenth session, and by 
ber^f' three days at the nineteenth session. At 
^■^^ ■ the latter meeting, in 1885, an amendment 
to the constitution was proposed by the legislature, 
making sixty days the length of a session instead 
,of forty. At the election of 1886, this was voted 
upon and carried.^ The last three legislatures 
sat for sixty-one, sixty-seven, and seventy-one 
days respectively. 

Under the first constitution the number of sen- 
ators was fixed for ten years at thirteen, and the 

1 These were 1st, 2d, 4th, 7th, 8th Adjourned, 10th, 12th, 33th, 17th. 

iiThe Koveruor brought the legislature together on the morning of 
that day to canvass the votes for presidential electors. This was ac- 
complished, the result showing the election of Amasa Cobb, A. H. Con- 
ner, and S. A. Strickland. A question had arisen concerning the eligi- 
bility of Mr. Tobb to bean elector, and the governor convened the legis- 
lature again at 3 p.m. of the same day, to settle this matter and to 
canvass the votes for state officers. This was all the business done at 
the twelfth and thirteenth sessions. Senate Journal, 12-14 Sess., 1-33. 

^Session Laws, 1S85, p. 435. House Journal, 1887, pp. 969-972. 

The State. 65 

number of representatives at thirty-nine, the 
vaa/L- limits of membership being twenty-five 
SKIP, and seventy -five. By the constitution o£ 
1875 these limits were increased to thirty-three 
and one hundred. The full numbers are now 

The seven governors that have been elected in 
the State have each served two terms, on the 
average.' Since 1867 the duties of governor have 
seldom devolved upon acting governors, while in 
GOVERN- ^^® Territory the acting governor was 
ORS. often in office. Under the constitution of 
1866 the secretary performed the duties belong- 
ing to the head of the State, if the latter died or 
was removed. This happened in 1871, when 
Governor Butler was impeached. W. H. James 
took his place, remaining in office until the term 
of the next governor began, in 1873. 

During the territorial period and also the 
early years of state history, there were three 
JUDI- judicial districts. In 1883 the number 
CIARY. had increased to ten, and in 1891 to 
fifteen. The supreme court has remained, from 
the beginning of the Territory in 1854, a 
body of three members.^ The two senators al- 

IThe list is as follows: 
1.— David Butler, Feb. 21, 1S67. 4.— Albinus Nance, Jan. 9, 1879. 

2.— Rob't W. Furnas. Jan. 13, 1873. 5.— James W. Dawes, Jan. 4. 1883. 
3.— Silas Gaiber. Jan. 11, 1S75. 6.— Jolin M. Thayer, Jan. 9, 1887. 

7.— James E. Boyd, Jan. 8, 1891. 

2 The chief justices of the State have been as follows : 

1. w. A. Little, 1»66. 6. — .Amasa Cobb, Jan. 1. 1SS4. 

2!— O.'p. Mason, 1SG6. 7.— Sarnuel Maxwell, Jnii 1,1886. 

3.— G. B. Lake, Jan. 16, 1873. 8.— M. B. Reese, Jan. 1, Ivss. 

4.— Daniel Gnntt, Jan. 3, 1878. 9.— Aniasa Cobb, Jan. 1, In90. 

5.— G. B. Lake, Jan. 1, 1882. 10.— Samuel Maxwell, Jan. 1, 1S92. 

66 History of Xebraska. 

lowed by the coustitution of the United States 
haA'e represented Nebraska in Congress 

OF CON- from the time of its admission/ but the 

[iRtSS. number of congressmen has increased 

from one in 1867, to six in 1893.^ 

Only the few who handle the money of a great 

state or keep its accounts, know how much gov- 
ernment costs and whence the money 

FINANCES n -1 r ^ +i ^ * 

comes. Consideration or the system or 

taxation is better left to the pages of civil gov- 
ernment, but it is quite fitting to inquire at this 
place how much money, in fact, is annually used 
by the State. The cost of a territorial govern- 
ment was seen^ to be very small, because it is 
more simple, and also because part of the expense 
falls ui)ou the Federal Government. The num- 

iThe list of senators is as follows: 
.lolin M. Thnyer. 1SG7-71. Alvin Saunders, 1S77-S:!. 

Ttionias W. Tipton. 1n67-75. C. H. Vau AVyck, 1S81-!S7. 

Phineaa W. Hitchcock, 1S71-77. Cliarles F. Mamiorson, 1;>:S3-1S89. 

Algernon S. Paddock. 1.S75-S1. Algernon S. Paddock, 1887-93; 

Charles F. Manderson, 1SS9-95. 

2Tlie congressmen have been as follows : 

XXXIX. Conjrress T. M. Marquett, |18G7.) 

XL.-XLII.Couirress John Taffe, (1867-73.) 

XL11[-XLIV. Congress.... Lorenzo Crounse, (1873-77.) 
„, „ ^ ( Frank Welsh, I ,,c,-^ r-n \ 

XLV. Congress ] ,p j Majors. [(lS'7-,9.) 

XLVI.-XLVIl. Congress.. .E. K. Valentine, (1879-83.) 

flBt Dist. — .\. J. Weaver ~) 

XLVIII. Congress 4 2.1 Dist. — Tames Laird [-(1883-85.) 

I 3d l>isr.— E. K. Valentine. 

fist D-st.— A. J. AVeaver ] 

■ H 

XLIX. Congress -! '-'d Dst.— James Laird H18S5-S7.) 

I 3d liiHT.— W. E. Dorsey J 

fist Dist. — .lames A. McShane.. | 

L. Congress ...-I I'd Dist.— .James Laird M1887-S9.) 

I "(I Dist.— (Jeo. W. E. Dorsev ...J 
(Ist Dist.— \V. .7. Connell ) 

LI. Congress -J :<1 Dist.- (1. L. Laws [-(18S9-91.) 

I -^d Disr.— Geo. VV. E. Dorsey...) 
fist Dist.— W. J. Bryan \ 

LIT. Congress -{ 2d Dist.— VV. A. MeKei^'han... !-(lS91-93.) 

l_3d Dist.— O. M. Kem J 

S Above, p. 56. 

The State. G7 

ber l-)otli of people and officers is small. All the 
life of the territory is on a less extensive scale. 
As a state grows in population, the privations of 
frontier life give way to a greater prosperity, at- 
tended with luxuries. First, then, what does a 
state government cost ? The auditor makes his 
reports every two years, and it is most 


A STATE convenient to divide the time from 18(39 
>jRH- to 1890 into eleven periods of two vears 
each. For one of these, on the averao-e, 
over two million dollars has been paid out, an 
annual expense of one million dollars. In the 
two years 1869 and 1870 the cost was $997,600.00. 
In the years 1889 and 1890 it had increased to 
$3,848,000.00. But this expense does not fall 
more heavily upon the citizens of the State, than 
did the small expense of the Territory upon its 
citizens, because there are more to share it. 

The funds of the state come partly from direct 
taxes collected in each county and paid into the 
CEsor state treasury, and partly from lands 
ENUE. which have been reserved for a particular 
purpose, as for education. 

The old question about the location of the cap- 
ital again arose at the final session of the terri- 
torial legislature, but was not settled. At the 
POLITI- ^^^^"^^ session of the state legislature, in 
CAL May, 1867, the matters of apiwrtionment 

-\itn\b. ^^^ removal of the capital had to be de- 
cided, because they were included in the call of 
Governor Butler for the special session. Even 

68 History of Nebraska. 

as early as 1856 the census showed a greater 
population south of the Platte than north of it/ 
and the sectional struggle for proper representa- 
tion finally resulted in a bill of the fourth legis- 
lature, by which the seat of government 
Ti^oN or^as to be removed to a place in either 
^^^' Seward, Saunders, Butler, or Lancaster 
County. The governor, the secretary of state and 
the auditor, by whom the site was to be selected, 
chose its present location in Lancaster County, 
where a city was immediately commenced. The 
bill named this place Lincoln, in curious contrast 
to the name Douglas, which had been proposed 
by a territorial bill ten years before, when the 
popularity of Stephen A. Douglas was at its 
height.^ Of great importance in the political 
history of the State was the impeachment and 
trial of the first governor. The process of such a 
IM- trial is better discussed in the chapters ou 
MENT " civil government, and the exact truth of 
EBNOR. the matter can only be ascertained by a 
careful study of the papers, diaries, letters, etc., 
of that time. Besides, in the case of a period so 
recent as even the first years of the history of 
this State, all matters of politics are best treated 
merely as facts, without inquiry into motives/^ 

iCf. above, p. 51. 

2Stato J7j.sC. Soc. Pub.. II., 66. 

3 House Journal, 1871, pp. 392,424, etc. Impeachment Trial oi David 
Butler, Omaha, 1S71. The impeachment resolutions were offered in the 
House on Feb. 28, 1871, and the trial by the Senate, sitting: as a court, 
besan March 14. The governor was removed from his office, although 
not found guilty of more than one of the charges. 

The State. 69 

The tnrbulent times of 1872, when the acting 
governor and the legislature were quarreling, 
were only steps in the departure of the State from 
disorder to system and law. The business of the 
public welfare soon became a more serious matter, 
and the acts of individual men became insignifi- 
cant, compared with the interests of a great 
OTHER commonwealth. Few events of special 
c£l^^^' political importance have happened since 
EVENTs^j^^^ time. In 1876 the people of all 
parts of the Nation awaited anxiously the re- 
sult of a petition concerning one of the electoral 
votes of Nebraska, because the presidential con- 
test between Hayes and Tilden was very close. 
This matter, as well as the subject of citizenship 
involved in the Boyd-Thayer case of recent 
times, belongs to civil government. 

History oi Nebrasksb. 


The great increase in the population of Ne- 
braska is not surprising, in view of the richness 

POPULA- °^ ^^® ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^® large demand every- 
TION. where for good agricultural lands. In 
1880 little more than 450,000 people were found 
here, while in 1890 the census showed over 
a million/ Accurate statistics concerning the 
growth of a state or nation are very useful and 
instructive, because they show what parts of 
the population are increasing most rapidly. The 
growth in the past reveals something of the fu- 
ture. For example, the city population of the 
United States now increases much more rapidly 

than that of the country districts. In 
or 1890 there were in this Sate sixteen 

cities of more than 2,500 inhabitants. 
Their total population was 290,000, or about two- 
fifths as many as lived in the country. Ten years 
earlier these same sixteen cities contained only 
about one-fifth as many. This opens the ques- 
tion of the cause of so much removal from the 

1 For statistics concerning population, sfie Report of Sec, ol !it.ate. 
Senate Journal, 12th-14th Sess., 879-80; State Agricultural Report, imn, 
p. 76. The following are given: — 

1855 44'.t4 

1856 1071U 

186U -'^■N41 

1870 12:!'J93 

1874 225257 

1875 2462S0 

ls7(i 257747 

1877 271561 

1S78 3i:W4S 

1879 3S0410 

1880 4:.2542 

1890 1058910 

Development of the Resources of ^'ebraska. 71 

country to the city.^ Nearly three hundred smaller 
cities and villages are scattered over the State, the 
^jj_ highest number in any county being nine.^ 
LAGES. Nebraska stands twenty-sixth among the 
states of the Union in population. It has even 
less people to the square mile than the nation 
taken as a whole. ^ Density of population, how- 
ever, is not desirable for many reasons, 
AMONG not the least among which is the fact that 
the problems of government grow more 
difficult as the population increases. 

Farming, stock-raising and manufactures have 
kept pace with the rapid development of popula- 
tion. The adaptation of the soil to corn-raising 
HGRIGUL- ^^® ^®^^ known to the Indians, and corn 
TUBE. became the main crop as soon as farmers 
from the east began to turn the sod of their Ne- 
braska homesteads.* In 1865, 53,000 acres were 
planted with corn, and 9,000 with wheat. The 
relative amounts of corn and wheat have 
AND^ varied much in the quarter of a century 
WHEAT. ^^^^^ that time, but on the whole much 
more land has been devoted to the former. For 
two seasons, 1871 and 1873, the amount of wheat 
was greater. Indeed, in the second of those years, 
the excess of wheat land was 31,000 acres. Since 

IJohn Fiske, Civil Govt., of the U. S., 119-120. 

ZSaunders and Richardson counties have nine each. 

speople to the square mile: Nebraska, 13.8; Minne80ta,16.4; United 
States. 17.94; Texas, S.5; Rhode Island, 31S.2; Nevaiia, 0.4. 

*The earliest homestead law of the United States was passed in 
1862. A Nebraska pioneer by the name of Daniel Freeman secured the 
first homestead under this act. The place is about four miles westo 
Beatrice. Johnson, Hist, at Neb., S96. 


History of Nebraska. 

then, however, corn has been more in favor, the 
the ratio in 1891 being 45 to 12.' Stock-raising 
and manufactures in Nebraska are intimately con- 
nected with farming. The growing industry of 
BErA- making beet sugar depends wholly upon 
OP farming, a large part of the stock-raisers 

TRIES, are farmers who feed their own grain, and 
packing houses look to the stockmen for their raw 
material. Nebraska is not a mining region at all, 
so that large industries that have gained a foot- 
hold here, such as the smelting works in Omaha, 
get their ore from beyond the limits of the State. 
It is said that in the case of Colorado, never known 
to the American people except as a gold state, the 
value of farm products exceeds the value of ores 
that are mined. Happily little wealth in Nebraska 
is spent in mining, and the whole effort of the pro- 
ducer is put into agriculture. Nebraska does not 
compare favorably with other states in manufac- 
tures, because it has been settled so recently. In 
agriculture, however, the State has a good record. 
A comparatively small part of the land is now 

iThe folio 

wing sh 

aw8 the number of acres of corn and 

wheat in 

the State: 



























"469 !8 
































































1891 '4538009 


DereJopment of the Resources of Nebraska. 73 

under cultivation, yet in the crops of 1890, Ne- 
braska ranked ninth in corn, tenth in oats and 
twelfth in wheat. Who does not predict that when 
nearly all the available land of the State shall be 
tilled, here will be found the greatest yield to the 
acre and the largest harvests of farm products? 
Already Nebraska has ranked first in the yield of 
corn per acre. 

With such generous returns from the soil, the 
people of the State have not been slow to spend 
large sums upon schools. Among the forty-four 
states, Nebraska stood only thirteenth in the 
amount of money spent upon education in 
1889-90. Since admission into the Union a 
complete system of schools has been built up, 
EDUCA- '^t^i*^^ affords free instruction, from the 
TION. primary grades even to special graduate 
work in the University. Not only were two sec- 
tions of land out of each township set apart for the 
maintenance of the common schools, but the Uni- 
versity and Normal School are also similarly en- 
dowed. The enterprise that called forth numerous 
"colleges" and "universities" before the territory 
was over two years old, has finally resulted in a 
splendid plan of education. 


Civil GoYernment of Nebraska. 

United States Land Survey. 77 




The study of the origin of such divisions as 
states and territories belongs to civil government 
of the United States. The growth of civil insti- 
tutions, the long development from the family to 
the state, cannot here be traced. The subject of 
civil government in Nebraska treats only of the 
peculiarities of this State, and may properly begin 
with the Federal land surveys within our bor- 

Mr. Fiske has shown' the various divisions of 
land for purposes of government, both in the 
eastern and in the western states. It is the latter 
that especially concerns Nebraska. In the colo- 
nies no order was followed in county lines or in 
the limits of smaller districts. But an excellent 
system of boundaries has been adopted for all 
BEGIN- the unsettled territory since acquired by 
u^.s.^^^the nation. By a law of the old Con- 
suB- tinental Congress in 1785, a plan of sur- 
1785. ' veys was begun which used meridians and 
parallels as standards. The ''first principal me- 

1 John Fitjke, Civil Government of the U. S., 71SS. 


Civil Government of Nebraska. 

vidian'''' was drawn through the mouth o£ the 
Great Kenawha River, and afterwards became the 
western boundary of Ohio. As the public surveys 
were made further and further west, new meridi- 
ians were established at intervals across the coun- 
try, until the twenty-fourth was located near the 
Pacific coast. The " sixth principal meridian " is 
SIXTH ^^ °^® which concerns Nebraska. It runs 
PAL^'iiE- through this State and Kansas, forming in 
' Nebraska the western boundary of Jeffer- 
son, Saline, Seward, Butler, Stanton, and Wayne 
counties. On either side of it are guide meridi- 




o . 




m E 

5 fcO 

a 42 

H a: 
5 li* 













Second Standard Par- 
allel A"orth. 







-First Stniidard Paral- 
lel North. 


3rd Township North. 


2nd Township North. 








United States Land Survey. 79 

ans, forty-eight miles apart, one east and seven 
west within the State. This interval of forty-eight 
miles is further divided by seven intervening me- 
ridians, and the resulting eight strips of land six 
miles wide are called ranges. They are numbered 
both east and west, beginning at the prin- 
cipal meridians. The last range in the 
southeastern part of the State is numbered "xviii. 
east," and in the extreme western part the num- 
bers reach "Ivii. west." Base lines are parallels 
of latitude used as standards. Such a line for the 
surveys in Kansas and Nebraska is the fortieth 
parallel, the common boundary between the 
LINES, two states. North of this, at intervals of 


FABAi.- twenty-four miles, other lines are sur- 

IeEIiS. •' ' 

veyed called guide parallels, the interven- 
ing land being divided into strips six miles wide. 
The ranges are thus cut into squares measuring 
six miles on the side, which are numbered north- 
ward in every range, beginning at the 
GKES- southern boundary. They are called con- 
TOWN- gressional townsliips, or sometimes, geo- 
graphical townships, to distinguish them 
from organized townships. The whole State, 
except on the large rivers, would be divided into 
townships of uniform size if the meridians were 
parallel. But they converge as they approach the 
poles. On this account corrections have to be 
made in the north and south lines, and some ir- 
regular pieces of land are formed, which are called 
fractional townships. These lines fixed by the 


Civil Government of Nebraska. 

government are not only of use in locating land, 
but they serve quite an important purpose in divid- 
ing the State into uniform districts for purposes of 


















































administration. People of the country districts 
MiNOB are familiar with the section, made by 
SIGNS, still further dividing the township by 
lines one mile apart, and with the minor 

United States Land Survey. 


divisions called 'Ujiiarter section,'''' ^ ^ eight ij,'''' and 


1. Ai'oall principal nieiidians numbered? See Encyclo- 
pedia at word pr'uiciiml weruUan. , 

2. Locate a, piei^e of land described as follows: \Y % ol N 
E %, Sec. 1(5, T. 4 N., 11. 7 West. 

;i. Wlii-rc ill a section would a farm be if described as S 
\V li i,\ N E %•? L: J^ of S W %•! N ^ of S E Ji? 

1 The manner of det-ignatini? land by means of these lines is siinplp. 
T. 10 N., 1". 2 E. means the tenth township north (of the base line) in the 
.second range east (of the sixth principal meridian). A "W" instead of 
au " E" changes the location to one of the ranges west of the principal 
meridian. After the particular township is designated, in which a piece 
of land lies, the section is indicated liy number, and the part of a sec. 
lion is shown b.v quarters or halves. Thus N W Vi would be north-west 
quarter, and S Va, south halt, etc. 


82 Civil GovernmeDt of Nebraska. 


The kind of orgahization with which students 
generally are best acquainted, except in cities and 
villages, is the school district. It is formed by 
the county superintendent, upon a petition from 
the people affected by the change. Unless there is 
some special reason for it, a district contains not 
FORMA- ^^^^ than four square miles of land, and 
TioN. extends not more than six miles in any 
one direction. A school district, indeed, need 
not all be in one county, if the residents have pre- 
sented the necessary petitions to the superintend- 
ents of the two counties. There are about seven 
thousand of these small districts in the state.* 
They are very irregular, each being formed ac- 
cording to the desire of the people con- 

SHAFX:. . 

cerned, or according to the situation with 
regaixi to rivers and streams. 

All the people of the district are taken together 
as one body, of which the name is " The School 

Distinct No . . . .of County.'''' Like the 

county and the state, it is treated in law as one 
person, and is distinguished from an individual 
by being called a legal person. When a number 
A COB- of persons are so organized into one body 
TioNOB as to be able to hold property which be- 
FEBSON. longs to all alika, and to sue in the 
courts, it is then called a corporation. Just as 


The School District. 83 

a bank corporation elects officers to represent it 
and to carry on the work for which it is orofanized, 
so the school district has its officers to represent 
it and to do the work connected with the schools/ 
The district acts as one body at its annual 
meeting. It is not essential to its character as a 
corporation that all the individual members meet 
in one place. The county and the state are (Cor- 
porations, but a meeting of all the members of 

either would seldom be possible. In re- 
MEET- spect to its comino^ toojether to do busi- 

ness, the school district reminds the stu- 
dent of the cities of Greece and Home, in which all 
the citizens met in an open air assembly to make 
laws for the community. The annual meeting of 
each school district is held at the schoolhouse on 
the last Monday of June. Here the legal voters 
transact the business of the district. Who are 
the legal voters and what may be done at one 
of these assemblies ? Any person of either 


voT- sex over twenty -one years of age, who 
owns either real estate in the district or 
personal property that was taxed in his name at 
the last assessment, or who has school children in 
the district, is entitled to vote. All matters that 
come before the district at the annual meeting 
are connected with education. The most import- 
ant power is the right to fix the amount of school 
tax. In a school district, as well as any- 

1 The Supreme Court has decided that a sohool district is only a 
sort of corporation. 

84 Civil Government oi Nebraska. 

where else in the state organization, the power 
FXTB- to take money is guarded with great 


OP THE care. The district elects three officers 

TRICT, to represent it. These three, moderator, 

director, and treasurer, form a kind of committee 
known as the school hoard. The moderator pre- 
sides at all meetings of the district, the treasurer 
cares for all money, and the director acts as a 
Becrefcary of the district. They are best known 
scHOoi. ^^ ^^® district school board, of which the 
' director is the most important officer. 
He is a sort of chairman. The board looks after 
all things immediately connected with the school, 
such as hiring teachers, buying supplies, 
^owers ~j.g^(j^jj„ the school, and caring for the 

Duties. ° *=> . 

school building. Another important duty 
lately (1891) given to the board is the purchase 
c r of ^^^ ^^^"® °^ school books. ^ The power to 
Books. Q^jj property belongs to all kinds of le- 
gal persons, or corporations. 

Not all school districts are of the same grade. 
When a district has one hundred and fifty school 
children, it may become a high school district, if 
the majority of the voters so decide at the 

1 Consolidated Statutes, 1891 §§ 3758-3767. " District school boards, 
and boards of trustees of hiffh sutiool districts, and bo.ards of educa- 
tion in cities of the first and second class, are hereby empowered and it 
is made their duty to purchase all text-boolis necessary for the schools 
of such district." A board may make coatracts with publishers for 
a term of years, not over five, to purchase books at the lowest price at 
which they are sold. Parents can purchase booksfrom tlieV)oard at cost, 
A local dealer may be designated to handle the books, with some in- 
crease in price on account of handling and transportation. 

Tba School District. 85 

annual meeting. This change increases to six 
HIGH ^^® number on the school board, which an- 
Di?-****^ nually elects from its members a modera- 
'tor, director and treasurer. A district of 
this kind may vote to establish a high school. 
Every city, sometimes with surrounding land at- 
tached, forms a school district. Cities having from 
1,500 to 10,000 inhabitants have a board 

CITY ' ' , ,. . 

scHOoi. of six trustees, like the high school district, 
TKicTS.|^^^ they are elected in a different manner. 
There is no "annual meeting" in a city, and the 
members of the board are chosen at the regular 
election. In cities of the first class' nine mem- 
bers are elected for terms of three years. Met- 
ropolitan cities have school boards of fifteen 

members, of whom five are chosen each 
Boards. ^^^^ When the board of a city organizes, 
it elects a president, vice-president and secre- 
tary. A city school board itself estimates the 

amount of the school tax, while in the high 
^*^' school and country districts the voters, in- 
stead of the board, fix the amount of the tax. 


1. Make a map of your own school district i 

2. Look up derivation of word corporation in a diction- 

3. Is there more reason why women should be allowed to 
vote on school matters than on other subjects? 

4. What advantages and disadvantages arising from a 
school district owning all books used in a school? 

iFor classes of cities, see p. 86, Note. 

86 Civil Government of Nebraska. 


Scattered about over the State are more than 
three hundred cities and villages. These, too, are 
legal persons. Since the term municipal is applied 
to such collections of people, they may also be 
called municipdl corporations. The classes' 
PAL COR- °^ these are determined for the most part 
PORft- by population. Yet there is much freedom 
of choice. A thickly settled community 
does not have to form any such organization at all. 
It may remain a country district, governed as a 
part of the county, and being a corporation, per- 
haps, only as a school district. A village or city 
may constitute an entire school district. In that 
case it is both a school corporation for education 
and a municipal corporation for government and 
administration. The school district of the city is 
often larger than the municipality, some of the 
adjacent land being added. 

The law-making part of a village consists of a 

1 Inhabitants required for each class: 
1.— Village. Consolidated Statutes, 1891, §§ 2861-2963. 
(a) 200 to I,' 00. 

(h) Over l,r)00, if adopted by the people. 
i.— Cities of Second Class. Statutes. §§ 27il-2859. 

(a) I,0fl0-2F..000. {.Session Laws, 1885, p. 156.) 

(b) 5,000--j.5,0()0. 

3.— Cities o/ First Class. Statutes, §§ 24S:!-2720. 

(a) 10,000 to 25,000. 

(6) 2."). 000 to 1(10,000. 

A.—Metroiio!it;tii I ities. Statutes, g§2:3©S-2482. 
Over 80,000. 

Cities and Villas;es. 87 


board of five trustees elected annually. The 
chairman of this board somewhat resembles the 
mayor of a city. The powers of the board extend 
to all subjects connected with preserving 
vilI t^6 peace and good order of the village, 
tAOE. ^^^^ ^j^^y include also the appointment of 
officers that are usually elected in cities. Among 
these are clerk and treasurer. Violations of the 
ordinances of the village, as well as of the laws of 
the State, are tried before a justice of the peace 
belonging to the precinct in which the village is. 
Thus the village really has no separate judicial 
department. Likewise in the election of county 
and state officers and in the collection of taxes, it 
is a mere district o£ the county. ' 

Cities of the several classes have some features 
in common. A city always has a mayor, who is 
THE ^^^^^ officer and executive head. The body 
^^"^^^ that makes the laws is in all cases the coun- 
cil, although it varies in number and power. It is 
usually made up of two members from each ward 
or district of the city. Metropolitan cities 
have from six to ten wards, and smaller cit- 
ies from two to six. In some cases^ only one coun- 

1 village Organization: 

1.— Board of Trustees: (a) Number, five; (6) elected by voters; fc) 
officers are (1) chairman and (2) clerk, who is city clerk; (d) pow- 
ers are very numerous, and extend to all matters connected with 
the welfare of the village. (Consolidated Statutes, 1891. §§2867, 
2892-2900); these include taxation, and licensing or prohibiting 
selling and giving away liquor. 

2.— Village OfiScers: (a) clerk; (b) treasurer; (c) overseer of streets; (d) 
marshal. All appointed by board of trustees. Terms, one year. 
Salaries, $150 to $300. 
2 In metropolitan cities and smaller cities o( the first class. 

88 Civil GoverDment of Nebraska. 

cilman is chosen from a ward, and other councilmen 
coun- 6C[ual in number to those representing par- 
*^*^" ticular wards are chosen by the whole city 

without reference to districts. Those not repre- 
senting wards are called councilmen at lai^ge todis- 
tingruish them from the others. All classes of 

cities agree in electing mayor, clerk, treas- 
ive " urer, and police judge. Further than 

this the classes do not agree. In a large 
city the number of minor executive officers is 
very great. ^ Some are appointed by the mayor 
directly, others are appointed by the mayor and 

1 Metropolitan cities: 

1 Area. : Not over 25 square miles. 

2. Wards: Number, 6 to 10; each divided into election districts if 
containing over 400 legal voters; each election district is a precinct of 
the county. 

3. City electioBB : (a) Held on the first Tuesday after the first Mon- 
day in Nov. 1S91, 3S93, 1895, etc. Officers elected: mayor, treasurer, 
comptroller, city clerk, and police judge. See chapter ou elections. 

4. Council: (a) Membership: one from each ward and an equal num- 
ber from the city at large. Bond $5,000. (b) Powers and duties: more nu- 
merous as the city becomes larger. Council and mayor levy taxes. For 
general purposes, not over 14 mills to the dollar. Council sits as a board of 
equalization to adjust the taxes of the city. Special taxes may be levied 
for sewers, paving, or any authorized public improvements. Among 
other purposes are fire, light, and police. Appointments made by mayor 
and council together : engineer, attorney, city prosecutor, street com- 
missioner, inspector of buildings, boiler inspector, three members of 
board of public works, etc. 

5. Executive oSicers: (a) Ma.yor: appointing power in connection 
with the council ; has superintending control of all officers and affairs of 
the city; enforces the laws of the city; recommends measures for "im- 
provement of finances, police, health, security, ornament, comfort, and 
general prosperity of the city." (b) City Clerk: term two years, (c) 
Treasurer : receives and pays out money for city and keeps account of it; 
term two years; must give bond for $200,000; is collector of the city 
taxes, (d) Comptroller: general financial officer of the city. 

6. Boards: (a) Council as aboard of equalization, (b) Board of 
public works, (c) Board for inspection of buildings, (d) Park commis- 
sioners: Five members appointed by the judges of the judicial district 
inwhich the city is. Term, five years. 

Cities and Villages. 89 

council together, and still others are elected 
other by the people. There is much difference 

Ofacers. i! • . 1 , ,1 , „ 

or opinion about the amount of power that 

should be given to the mayor. Usually his power 

and responsibility are small, and many 

Should 1 . % . 1 

pj)wer of ^^i^S^ which he might look after are done 
Mayortoe ^7 Committees or "boards." In cities of 
Great? ^j^g jg^j.g^ class, like Lincoln, there are sev- 
eral of these committees, such as the board 
of public works, board of health, and excise 
board. It is now strongly urged that a mayor be 
given control of city government more completely, 
and made more responsible for the manner in 
which the business of the city is done. The reas- 
ons for this are many, one being that a single of- 
ficer acts more promptly and systematically than 
a committee. A still stronger ground is a belief 
that the chances for corruption are less when the 
power and responsibility of the mayor are great.' 
The police judge is the judicial part of the mu- 
nicipality. There are justices of the peace, it is 
true. In metropolitan cities six are elected. Yet 
the justices' court is a county institution, while 
the police judge is a city office. 


1. Derivation of words municipal, ward, city, village, 
and mayor. 

2. May a city be a county ? Look up the character of the 
city of London. 

3. Why does a city need more rules and regulations than 
a country dislHot? 

4. If you live in a city or village, make a complete dia- 
gram of its government as it actually exists. 

1 See John Fiske, Civil Govt., Chap V., See. 3, especially pp. .124- 136. 

90 Chi] Government of Nebraska. 


The question "Why do we have counties?" 
probably would be most frequently answered by 
saying that they are merely districts taken for 
convenience. But, in truth, counties exist in Ne- 
■»■».»»„ braska because older states had this form. 


couN- ^^^ officers of the Territory so divided it 
TIES. £qj, ^ sijjiiiaj. reason. It appears that orig- 
inally in England a coiinty, or shire, was not one of 
the divisions of a state, as now, but it existed under 
another name before the kingdom was formed. 
It was an "isolated tribal state" of the old Saxons. 
Small kingdoms were first formed by the union of 
these tribal units. A long period of conflict and 
growth resulted in larger groups, until at last all 
the small states were banded together under one 
name. " Scholars are now agreed that the first 
English shires were merely the old tribal states, 
each bearing a new and common name. As if in 
recognition of their nationality, of their equal 
rank and power, each of the latter was called a 
shire or share of the new commonwealth."' Offi- 
cers and assemblies belonging to the several dis- 
tricts before their union, have been changed little by 
ANTiQ. little, until now there are left only a few 
'°^'^'^- traces of their original character. The 
course of this development has beenlong,commeuc- 

1 G. E. Howard, Introd. to Local Const. Hist, of U. S., I., 299. 

The County, 91 

iiig far back in the time of early England. A 
careful study on this subject must be made else- 
where.' There is barely room in this book to no- 
tice what the old shire has developed into. After 
being transplanted into the colonies, the county 
system has been adopted all over the United 
States with the progress of settlements westward. 
Two distinct forms of organization have 
TWO resulted, known as the commissioner sys- 


SYS- tern and the supervisor system. In the 
first form, the main feature is a board com- 
posed of commissioners, elected in districts of 
the county, each for a term of three years. The 
other plan is to have the county divided into town- 
ships, in each of which a supervisor is elected. 
Each supervisor represents his town in the county 
board, which thus becomes a representative as- 
sembly instead of a committee. The laws of Ne- 
braska permit a county to adopt either of these 
forms. ^ 

In this State the board of county commissioners 
is intrusted with all the important business 
interests of the people, such as roads and 

1 G. E. Howard. Local Const. Hist., I. 289-473. 

John Fiske, Civil Govt, of U. S., Chap, lir., pp. 48-95. 
Jesse Mao.v, Our Gorernwerit, Chap. II., 13-19. 

2 "The first type prevails in the prreat majority of states and ti>rrito- 
ries, and » » * lias descended in direct line from the colonial Ijiws of 
Pennsylvania throush those of the Northwest Territory, f)liio, Indinn.i, 
and Illinois,— to be variously modified by the legislation of recent times- 
The second type exists in a small group of states:" New York, .Michi- 
gan, and Wisconsin; Illinois since 1849; NebiasVa since 188:!. It hefran 
by a law of the New York Assembly in 1703. Howard, Local Const, 

Est., I., 438-9. 

92 Civil GovernmeDt of Nebraska. 

bridges, support of the poor, and taxation. The 

COMiyilS- county is a corporation and the board acts 


SYSTEIW ^°^ ^^ ^^ every instance. Officers at the 

county seat, or capital, cannot easily reach each 

neighborhood, and for that reason it is pro- 

or THE vided that they shall divide the county into 


convenient districts. What could be more 
natural than that the board should make use of the 
geographical township for these divisions called 
PRE- precincts? This is what is usually done. 
ciNCTS.j^ sparsely settled places a precinct may 
be made up of four townships, or it may even 
be smaller than a township where the population 
is dense. But in general it corresponds to the 
geographical township. The precincts are not 
legal persons at all. They are merely units for 
the transaction of local business. They do not 
even have meetings such as a school district has. 
They are necessary on account of the large area 
included in a county, some districts being far re- 
moved from the seat of government. The ancient 
assembly of the shire, the scirgemot, would be im- 
possible now. In county elections the voters of a 
precinct cast their ballots at a place in the 
precinct designated by the county board, from 
which the ballots are sent to the county seat. At 
PRE- *^® same time that county officers are 
orri-^ elected, the people of a precinct choose 
CERS. jjjjjjq;,, officers, whose duties lie wholly in 
their own district. Such are two justices of the 
peace, two constables, three judges and two 

The County. 93 

clerks of election, and one assessor. Justices 
BOAO of the peace and constables hold office for 


TBXCT. two years, but the others for one. There 
are usually foui* road districts in a precinct, for 
COM- each of which an overseer of the hiffh- 

MIS- ^ 

sioHES way is chosen. The precincts are grouped 
TBicTS-together to form commissioner districts, 
which elect a commissioner every three years. ^ 

Although the power of the commissioners is 
quite extensive, there are many things that they 
cannot attend to. Other officers, county judge, 
sheriff, coroner, treasurer, clerk, survey- 
oppi- or, and county superintendent, share the 
work. Their powers and duties may be 
briefly summarized as follows: the judge may 
hear cases that are ordinarily tried before the jus- 
tice of the peace, and civil cases not involving 
over $1,000 that may come before the district 
THEiK court. His is the probate court, which 
DUTIES, j^g^g exclusive right to try cases concern- 
ing wills, property of deceased persons, and guar- 
dianship of minors, insane persons and idiots. The 
sheriff executes the orders of the courts and arrests 
violators of the law. Perhaps it is not necessaiy 
to specify the duties of treasurer, clerk and sur- 
veyor, but those of the coroner are somewhat pe- 

iln Nebraska one or two conntiea onlj' have five commissioners. 
Tliere are as many districts as there are officers of this kind to elect, the 
elections being so arranged that not all are chosen in one year. In thi 
case of three districts, one election occurs each year, but in a different 
district. Where the population of the county is from 70,000 to 125,000, 
the commissioniTS are elected by a vote of the entire couuty. Otherwise 
they are voted for only by rhe electors of the district from which they 
come. CoDSol. Statutes, 1S91, § 898. 

94 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

culiar. As the person who investigates all cases of 
death, presumed to be by unlawful means, by hold- 
ing a coroner's inquest, he is the survival of the 
old "crovvner," whose business was to inquire into 
wreckage, destructive fires, and sudden deaths. 
The county superintendent, of course, has charge 
of the school \york. His duties embrace exami- 
nation of persons wishing to teach, laying out 
boundaries of school districts, and visiting every 
school in the county at least once a year. He is 
subject to the rules of the state superintendent. 
The schools of a city are not under his super- 

On the other hand, if a county adopts the su- 
pervisor system, or fownsliip organization as it is 
^IIPFRUI- ^1®*^5 the scope of the county govern- 

SOR ment is much more limited. The inter- 


est of the people is more closely drawn to 

local affairs. Pi-ecincts are only districts of the 

county, and the power is all at the couuty seat. 

Such a government is said to be centralized. In 

the other form, the county is divided into 

TOWNS. . •' . 

towns or townships. Here, as in the case of 
the precincts, the geogra.phieal division of six 
miles square ig largely followed. Every one of 
these towns is a corporation, with a special name. 
Every city of over 6,000 inhabitants constitutes a 

iThe word town Is commonly used in the west for a small village, 
but there are numerous uses besides. (See Webster's Intern ational 
Dictionary or Century Dictionary.) It is used hereto mean only the 
township under th« supervisor system. This is the meaulugof the 
word in the Consol. StHtutes of Nebraska, ISSl, and prevails altogether 
in New England. See etymology of the word. 

The County, 95 

separate town. The voters hold an annual town 
meeting on the first Tuesday in April, and spe- 
cial meetings when called. Much of the work 
done by the commissioners is disposed of under 
the other system by the citizens at their annual 
meeting, such as supervision of roads and 
bridges. Even in the case of township organiza- 
tion, however, the county bears the expense of 
costly bridges. At the annual meeting the citi- 
zens tax themselves for all the necessary pur- 
poses of self-government, and elect their oflficers,^ 
SUPER- ^^® most important of whom is the supervi- 
visos. gQj. r^YiQ clerk, justice of the peace and su- 
pervisor constitute the town board, which meets 
three times each year to examine the accounts of the 
TOWN town. The supervisors of all towns com- 
BOAKD. pQgg f^Q county board, so called whether 
made up of commissioners or of supervisors. 
The county board meets semi-annually, two-thirds 
of the number constituting a quorum. The repre- 
sentation of the towns in the county board is a 
revival of a righ* which the tiinscipe, or township 
of Anglo-Sason times, had in the shire. 


1. Derivations and meanings: Sbire, precinct, probate, 

2. Is township organization successful? What points of 

1 TowD clerk, town treasurer, three judges and two clerks of elec 
tion, assessor, one overseer of highways for each road dlstcict, with an- 
nual terms. Two justices of peace and two constables, with term« of 
two years. In cities and villages, one additional supervisor for every 
4,000 inhabitants. 

96 Civil Go vernnient ot Nebraska. 


The citizen of the school district is not only a 
member of the precinct and county, or of the 
township and coimty, as the case may be, but he 
also belongs to the greater corporation called the 
PI. ACE 'S'^ctfe of ISebraska. The number of dis- 
ciTi- tricts' to which he belongs, one within the 

other, is confusing. Nevertheless it is his 
duty to know what his place is within the Com- 
monwealth and the Nation. According to the 

democratic theory, in which American es- 
or D£M- pecially believe, the rights which kings 

and emperors have, belong to the people 
themselves. In a little democracy where the 
people all meet to discuss their affairs, there 
is no need of any representatives. But here it is 
manifestly impossible to get along without them. 
Although the powers of government belong to 
the voters, they may be delegated to a fewer 

1(1) Road Districts. 

(2) School District. 

(3) Towu. 

(4) Commissioner District. 

(5) County. 

(6) Representative District. 

(7) Senatorial District. 

(8) Judicial District. 

(9) United States Land District. 

(10) Consressional District. 

(11) United States Judicial District, 
(VI) Circuit of U. S. Judicial System, 

The State. 97 

number to exercise. This explains why voters 
OATZON ^° °°^ make laws, while they pos- 
ERS.°^' sess the power. The first step in build- 
ing a state is to adopt a written statement of 
principles and form of government. Not only 
is such a document drawn up by men 

ADOF- '' 

TiON or elected for this particular purpose, but 
STiTu- when it is completed the people them- 
selves adopt or reject it. Sometimes 
a state repeats this process several times before 
it is satisfied. Such a writing not only out- 
lines the system, shov/ing what officers there 
shall be and of how many members the legisla- 
ture shall be composed, but it also prescribes 
minutely how each part shall be organized, and 
how each officer shall perform his duty, and reg- 
ulates very carefully the manner of making 
laws. With this to be followed, the people may 
safely intrust the public interest to chosen men, 
only providing penalties for a betrayal of the 

It may be well to notice a very interesting 
fact before beginning a study of the constitution 
of Nebraska. The earliest written constitutions 
STATU- contained only the most general state- 
lAwiJT ment of principles.' They did not go be- 
coNSTi- ^^^1 the limits of what is termed "consti- 


tutional." But gradually there crept into 
them more and more of matters formerly left to 
legislatures. This means that the people wish to 

1 On written constitutions, see John Fiske, tiv. Govt., 1S7-196. 

98 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

put many important subjects of legislation beyond 
the reach of the legislature. Constitutions, 
containing the supreme law in a state, have now 
come to be very long, some of them covering 
scores of pages in the statute books. 



[In Appendix I., at the end of this book, the constitution 
of Nebraska is to be found. It is placed there to use. The 
followiui;- topics are intended to aid the student in studying 
its provisions. The han{2:uag"e of that instrument is plain, 
and a student will seldom fail to understand it, as far as his 
vocabulary g'oes. Certainry there are words to stufjLy, but 
that is just what every scholar does all his life. Wenster's 
Internationnl Dictionary, or some other complete work of 
the kind, should be within reach. Notes are added, explain- 
ing some of the more difficult points. No attempt has been 
nmde to repeat what there is in the constitution. The judg- 
uientof the teacher should dechletheamount to be discussed 
at a lessoii, for not only are the topics of different impor- 
tance, but the recitation perisd varies iii different schools.] 

A. — Personal Eights Guaranteed by the Con- 
stitution.' Art. I. 

1. Inherent Eights. Art. L, §§ 1, 26. 

2. Object of Governmemt. § 1. 

3. Slavery. § 2. 

4. Freedom of Conscience. § 4. 

5. Freedom of Speech and of therPress. § 5. 

6. Trials by Jury. §§ G, 10-13. 

7. Search and Seizure. § 7. 

1 The i<lea of putting a Rill of Rights into a constitution has de- 
Bceuded to newer states from tlie oriKiinal thirteen. It ia largely a 
statement of the rights denied to the colonists by Great Britain. 

The State. 99 

8. Haheas Corpus.^ § 8. 

9. Bail, Fines, and punishments, § 9. 

10. Treason. § 14. 

11. Penalties: Corruption of Blood; Forfeit- 

ure; Transjyortation.* § 15. 

12. Relation of Military and Civil power. §S 

17, 18. 

13. Right to Assemble. § 19. 

14. Eight of Petition. § 19. 

15. Penalty for Debt. §20. 

16. Eight of Property.' ' §§ 21, 25, 3. 

17. Eight to Vote: Franchise. § 22. 

18. Eight of Appeal, Error,* etc. § 24. 


C. — Leoislatuee. Art. III. 

1. Number of Houses. § 1. 

1 A writ is in the form of a letter stamped with an official seal. It 
is addpessefl by a court to a person, commanding somethinfi to be done 
or not to l>e done. Habeas Corpus means ".you nxay have the body." 
The writ of this name is directed to an otflcer in whose charge a person 
is, bringing the prisoner before a certain court, in order to test the legal- 
ity of his imprisonment. 

2These three are <jld English penalties. Formerly, in case of high 
crimes, noi only was the offender punished, but his deseendents also. 
The taint that once at^;ached to an offender for the commission ef a fel- 
ony in England, deprived him and his deseendents of the right to inherit 
and transmit property. This taint is called corruption of blood. A 
fonelture was the penalty by which the state deprived one of his prop- 
erty. Transportation suggests the Bussian exile system, by which po- 
litical prisoners are banished far into the interior of Siberia. Such a 
penalty is entirely foreign to the spirit o-f .American institutions. 

3 The right of the government to appropriate the property of a cit- 
izen for public use is called the right of Eminent Domain. 

^Section 2S, Article I., secures a right of some importanee. The 
word ^ror refers to mistakes in judicial proceedings, that would 
take away some right from the person being tried. A writ oi error m- 
sues from a court of review ta a lower court, commanding a case to be 
brought before the court of review. The writ of error is a personal right 
guaranteed by the constitiUtion, like other personal rights. 

100 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

2. Census and Apportionment. § 2. 

3. Membership and Organization of each 

House: — 
Number of members. § 3. See p. 64. 
Term. § 4. 
Pay. §§ 4, 16. 
Qualifications. §§ 5-6, 13. 
Commencement of session. § 7. 
Quorum. § 7. 
Kules of each house. § 7. 
Officers. § 7. 
Keeping a journal. § 8. 
Adjournment. § 8; Art. V., § 9. 
Privileges. §§ 12, 23. 
Regular and extra sessions. § 3; Art. 
v., § 8. 

4. Law-Making: — 

Origin of bills. § 9. 
Enacting clause. § 10. 
Separate readings. § 11- 

5. Committee of the whole': — 

Subject matter of a bill. § 11. 
Signing of bills by officers. § 11. 
Veto. Art. v., § 15. 
Voting. § 8. 

^Committee of the whole: A namo given to the whole senate, or 
house of representatives, acting' as a committee. By this means the 
members secure more freedom in discussion, not being subject to the 
same rules as under the moreformal organization. When a house "goes 
Into committee of the whole," the presiding officer names a chairman. 
Upon arising the committee can only recommend, like any other com- 
mittee; but because all members toolc part, a house usually adopts the 

The State. 101 

6. Powers of the Legislature and of each 

House. §§ 7, 9, 14; Art. V., § 4. 

7. Prohibitions upon Legislation. §§ 15, 

18,21; Art. L, 16.' 

8. Appropriation Bills. §§ 19, 22. 

9. When are Laws in Force? § 24. 
10. Publication of Laws. § 24. 

D. — Executive. Art. V. 

1. Term. § 1. 

2. Qualifications. §§ 2, 3, 25. 

3. Election returns. § 4. 

4. Governor : — 

Powers and duties. §§ 6-15, 20; Art. 

YL, § 21. 
Succession to office in case of vacancy. 

§§ 16, 18. 

5. Lieutenant Governor. §§ 16, 17. 

6. Board of Public Lands and Buildings. 


7. Keports and Accounts of Minor Officers. 

§§ 21, 22. 

8. Seal of the State : In whose keeping ? 


9. Salaries. § 24. 
E. — JuoiciARY. Art. VL 

1. Supreme Court: — 

Number, term, qualification, etc., of 

judges. §§ 2-7, 13, 14. 
Reporter, state librarian. § 8. 
Jurisdiction.^ § 2. 

1 An ex-post-facto law is one made to apply to cases arising befor* 

its enactment. 

2 Original Jurisdiction in a case is the power to hear and determine 

it from the beginning. 

102 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

2. District Court: — - 

Districts. §§ 10, 11. 

Number, tt^rm, etc., of judges. §§ 11, 

Jurisdiction : what cases can it try ? § 9.^ 

3. County Court : — 

Term, etc., of judge, § 15. 

Nature and jurisdiction of the court; 

special jurisdiction. i^ 16. See 

above, p. 93. 

4. Justice of the Peace, and Police Magis- 

trates. § 18. 

5. Appeals. § 17. 

6. General Provisions.' §§ 17, 19, 22, 23. 
As the State grows in wealth and numbers, 

changes in the laws are required. Not only do 
demands for legislation arise from this cause and 
from special circumstances in the State, but a 
LEGIS- spirit of improvement revises old ideas 
LATION. and calls for new and better things. Such 
a change was made by the Australian ballot law 
enacted in 1891, a reform measure adopted largely 
throughout the United States. Between real ne- 
cessity for legislation and schemes of members 
who have axes to grind, the time of the legisla- 
ture is fully occupied. It is fair to say that the 
work is seriously done, on the whole. Yet there 

iCb&Dcery, from English Chancellor, a judicial officer. Chancery 
means the same as equity. Cf. Consol. Statutes, 1^91, § 4538. 

2The Board o( Transportation constitutes a sort of court. It is 
composed of attorney gpneral, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, 
commissioner of public lands and buildings, assisted by three secre- 
taries. Consol. Statutes, 18SI1, §§ .j97 ff. 

The State. 193 

are several points in which the work might be 
criticised. A common feature of politics in the 
LOBBY- legislature is lohhying. Bills rarely pass 
LOG- both houses of the legislature on their 


iNG. merits alone, but are engineered throuofh 
by the skill of some interested person or persons. 
Log-rolling also largely prevails, a term applied 
to trading votes, where A agrees to vote for a bill 
in which B is interested, if B will support a 
measure for which A is working. 

The growth of the importance of committees in 
law-making is more noticeable, perhaps, in Con- 
wosK &i"®ss than in the state legislatures, yet 
MTT- "it is coming to be a great feature of 

TEES. ,, , 

them also. 
Students have learned from the constitution' 
that a census of the inhabitants may be made 
every ten years, beginning with 1885, and that 
after these enumerations, as well as after each 
Federal census, the members of the legis- 
TiON- lature may be apportioned among the 

MENTS. . . 

counties. The thirty-three senators and 
one hundred representatives are elected from 
these districts. Their arrangement is subject to 
frequent change and need not be dealt with in 
detail. It is a general fact of much interest, 
that with these and with the congressional dis- 
GERS7- tricts, most of the gerrymandering oc- 
DESiNG. curs." This kind of fraud consists in 
a careful arrangement of districts, in such a 

lArt. III. § 2. 
ZFiske, av. Gov., 216. 

104 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

way as to give the dominant political party the 
advaniage. Instead of districts of uniform shape, 
form is not considered at all. By a repiiblican 
legislature, a democratic precinct, city, or county 
is frequently placed in a district in such a way 
that its majority is counterbalanced by other 
votes. Formerly this device was not much 
opposed, either party practicing it when opportu- 
nity offered. Lately, however, people are discuss- 
ing the subject and apportionments are care- 
fully watched. 

The governor is not to the state what the presi- 
dent is to the United States. The latter is really 
THE EX- ^^® head of his department. Secretary of 
ECUTIVE. state, secretary of treasury, etc., are sub- 
ordinates to him. Not so with the governor. In- 
stead of the head, he is merely a portion of the 
executive department. His co-workers 

TION are elected along with him, and owe him 

or THE 

GOV- nothing, except as the law prescribes. 
Nevertheless the governor represents the 
State in its dealings with other states. Much of 
the executive work is now performed by bodies 
that are really permanent committees. The board 
of public lands and buildings' is as important as 
any of these bodies, having, in fact, general su- 
STATE pervision and control of all the public 
BOARDS ]g^^(jg and buildings in the State, except 
those devoted to educational purposes. Hardly 
less important, is the state board of equalization. 

1 Constitution, Art. V., § 19. 

The state. 105 

connected with the revenue system.' On account 
of ihe importance of the railroads in commerce, 
the board of transportation" may be named along 
with those already given. Also may be mentioned 
the board of school lands and buildings,^ the board 
of health/ and ihe state printing board.' 

Each of the district judges is allotted to a dis- 
trict, as in the case of the members of the legisla- 
THE JU- ^^^'^' ^^^^'^y every one of these divisions 
DICIftRY. have several counties, and its judge holds 
court at stated times in every county compre- 
jjjg_ hended within its limits. The grouping 
tricts.q£ counties for this purpose is temporary, 
but the last apportionment (1891) is given in Map 
yi., p. 106, to illustrate all such arrangements. 

The subject of the courts and what they do is 
a large one. It is short to say that the judges in- 
terpret the laws which the legislature makes, but 
there is not space enough in this book to mention 
„ the subjects of discussion connected with 
ACTER. ^Yxe department. It is important to know 
that this is the most reliable and permanent part 
of the state organism. It changes least and is 
made up of the most able men. 


1. Why are bills relating to finance allowed to originate 
only intlK house of representatives? 

1 Below, p. 109. 

2 See p. 102, note 2. 

SConstitution, Art. V., § 1. 

4 Governor, Attorney General, and Supt. of Pub. Inst. 

5 Auditor, Treasurer, Sec. of State. 





••» ••■««:— i.^-a*-* 


, ^ 


--3 E-- 


< o 

• — . (.^ 

O Qi 

^ t— 


ZD 1—1 


•-^5 Q 

The State. 1(>7 

2. How do senatorial and representativft districts com- 
pare ill size? 

3. Are bills of rij^hts needed now in state constitutions? 

4. What benefits arise from a separation of tlie functions 
of frovernment into three departments? 

5. Give instances where one department ha« powers be- 
lonjiing- to another. See constitution, Art. III., § 14; Art. 
v., §15. 

(). What is a ROfil of state for? 

7. Has there been any oieirymnndenns, in Nebraska? 

8. Is the tendency now to enlarge or to decrease the num- 
ber of officers in the State? 

9. Is the tendency to collect the powers into the hands of 
fewer officers, or to sepurate find specialize the duties? 

lU. May adistrict judge hold court out of his own district? 


In the administration of government there re- 
main three subjects of great interest. The one 
of these that most closely concerns the citizens of 
the state, is taxation. In the mind of the ordi- 
nary citizen the process by which he is taxed is 
vague and far away, except the terrible reality of 
taxes. The system in Nebraska, at least, is not 
complicated, and may be easily understood by 
giving the subject a little attention. The main 
idea involved is a simple problem in percentage. 
The people of the State have property, a certain 
TAX IS fi"actional part of which may be taken each 
CEN-^' y®^^' ^° defray the expenses of government. 
^^^^' Certain officers of each State, county 
and lower division estimate the amount that will 
be needed for the next year. The problem is sim- 
ply this: Given the amount from which to raise 
the tax and the amount of tax needed; to find 
the rate. Divide the percentage by the base, and 
the result is tte rate of taxation for the next year. 

108 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

The m*inner of finding each item, however, may 
not be clear. What kinds of property may be 
taxed, and how does the State know the amount of 
TAXA- ^^^ ^^ regard to the first' question, the 
PROP- l^^'^s of the State name four kinds. First, 
all real and personal property; second, all 
moneys, credits, bonds, or stocks, and other in- 
vestments, the shares of stock of companies and 
associations and all other personal property, in- 
cluding property on the way to or from this State, 
if the owner lives in Nebraska; third, the shares 
of bank stock, if the banks are doing business in 
this State; fourth, the capital stock of companies 
organized under the laws of Nebraska. The proc- 
VALUA- ®^® °^ valuation begins with the assessor 
TioN. q£ each precinct or township. The first 
step is the annual meeting of the assessors of the 
county at the office of the county clerk, on the 
ASSES- ttiii"cl Tuesday of March. The purpose 
®**^' is to fix the value of the various kinds 
of property to be assessed. The blanks which 
the assessor of a precinct or township uses 
are provided by the auditor of public accounts. 
They pass through the hands of the county clerk, 
who fills in the lists of lands and lots to be as- 
sessed. The assessor visits every part of his dis- 
trict between April 1st and June 1st, and values 

BOARDS all taxable property of each person. The 


nQUAi.- books are returned to the county clerk, 

TION". and in the early part of June the county 

board hold a meeting, at which they review 

The State. 109 

the work of the assessors. The board is said 
to sit as a hoard of equalization at this time, 
because it equalizes the values in the several dis- 
tricts. In metropolitan cities and cities of the 
first class, the council sits as a board of equaliza- 
tion. Those who think their lands valued too 
high may complain to the county board, or city 
council, while it is sitting as such a board. In 
this manner the valuation of the property in a 
county is corrected, and justice is done to all, as 
nearly as possible. These boards fix the rates for 
the county and for the city. 

Not only is this equalization made in each 

county, but the governor, auditor and treasurer 

form a board to adiust the values in the 


BOARD State as a whole. They examine the var- 

OF •' 

HguAL- JQ^g county assessments, and if it appears 
^■^°^- to them that the valuation has not been 
made with reasonable uniformity in different 
counties, they adjust matters by varying the rate 
of taxation, instead of changing the values of 
property. This state board of equalization, hav- 
ing before it the valuation of taxable property in 
the state, proceeds to find the rate for the several 
STATE amounts to be raised. There is the gen. 
FUNDS, g-^.g^^ State tax, the sinking fund tax, and 
the school tax. Each of these or any other spe- 
cial fund to be raised, is divided by the whole 
valuation to find the rate. After the state and 
count V boards have made all adjustments and the 
rate has been fixed, each county clerk makes out 

110 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

another list of the amounts due from every piece of 
taxable property, and delivers the list to the county 

treasurer, formally commanding him to 
TioN OP collect them. The law provides, however, 

that "no demand for taxes shall be nec- 
essary, but it shall be the duty of every person 
subject to taxation under the laws of the State to 
attend at the treasurer's office at the county seat 
and pay his taxes." In cities, the municipal 
taxes are paid into the city treasury. State 
funds are paid into the county treasury. All the 

county and state taxes are added and the 
iBATED result is called the "consolidated tax." 


It even contains local levies for school pur- 
poses. Thus all the money for taxes, except in 
cities, comes into the county treasury, from which 
it is sent either to the state treasury or to the dis- 
trict for which it was collected.' 

1 Example of taxes in Nebraska for one year. A resident of Bennet 
had state, county, and village assessments. 'J'he city levy wasu.paid by 
re-sidi^nts of Linooln, besides county and state taxes. 


General Fund 5.00 Bennet ID. 

Sinking Fund 0.125 Firth 10. 

School Fund 0.5 Hickman .">. 

University Fund 0.375 Roca 10. 

Inst. Feeble-Minded Fnfld 0.125 University Place 10. 

State Keliet Fund 0.125 West Linwln 10. 

Waverlv IS. 

6.a5 Bethany Heights 10. 

COUNTY LEVY. Capital and Midand Prec 10. 

General Fund 7.2 c:iTY LEVY. 

Hoad Fund 2.3 Interest and Coupon 5. 

Bridge Fund 2.8 Water 1. 

Sinking Fund 4.2 Police 0.3 

Insane Fund 0.9 J^ibrary 0.75 

Soldiers'--Iielief Fund 0.3 School 5. 

Fire 0.4 

1^.7 General 1ft. 

Sewer 2. 

Water-Emergency 4.3 

Judgment 1.5 

Road 7. 

Storm AVater Sew'r J'dgm'nt. 5.25 
Sinking Fund, Road Purposes 2.S 


The State. Ill 

Besides these general taxes, there are other 

special assessments. Every male inhabitant of 

each road district between twenty-one and fifty 

years of age, is subject to pay a labor tax 

cia£ of three dollars, which may be paid in cash 

TAXES, . ./ 1- 

or by work. It is called more commonly a 
poll tax. A village or city tax of the same kind 
t-akes the place of this road tax. In cities, espe- 
cially, the number of different taxes multiply rap- 
idly. Inhabitants of particular districts may be 
assessed for building and repairing sidewalks, for 
sanitary purposes, or for sprinkling the streets. 
Other charo^es are made under the name 
CEZTSES.Q^ licenses. These are usually levied to 
regulate some class of business, such as the sale of 
liquors. They are imposed not to raise money, pri- 
marily, but to regulate the sale of intoxicaiting 
drinks. So wi4:h the dog tax in cities. It is not to 
raise money, but to make owners responsible for the 
damage dogs may do. A tax upon peddlers ap- 
pears to be levied, not so much for regulating the 
business, or for raising money, as to insure the 
fact that the peddler shall pay a tax somewhere in 
the State. All people who enjoy any of the pro- 
tection and benefits of the State government, 
should aid in defraying its expenses. 

There is always an effort on the part of the per- 
son whose property is being assessed, to have the 
value of his property placed as low as possible. 
The assessors, in turn, have generally estimated 
the value v«rv low, and the result is that value of 

112 Civi] Governwent of Nebraska. 

taxable property in the State has been much less 
than it should, and the rate of taxation much 
higher. Nothing at all is gained by such low 
estimates, and a great deal is lost, for capital is 
prevented from coming into the State on account 
of the high rate. 


1. What advantages or disad vantages in a low valua- 

2. Is there any moral question involved in using saloon 
money for school purposes? 

3. What power regarding revenue did the Continental 
Congress have? What result? 

4. Problem : Valuation of property in a school district 
$18,000.00: money to be raised for a school building 
$540.00. Find the rate of the levy. 


The American people pride themselves upon 
the right to vote, for it is the power by which 
they govern themselves. The system by which 
EI.ECT- ^^® voters, or electoi^s, of the State exercise 
®^®" this right in choosing their officers should 
be thoroughly understood by every citizen. The 
first inquiry is, "Who are these eledors?'''' as they 
are called in the statutes. The constitution 
fully answers this, and students may refer to that 
document." The legislature has completed the 
first paragraph of Section 1, Article VII., by mak- 
ing it read, " in the county forty days, and in the 
precinct, township, or ward, ten days."* There is 
Qo separate residence qualification for cities, ex- 

i CoDsoI. Statutes, 1891, §§ 1582-1778, 

2 Article VII. 

iCoBSol. Statutes, 1S91, § 1584. 

The State. 113 

cept for those of the first class, having more than 
25,000 inhabitants. Here a voter must have re- 
sided three mou.hs. A clause of the Federal con- 

stitution provides that all persons born 
^^^^- and naturalized in the United States and 
subject to its jurisdiction, are citizens of the 
United States and of the state in which they re- 
side. The constitution of Nebraska provides that 
persons of a foreign birth who, thirty days before 
an election, shall have declared their intention to 

become citizens, may be voters. This 
^^^^ 'means that they shall have taken the first 
step in naturalization thirty days beforehand. 
The first step of a foreigner in acquiring citizen- 
ship is an application, in which he not only af- 
firms that he Avishes to become a citizen of the 
United States, but that he renounces all allegiance 
to the government to which he previously be- 
lono-ed. Criminals, persons of unsound mind, and 

those belonging to the army and navy of 
NOT^^ the United States are not entitled to vote. 

The reasons are evident, at least in the 
case of the first two classes. It is clear, too, in 
regard to those in the employ of the United States, 
that if they could vote in any state where they 
happened to be, there would be a strong tempta- 
tion for the authorities to place the soldiers where 
their votes would be most needed. Minors, or 
those under twenty-one years of age, are not per- 
mitted to vote, for reasons unnecessary to give. 

114 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

Except in school matters, women, in Nebraska, 
have not yet obtained the franchise. 

The next question that presents itself to the 
mind of the student is, "For whom do electors 
vote?" May a voter cast his ballot for any one to 
CANDi- fi^^ ^ certain position? Nothing prevents 
DATES, j^-j^ from so doing, but a regular process 
is prescribed in order that voting may be mora 
orderly. Nominations for office are made (1) by 
convention or primary meeting, and (2) sometimes 
TWO ^y petition. The latter is a statement, or 
To'HOM-cei'tificate of nomination, signed by voters. 
iNATE. j^^^Q hundred are required if the office con- 
cerns all the voters of the State. For a county or 
smaller district, only fifty are required. A conven- 
tion or primary meeting is any "organized assem- 
blage of voters or delegates " that represents some 
political party. The system of party nominations 
varies somewhat according to the needs of the 
party, but the general plan is as follows: Each 
particular district has a central committee. Chief 
in the State is the state central committee. When 
there is need for a state convention, this body is- 
sues a call to similar organizations in the counties. 
Each of these in turn brings together the com- 
mittee of every ward. Arrangements are then 
WARD Diade for a ward caucus of the party voters, 
CAUCUS. ^I^^p]^ nominates delegates for a county 
convention, to be voted for at the party 'primaries. 
These are elections in which, according to law, 
only the members of the party may vote whose 

The State. 115 

delegates are to be chosen. County conventions, 
PARTY thus formed from elected delegates, 
Kif:s. place men in nomination for county- 
offices, or, in other words, make out the ticket for 
THE *^® county. At the same time delegates 
TICKET. ^j.Q elected to go to the state convention. 
Such a body, representing the party of the State, 
sends men to the national party convention. The 
business of the inter-state body is to choose 
presidential candidates for the party, and to 
make a party platform. There are also 
lous conventions in the several representative, 
TioNS senatorial, judicial, and congressional dis- 
tricts, consisting of delegates elected at 
the county meeting. Altogethei; the system is by 
no means simple, and the parties do not always 
go through the formalities. 

The questions that now remain to be answered 

are mainly concerned with the conduct of voters 

and the system of recording the election returns. 

In cities of more than 2,500 inhabitants 

REGIS- . . , . « 

TEA- there is a registration law m force, req uir- 

TION. *= . . ^ 

lug voters to register on certain days be- 
fore election. Three supervisors of registration 
are appointed by the council for each election dis- 
trict in a city.^ On one of the registration days^ 

1 Qualifications of supervisors are stated somewhat miuutely in the 
law. The three must be of at least two political parties ; citizens of good 
character and voters of the precinct in which they serve; able to read, 
write, and speak the EnRlish language intelligently; and not candidates 
for any office concerned in the election in which they are supervisors. 

2" Tuesday four weeks, the Wednesday of the third' .^k, the Thurs- 
day of the second weeV, and the Friday and Saturday of the first week 
preceding the day of the November election of each year." 

116 CirU Government of Nebraska. 

a voter should have his name, place of residence, 
date and place of birth, citizenship, etc., recorded. 
Otherwise, on election day he must get a certificate 
of citizenship from the city clerk and have it 
signed by two freeholders of the district in which 
he lives. Except in cities, registration is not 

Up to a recent date voting has been open to 
such endless frauds that even with great care an 
Qj^jj honest election was not often secured. 
tion" Scenes at elections under the old law are 
still fresh in the minds of Nebraskans: 
challengers at the window on either side of a long 
line of voters, each awaiting his turn to cast a bal- 
lot; ticket peddlers by the score; electioneering on 
every hand, and withal an atmosphere suggesting 
the opposite of order, square dealing, and good 
citizenship. Election carousals are a thing of the 
past. By the new ballot law of 1891, a marvelous 
change has come over the character of election 
day. Now electioneering must not be car- 

AUS- . 

TRA- ried on within one hundred feet of the 


BAI.I.OT election place. Saloons are closed. The 
ballot box is removed from the window 
to a room fitted out with compartments, stalls or 
booths. Each of these is supplied with desk, pens, 
and ink, and so arranged that the voter may not 
be watched as he marks his ballot. A rail encloses 
the writing compartments, so that no one outside 
of it can come within twelve feet of them.' The 

iSix feet in country districts ou account of small rooms. 

The State. 117 

number of voters in each election district is re- 
stricted to three hundred, and one booth is re- 
quired for every fifty. 

In each precinct three judges and two clerks of 
election are chosen, and in cities where regis- 
tration is required, two additional judges. The 
judges designate two of their number to hand 
ballots to the voters. Every ballot must be signed 
by two judges before it is handed out. Two kinds 
of ballots are required to be printed. Sample 
baUofs are made and given out six davsbe- 
OF BAL- fore election, so that any one may see that 

LOTS. •' •' 

they are correct. They must be on green 
or red paper, not on white. Official ballots, on the 
other hand, are only on whit® paper, and no one 
but the county clerk may print them. They 
must be ready in his office at least four days be- 
fore election. The number of ballots that are sent 
to each voting place is recorded, and when the 
ballots are returned after election, there must 
be the same number. A voter has no ballot be- 
fore he is given one by a judge, and under 
no circumstances is he permitted to take one 
from the room. Upon receiving it he goes to one 
MAKK- *-*^ ^^® unoccupied booths and there marks 
A^BAL- an X opposite the name of candidates 
^°^' for whom he wishes to vote. If a ballot is 
spoiled he may have as many as four, but each 
must be returned to the judges before another is 
received. The names of candidates are arranged al- 
phabetically under each office, like the following: 

118 Civil Go i-ernment of Nobraska. 



(Mr. A.) 


(Mr. B.) 

Prohibition | 

(Mr. C.) 

Democrat | 

(Mr. D.) 

Republican | 


VOTE FOR 02s E. 

(Mr. A.) 

Prohibition | 

(Mr. B.) 

Republican 1 

(Mr. C.) 

Denioci-at | 

(Mr. D.) 

Independent | 

When the voter has completed the marking, he 
must fold the ballot so that nothing shall appear 
on the outside except the signature of the judges. 
Every precaution is thus taken to secure se- 
crecy in voting. After the polls are closed the 
first thing the judges are required to do is to 
compare the poll books and correct mistakes until 
COUNT- ^^^ books agree. Then the ballot boxes 
ovH^ ^1"® opened and the ballots counted with-. 
VOTES. ^^^ being: unfolded. In case the number 
of ballots exceeds the number of persons voting, 
the ballots are put back into the box, shaken up, 
and enough drawn out to make the number 
of voters and ballots the same. The canvass must 
be public. The several kinds of ballots are made 
into separate packages and sealed, each being 
marked "ballots cast," "ballots rejected," or 
"spoiled and unused ballots." And all are sent to 
the county clerk, who makes within six days 
an abstract or complete statement of the vote 

The State. 119 

from all the precincts. The votes for most of the 
state officers^ are canvassed by the legislature, but 
those cast for presidential electors are counted by 
a state hoard of canvassers,^ consisting of gover- 
nor, secretary, auditor, treasurer, and attorney 
general. In case of a tie in the number of votes 
for an officer of a county or some smaller district, 
the two parties involved decide the matter by 
drawing lots at the county court house. 


1. Derivation and meaning of alien, franchise, caucus, 
precinct, canwjss. 

2. Origin of Australian Ballot system: Review of Re- 
views, III., 009, July, 1891. 

3. Should the right to vote be restricted by requiring 
an educational test? 

4. Is there any property qualification for voters in the 
United States? 

5. What is residence? If one's business is in a different 
precinct or ward from his family, where does he vote? May 
a state or county officer vote where he resides temporarily 
two years on accouut of his office? 


Mention has been made of the land set apart by 
the organic law for the maintenance of the schools. 
scHooi. '^^® whole amount of land devoted to this 
I.ANDS. purpose is more than two and one-half 
millions of acres. ^ Two sections out of every 

1 Votes canvassed by legislature are those cast for governor, lieu- 
tenant governor, members of Congress, secretary of state, auditor of 
public accounts, state treasurer, state superintendent of public in- 
struction, attorney general, commissioner of public lands and build- 
ings, and district attorneys; also votes expressing choice of people for 
Dnited States Senator. 

2Stat« board canvasses votes for presidential electors, judges of 
supreme and district courts, and regent of university. 

3Number acres set apart in sections IG and 36 in each township : 

120 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

township in the State is a magnificent endowment 
for the common schools. Likewise the State has 
endowed its normal school and university/ The 
wealth thus set apart is never diminished, the in- 
terest only being used. When school lands are 
leased, the rent forms a part of the fund. From 
this source alone the revenue is not sufficient. 
The districts tax themselves for local school pur- 
OTHEB poses, according to the length of term, 
c?F SUP - iiu^^aber of teachers, cost of school build- 
ing, etc., desired.^ The State levies an 
additional tax yearly for educational purposes, 
but this may not exceed one and one-half mills. 
Besides this there are various fines and licenses 
that are paid into the general fund. Here are 
four sources of revenue. It is natural to inquire • 
at this place how much this amounts to in a year. 
COST or I^^^'iD© tli6 school year ending with July, 
SCHOOLS. j^g 9;,^^ the total expenditure for the com- 
mon schools was over four million dollars, one- 
half of which was paid to teachers.^ 

At the head of the school system is the state 
superintendent, who is recognized as the leader in 
the work and the interpreter of the school laws 
of the State, and whose decision is authority, 
unless reversed by the courts. Next below him 
comes the county superintendent, who may be 

1 Normal school, 12,804 acres. 
University, 134,566 acres. 

2 Limited to twenty-five mills on a dollar of valuation. 

STotal expenditure, $4,12:{,7H9,54. Cost of hiring teachers, $2,110,. 
668,58. Buildings, etc., $749,632.89. 

The State. 121 

said to be the manager of the county schools. 
STATE His duties of laying out districts, visiting 
COUNTY the schools, and holding institutes make 
TEND- ^^^ *'^® center of that school system. Above 
EKTS. ^^Q common schools are the two higher 
institutions, the normal school and the university. 
The first of these is mainly for the pur- 
MAL pose of fitting students to be teachers.^ 


On the other hand, the state university 
is intended to give a student the choice of many 
courses, in order to fit him to be a useful citizen 
UNI- and servant of the State." The unitv of 

VEB- '' 

siTY. the whole plan of free education is its im- 
portant feature. Every part is made to work 

iSfafe Sormal School at Peru : — 
1. — Superintended by board of education, consisting of state treasurer, 
state superintendent, and five others appointed by the governor 
for terms of five years each. Board elect president and secretary, 

2. — Managed by a principal, who is responsible for the condition of the 

3. — Completion of common school course of study entitles a student to 

a diploma good for two years. Completion of higher course of 

study and a certain amount of teaching after graduation entitles 

a student to a life certificate. 

4. — Tuition free. 

-State University at Lincoln : — 

1. — Governed by a board of regents. (See Conatitntion, Art. VIII.. Sec. 

2. — Depnrtments provi3ed for: 

(a) College of literature, science, and art. 

(b) Industrial college, embraiing agriculture, practical science, 

civil engineering, and the mechanic arts. 

(c) College of law. 

(d) College of medicine, onl.y preparatory course having been 


(e) College of fine arts. 

3. — Tuition free and advauta'^es op3n to all without regard to sex or 

4. — Summer school for teachers is held. 
5. — '"University Extension" affords instruction to the public through 


122 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

iu harmony with the rest. The university 
and the normal school maybe called public schools 
as well as the lower grades. 


Not only does the State offer education gener- 
ously to its citizens, but it extends its protection 
and care to the unfortunate. It is thus that the ne- 
cessity arises for what the law calls charitable and 
CARE penal institutions. The blind are offered a 
SPE. home and free instruction at the Institute 
ci.Ass- for the Blind at Nebraska City. Here they 

are taught the rudiments of an English 
education and music, and instruction is also given 
in several trades, such as broom making, basket 
making, piano tuning, etc. The deaf and dumb are 
PAST offered similar advantages at the institute 
EDUCA^ at Omaha. The feeble-minded youth of 
SYS- the State are also offered a home and in- 

struction at the institution located at Be- 
atrice. At all these institutions, which are as 
purely educational as the university and normal 
school, instruction is given in accordance with the 
highest scientific authority. Not only is the 
instruction free, but a good home is offered. 
Furthermore when any of these wards are unable 
to provide proper clothing or to pay railroad fare, 
the authorities of the institutions are authorized to 
provide for such cases and charge the same to the 
county from which the ward comes. 

The industrial or reform schools of the State — 

The State. 123 

the one for boys at Kearney and the one for girls 
at Geneva — should also be classed as educational 
institutions. Those children who refuse to receive 
instruction offered at home, and who show by their 
conduct that they are likely to become bad citi- 
zens, are sent by local authorities to these schools. 
Here they are given an elementary educa- 
To^^ 'tion in the English branches and are taught 
THE useful trades, being treated in such a wav 


ABD OP as usuallv to develop honor and industrv. 

CITI- . " 

SHIP This is all done at the expense of the 
State, for the purpose of raising the 
standard of useful citizenship. 

The purpose of the home for women at Milford. 
and the home for the friendless at Lincoln, are 
also in the line of raising the standard of morals 
and adding to the ranks of good citizens. At the 
latter institution, orphaned and friendless children 
are received, cared for, and provided with good 

There is a growing idea that a penitentiary also 
should be for reform, rather than for discipline. 
IDEA op^® ^^^^ ^® ^^ D^3,y, the influence upon the 
TEN-^^' convicts of learning trades must result in 
TiABY. JJJQJ.Q Qj. jggg education. It is even pro- 
posed to establish a school within the penitentiary. 
Insane hospitals are too frequently mere places 
of confinement. It is a benefit to the public to 
have the State care for the insane, but it is char- 
itv to them to be treated as patients, not as con- 

124 Civil Government of Xehr.iskd. 

Although these public institutions canno\ be 
sharply classified, yet a general analysis maj be 
made as follows: — 

(a) — Educational. 

1. State Industrial or Reform Schools, 

(1) for boys, at Kearney. 

(2) for girls, at Geneva. 

2. Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, at 


3. Institution for Feeble-minded-- Youth, at 


4. Institution for the Blind, at Nebraska City. 

(6) — Chakitable. 

1. Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, at Grand Is- 


2. Milford Home for Women, at Milford. 

3. Home for the Friendless, at Lincoln. 

4. Insane Hospitals, 

(1) at Lincoln. 

(2) at Norfolk. 

(3) at Hastings, for incurable insane. 

(c) — Penal. 
1. State Penitentiary, at Lincoln. 

Federal Relations. 125 


The Federal government is almost a stranger 

to the every day life of the people. The common 

dealings of men have to do with the State. 


OP THE Nevertheless the United States has ob- 
tained some important rights under the 
constitution which was adopted in 1788. Besides 
the powers that belong to a government dealing 
with other nations, powers necessary to its sup- 
port, such as taxation, are conferred upon it. No 
insignificant amount of revenue is collected in 
this State every year for the United States gov- 
vernment.^ Usually the most manifest evidence 
of the power of a nation is its military. The 
power which a European nation shows to other 
governments or to its own people, is an extensive 
army and navy. This is not true of the United 
States, which has relied verv little on its armv 
and navy to retain its place among the nations 
or its control over its own territory. How, 
then, does the power of the United States appear 
in Nebraska? Probably its ever-present author- 

1 During the years from ISSO to 1S90 the following amounts of inter- 
nal revenue have been collected from Nebraska and Dakota, 1SS0-1SS3 
beinK from Nebraska alone, and the remainder coming from Nebraska 
and the two Dakotas. 

1880 $ 9t2,734.K« 

18sl 9(;2,0G4.S6 

1882 l,10S,lia.l5 

1883 1,320,517.24 

1SS4 §1,515.816 43 I 18SS $2.77S,2(;n.:« 

ls85 1,971, 2..i).12 18S9 2,24s,(i24.1'J 

18S6 1,674,013.12 I 1890 2,969,745.17 

1SS7 2,39:1,404.70 '. 

126 Civil Government of Nebraska. 

ity is nowhere seen so well as in its courts. Not 
FEDERAL ^'^^J does the State of Nebraska have a 
COURTS, system of courts, but the Federal gov- 
ernment also maintains one or more courts in each 
state. Nebraska is concerned with only one 
of the nine circuits into which the states are 
grouped.' Every state in this eighth circuit except 
three, forms one Federal judicial district, in which 
a judge holds court. A circuit court is held in 
each district by one of the two circuit judges 
which are appointed. In his absence the district 
judge may open circuit court and hear cases that 
belong to it, at the same time that district court is 
in session. Formerly there were only the three 
courts of the United States with which a state was 
concerned, the district, the circuit, and the supreme 
court. Lately (1891) a new court has been estab- 
lished in each circuit, called the circuit court of 
appeals. It is held at St. Louis for the eighth cir- 
cuit. Three judges compose this court. The 
circuit justice, who is the United States supreme 
court judge assigned to the eighth circuit, together 
with the two circuit judges, may constitute 
cuiT the appeal court. If one or more of these 

COURT . ^ ^ ,. . . , 11- 

o;PAP- IS away, a district judge may take his 
place. Special district judges are desig- 
nated for this purpose. Before the establishment 
of this new court, the decision of a circuit court 

1 The eighth circuit now (1892) embnices Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, 
Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, 
Wyoming, Indian Territory, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah. 

Federa 1 Rein tiona. 127 

was final, except in cases involving over ^5,- 
000. Above this cases could be taken to the 
supreme court. The new circuit court of appeals 
has authority to hear any case that has 
DIG- been tried in the lower courts of the 


United States, but cases involving more 
than $5,000 may be carried to Washington. 

Among the Federal administrative officers in 
Nebraska, the district attorney is the business 
uniVl'NK- ^o®^^ °^ ^^® Nation. In any matter aris- 
TRATIVE ing in connection with mail, revenue or 


commerce, he represents the central gov- 
ernment and acts for it in all suits. In any 
case concerning the amount of duty on imports 

or concerning national banks, the district 
ATTOR- attorney is counsel for the United States. 
NEY. rpi^Q p^g^ office, which involves a great 
deal of traffic, is under the immediate control of 
an executive officer. The laws governing it, how- 
posT ever, are made by congress. The post 
OFFICE. Q^QQ system has developed under the 
care of the Nation. From the postmaster general, 
in the cabinet, down to the least clerk in a coun- 
try post-office, there are a very large number of 
employees, who were formerly appointed by the 
president, the post-master general, and his sub- 
ordinates. Now, however, a far better plan has 
been introduced. It opens the positions to com- 
petition, and provides examinations for applicants. 
This plan, known as the civil service move- 
ment, is a step in removing the "spoils" 

128 Civil GovernnwDt of Nehranka. 

system, or the system of rewarding partisans with 
office. Beginning with the most impor- 
bER- tant clerkships in the executive depart- 
FOKM ^®^^' i^ ^^^ been gradually extended to 
the lower positions and also to other de- 
partments of the government. 

Many students have already heard about the 
"Original Package" bill. This involves the fact 
COM- ^^^^ ^^® United States has control of all 
s&EBCE. commerce between states. When a 
case arises concerning goods carried from one 
state to another, it must come before the United 
States courts. In connection with commercial 
relations, it is pertinent to ask what is meant by 
Lincoln and Omaha being po/'/s of entrij. 
OF Not all customs that are levied upon 

UNTRY. . . ^ 

goods brought into this country are col- 
lected at the harbor or place where the goods en- 
ter our boundaries. In order that the goods may 
not have to be unpacked and packed again,' the 
United States establishes custom houses in the 
interior, where all imports may be inspected and 
taxed according to the laws of congress. The 
places where such custom houses are located are 
called ports of entry. 

Since the first grants of land to the Union Pa- 
cific railroad during the territorial period, many 
thousands of acres of land have been given for 
the same purpose. The United States has taken 
such a part in starting these great projects as 


Federal Relations. 129 

public highways, that the question has arisen 
whether the Nation ought not to own 
them. Railroads carry so much freight 
and are used so extensively for traveling that they 
are of more than state importance. Nevertheless 
the State attempts to regulate the charges for 
freight and passengers, by the board of trans- 

Another subject of importance which the Na- 
tion controls is the banking system. The It.wi of 
Nebraska regulate how the business may be car- 
ried on here, but national banks are 
TioNAL formed under the laws of the United 
States. Among the advantages of the 
system are great security for depositors and uni- 
formity in bank notes. 

The state shares in the national government 
through its representatives. Every state is entitled 
PQ«. to have two in the senate and as many in 
GRESS. the house as its population entitles it to. 
have. The senators represent the states as 
SENA- equal units, but in the house the number 
TORS. iy-Q^ each state is according to popu- 
lation. The number of people which one con- 
gressman represented at the beginning of 
SENTA- the national government in 1788 was 30,- 
TivEs. ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ increased to 17H,901. 

The grouping of counties for the six districts are 
shown in the accompanying map. Although a 
cono-ressman is chosen in the autumn, his term of 
office does not begin until the following March 4. 

) ^ 




:m' ; 

• - - f • • •- 
r • 

1 " ■; : 

^i< • 

:As i ': 




*- • . • * • 

...» 1 • • • ' •'* 

. . . .- t • . . C • 


• 1 

• * • . * 







.' ' • r • • 


-1 — 

1 {2 5 

w i: u. 

^ ^ o 




) R < 

Federal Relations. 


Usually, however, congress does not meet until 
the December after that, so that it is a year from 
the time a representative is elected before he has 
a chance to take his seat. 

Constitution of Nebraska. 133 



ADOPTED 1875. 


"We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, 
do ordain and establish the following declaration of rights 
and frame of government, as the constitution of the State 
of Nebraska: 


Section 1. All persons are by nature free and independent, 
and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among 
these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To se- 
cure these rights, and the protection of property, govern- 
ments are instituted among people, deriving their just pow- 
ers from the consent of the governed. 

Sec. 2. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary 
servitude in this State, otherwise than for the punishment of 
crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. 

Sec. 3. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or prop- 
erty, without due process of law. 

Sec. 4. All persons have a natural and indefeasible right 
to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their 
own consciences. No person shall be compelled to attend, 
erect, or support any place of worship against his consent, 
and no preference shall be given by law to any religious so- 
ciety, nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience 
be permitted. No religious test shall be required 
BEIiZ- as a qualification for office, nor shall any person 
PRM^ be incompetent to be a witness on account of his 
DOM. ' religious belief; but nothing herein shall be con- 
strued to dispense with oaths and affirmations. 
Religion, morality, and knowledge, however, being essential 
to good government, it shall be the duty of the legislature 
to pass suitable laws to protect every religion.-^ denomina- 
tion in the peaceful enjoyment of its own mode of public wor- 
ship, and to encourage schools and the means of instruction. 

134 Civil Government. 

Sec. 5. Every person may freely speak, write, and publish 
on all subjects, being responsible tor the abuse of that lib- 
erty; and in all trials for libel both civil and criminal, the 
truth, when published with good motives and for justifia- 
ble ends, shall be a sufficient defense. 

Sec. 6. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, 
but the legislature may authorize trial by a jury of a less 
number than twelve men, in courts inferior to the district 

Sec. 7. The right of the people to be secure in their per- 
sons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable 
searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and 
AND^E?"*^^ warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, 
ZUSE. "supported by oath or affirmation, and particu- 
larly describing the place to be searched and the 
person or thing to be seized. 

Sec. 8. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall 
not be suspended, unless, in case of rebellion oi- invasion, the 
public safety requires it and then only in such manner as 
shall be prescribed by law. 

Sec. 9. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, 

except for treason and murder, where the proof is evident or 

the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be 

BAIIi. required, nor exc-ssive tines imposed, nor cruel and 

unusual punishments inflicted. 

Sec. 10. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal 
offense, except in cases in which the punishment is by tine or 
imprisonment, otherwise than in the ])enitentiary, in case of 
impeachment, and in cases arising in the army and 
NA^or-"^^y or in the militia., when in actual service in 
tenses" time of war or public danger, unless on a present- 
ment or indictment of a grand jury: Provided, 
That the legislature may, by law, provide for holding persons 
to answer for criminal offenses on infortiiation of a public 
prosecutor, and may by law abolish, limit, change, amend, 
or otherwise regulate the grand jury system. 

Sec. 11. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall 
have the right to appear and defend in person or by counsel, 
to demand the nature and cause of accusation, 
T^AL^" ^°^ ^^ '^^^*^ ^ *^^^^ thereof; to meet the witnesses 
TBIAIi. against him face to face; to have process to com- 
pel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and a 
speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or dis- 
trict in which the offense is alleged to have been committed. 
Sec. 12. No person shall be compelled, in any criminal 
case, to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in 
jeopardy for the satne offense. 

Sec. 13. All courts shall be open, and every person, for 
any injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputa- 

Constitution of Nebraska. ].!o 

tion, shall have a remedy by due course of law, and justice 
ackniiiistered without denial or delay. 

Sec. 14. Treason against the State shall consist only in 

levying war against the State, or in adhering to its enemies, 

giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be 

SOIT. ' convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two 

witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession 

in open court. 

Sec. 15. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature 

of the offense, and no conviction shall work cor- 

TIE^ ruption of blood or forfeiture of estate; nor sliall 

any person be transported out of the State for any 

offense committed within the State. 

Sec. 1 6. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law im- 
pairing the obligation of contracts, or making any irrevoca- 
ble grant of special privileges or immunities, shall be passed. 

Sec. 17. The military shall be in strict subordination to 
the civil power. 

Sec. 18. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered 
in any house without the consent Of the owner; nor in time 
of war, except in the manner prescribed by law. 

Sec. 19. The right of the people, peaceably to assemble to 
consult for the common good, and to petition the govern- 
ment or any department thereof, shall not be abridged. 

Sec. 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any 
civil action, mesne or final proceedings, unless in cases of 

Sec. 21 . The property of no person shall betaken or dam- 
aged for public use without just compensation therefor. 

Sec. 22. All elections shall be free; and there .shall be no 
hindrance or impediment to the right of a qualified voter to 
exercise the elective 

Sec. 23. The writ of error shall be a writ of right in all 
cases of felony; and in capital cases shall operate as a super- 
sedeas to stay the execution of thesentenceof death until the 
further order of the supreme court in the premises. 

Sec. 21. The right to be heard in all civil cases in thecourt 
of last resort, by appeal, error, or otherwise shall not be 

Sec. 25. No distinction shall ever be made by law between 
resident aliens and citizens in reference to the possession, en- 
joyment, or descent of property. 

Sec. 26. Thisenumeration of rightsshall not beconstrued 
to impair or deny others retained by the people, and all pow- 
ers not herein delegated remain with the people. 


Section 1. The powers of the government of thisStateare 
divided into three distinct departments: the legislative, ex- 
ecutive, and judicial, and no person, or collection of persons, 

1-36 a vil Go rem ment. 

being: one of these departments, shall exercise any power 
pnoperly belonf>;ing to either of the others, except as herein- 
after expressly directed or permitted. 


Section 1. The legislative authority is vested in a senate 
and house of representatives. 

Sec. 2. The legislature shall provide bylaw for an enu- 
meration of theinhabitants of theState in the year eighteen 
hundred and eighty-five, and every ten years thereafter ; and 
at its first regular session after each enumeration, and also 
CENSUS ^^ter each enumeration made by the authority of 
' the United States, but at no other time, the legis- 
lature shall apportion the senators and representatives ac- 
cording to the number of inhabitants, excluding Indians not 
taxed and soldiers and officers of the United States army 
and navy. 

Sec. 3. The number of representatives shall never exceed 
onehundred, nor thatof senators thirty-three. The sessions 
of the legislature shall be biennial, except as otherwise pro- 
vided in the constitution.' 

Sec. 4. The terms of office of members of the legislature 
shall be two years, and tliey shall each receive for their ser- 
vices three dollars for each day's attendance dur- 
OP or- ^^^ ^^® se.ssion, and ten cents for every mile they 
FICE shall travel in going to and returning from the 
AMD ])lace of meeting of the legislature on the most 
PENSA- "i^^i'^l route; Provided, however, That they shall 
TION. notreceivepay for more than forty days atany one 
session; and neither membersof tlie legislature nor 
employees shall receive any pay or perquisites other than 
their pay per diem and mileage. 

Sec. 5. No person shall be eligible to the office of senator 
or member of the house of representatives, who shall not be 
an elector, and have resided within the district 
^ICa!^^* from vsiiich heis elected for the term of one year next 
TIONS. before his election, unless he shall have been ab- 
sent on the public business of the United Sfates, or 
of this State. And no person elected as aforesaid shall hold 
his office after he shall have removed from such district. 

Sec. 6. No person holding office under the authority of 
the United States, or any lucrative office under the authority 
of this State, shall be eligible to or have a seat in the legis- 
lature; but this provision shall not extend to precinct or 
township officers, justices of the peace, notaries public, or of- 
ficers of the militia; nor shall any person interested in a 
contract with, or an unadjusted claim against the State, 
hold a seat in the legislature. 

1 First hall omitted. It applied to legislature only before 1880. 

Constitution of Nebraska. 137 

Sec. 7. The session of tlie lej^islature shall commence at 
twelve o'clock (noon) on the first Tuesday in Jan- 
SES- ua''y> 'Q the year nextensuing the election of mem- 
SION. bers thereof, and at no other time, unless as pro- 
vided by this constitution. A majority of the 
members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum. 
Each house shall determine the rules of its proceedings, and 
be the judge of the election returns, and quidifica- 
KUM tions of its membeps; shall its own officers; 
and the senate shall choose a temporary president 
to preside when the lieutenant-governor shall not attend as 
president, or shall act as governor. The secretary of state 
shall call the house of representatives to order at the opening 
of each new legislature, and preside over it until a tempor- 
ary presiding officer thereof shall havebeen chosen and shall 
have taken his seat. No member shall be p,\{)elled 
^z'k-^^' ^^ either house, except by a vote of two-thirds of 
TlOIf. all the members elected to that house, and no mem- 
ber shall be twice expelled for the same offense. 
Each house may punish by imprisonment any person, not a 
member thereof, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the 
house, by disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its pre.s- 
ence, but nosuch imprisonment shall extend beyond twenty- 
four hours at one time, unless the person shall persist in 
such disorderly or contemptuous behavior. 

Sec. 8. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, 
and publish them (except such parts as may require secrecy), 
and the j'eas and nays of the members on any question shall, 
at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journal. 
JOUR- -^^^ votes in either honse shall be viva voce. The 
NAIi. doors of each house and of the committee of the 
PUB- whole siiall be open, unless when the business shall 
LICITY. jjg gypj^ jjg ought to be kept secret. Neither house 
shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more 
than three days. 

Sec. 9. Any bill may orisiinate in either house of the leg- 
islature, except bills appropriating money, which shall origi- 
nate only in the house of re|)resentatives, and all bills passed 
by one house may be amended by the other. 

Sec. 10. The enacting clause of a law shnll be, "Be it en- 
acted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska," and no 
law shall be enacted except by bill. No bill shall 
ENACT- be pa.ssed unless by assent of a majority of all the 
ING members elected to each house of the legislature. 

CLAUSE ^j^jj the question upon the final passage shall be 
LAWS, taken immediately upon its last reading, and the 
yeas and nays shall be entered upon the journal. 
Sec. 11. Every bill and concurrent resolution shall be 
read at large on three different days in each house, and the 
bill and all amendments thereto shall be printed before the 

138 Civil Government. 

vute ia taken upon its final passage. No bill shall contain 

more than onesubject, and the same shall be clearly 
BIIiIiS. expressed in its title. And no law shall be amended 
unless the new act contains the section or sections so 
amended, and the section or sections so amended shall be 
repealed. The presiding officer ot each house shall sign, in 
the presence of the house over which he presides, while the 
same is in session and capable of transacting business, all 
bills and concurrent resolutions passed by the legislature. 

Sec. 12. Men)bers of the legislature, in all cases e.xcept 
treason, felony or breach of the peace, shall be privileged 
from arrest during the session of the legislature, and for fif- 
teen days next before the commencement and after the ter- 
mination thert'of. 

Sec. 13. No person elected to the legislature shall receive 
any civil appointment within this Slate, from the governor 
and senate during the tei'm for which he has been elected. 

And all such appointments, and all votes givenfor 
riCA^^'^" any such member for any such office or appoint- 
TION$3. ment, shall be void. Nor shall any member of the 

legislature, or any state officer, be interested, either 
directly or indirectly, in any contract with the State, county, 
or city, authorized by any law passed during the term for 
which he shall have been elected, or within one year after the 
ex]iiration thei'eof. 

Sec. 14. The senate and house of representatives, in joint 
convention, shall havethesole power of impeachment, but a 
majority of th<! members elect must concur therein. Upon 
the entertainment of a resolution to impeach by either 
house, the other house shall at once be notified thereof, and 
the two housesshall meet in joint convention for the purpose 
of acting upon such resolution within three days ot such no- 
tification. A notice of an impeachment of any officer other 
than a justice of the supreme court, shall be forthwith 
served upon the chief justice by the secretarv of the senate, 
who shaJI thereupon call a session of the sui)reme court to 
meet at the capital within ten days after sucli notice to try 
the impeachment. A notice of an im])eachment of a justice 

of the supreme court shall be served by the secre- 
FEACK- ^^^y of the senateui»on the judgeof the judicial dis- 
M£NT. trict within which the capital is located, and he 

thereupon shall notify all the judges of the district 
court in the State to meet with him within thirty days at the 
capital, to sit as a court to try such impeachment, which 
court shall oruanize by electingoneof its number to preside. 
No person shall beconvicted without the concurrenceof two- 
thirds of the members of the court of impeaclitiieut, hut 
judgment in cases of impc^achment shall noi extpiul further 
than removal from office and discpjalificatioii to hoM and eii- 
oy any office of honor, nrcjfit, or trust in this State, hut tiie 

Constitution of Nebraska. 139 

party impeached, whether convicted or acquitted, shall nev- 
ertheless be liable to prosecution and punishment according 
to law. No officer shall exercise his official duties after he 
shall Iiavebeen impeached and notified thereof, until he shall 
have been acquitted. 

Sec. 15. The lef^islature shall not pass local or special 
laws in any of the following cases, that is to say: 
For granting divorces. 
Changing the names of persons or places. 
LiViug out, opening, altering, and working roadsor high- 

Vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys, and public 
Locating or changing county seats. 
Regulating county and township offices. 
Regulating the practice of courts of justice. 
Regulating the jurisdiction and duties of justices of the 
peace, ])oiice niau'istrates, and constables. 
Providing for changes of venuein civil and criminal cases. 
Incorporating cities, towns, and villages, or changing or 
amending the charter of any town, city, or village. 

Providing for the election of officers in 'townships, incor- 
porated towns, or (;ities. 
Summoning or emjianeling grand or petit juries. 
Providing for bonding of cities, towns, precincts, school 
districts, or other municipalities. 
Providing for the management of public schools. 
Regulating the interest on money. 

The opeuiug and conducting of any election, or designat- 
ing the place of voting. 

The sale or mortgage of real estate belonging to minors 
or others uinier di8al)ility. 
The protection of game or fish. 
Chartering or licensing ferries or toll bridges. 
Remitting fines, penalties, or forfeitures. 
Creating, increasing, and decreasing fees, percentage, or 
allowances of public officers during the terra for which said 
officers are elected or appointed. 
Changing the law of descent. 

Granting to any corporation, association, or individual, 
the right to lay down railroad tracks, or amending existing 
charters for such purjiose. 

Granting to any corporation, association, or individual, 
any special or exclusive privileges, immunity, or franchise 
whatever. In all other cases where a general law can be made 
applicable, no special law shall be enacted. 

Sec. 16. The legislature shall never grant any extra com- 
pensation to any publicofficer,airent, servant, or contractor, 
EXTRA after the services shall have been rendered, or the 
FENSA contract entered into. Nor shall the compensation 
TION. " of any public officer be increased or diminished 
during his term of office. 

140 Civil Government. 

Sec. 17. The leg:islature shall never alienate the salt 
sprint?8 belonging to the State. 

Sec. 1 8. Lands under the control of the State shall never 
be donated to railroad companies, private corporations, or 

Sec. 19. Each legislature shall make appropriations for 
the expenses of the government until the expiration of the 
first fiscal quarter after the adjournment of the next regular 
session, and all appropriations shall end with such fiscal 
quarter. And whenever it is deemed necessary to 
APPRO- make further appropriations for deficiencies, the 
TlOir' same shall require a two-thirds vote of all the mem- 
bers elected to each house, and shall not exceed the 
amount of revenue authorized by law to be raised in such 
time. Bills making appropriations for the pay of members 
and officers of the legislature, and for the salaries of the of- 
ficers of the government, shall contain n© provision on any 
other subject. 

Sec. 20. All offices created by this constitution shall be- 
come vacant by the death of the incumbent, by removal from 
the State, resignation, conviction of a felony, im- 
CIES^'"^' peachment, or becoming of unsound mind. And 
the legislature shall provide by general law for the 
filling of such vacancy when no provision is made for that 
purpose in this constitution. 

Sec. 21. The legislature shall not authorize any games 
of chance, lottery, or gift enterprise under any pretense, or 
for any purpose whatever. 

Sec. 22. No allowance shall be made for the incidental ex- 
penses of any state officer except the same be made by gen- 
eral ap])ropriation and upon an account specifying each 
item. No money shall be drawn from the treasury except 
in pursuance of a specific appropriation made by law, and on 
the presentation of a warrantissued by the auditor thereon, 
and no money shall be diverted from any api)ro- 
ING ' P'"'ation made for any purpose, or taken from any 
MONEY, fund whatever, either by joint or se]iarate resolu- 
tion. The auditor shall, within sixty days after the 
adjournment of each session of the legislature, prepare and 
publish a full statement of all moneys expended at such ses- 
sion, specifying the amount of each item, and to whom and 
for what paid. 

Sec. 23. No member of thelegislature shall be liable in any 
civil or criminal action whatever for wordsspokenin debate. 
Sec. 24. No act shall take effect until three calendar 
months after the adjournment of the session at which it 
"WHEN pas.sed, unless in case of emergency (to be ex- 
ACTS pressed in thepreambleor body of the act) theleg- 
TAKE islature shall, by a vote of two-thirds of all the 
EFFECT, niembers elected to each house otherwise direct. 
All laws shall be published in book form within sixty days 

Constitution of Nebraska. 141 

after the adjournment of each session, and distributed 
among the several counties in such manner as the legislature 
may provide. 


Section 1. The executive department shall consist of a gov- 
ernor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, auditor of pub- 
lic accounts, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, 
attorney -general, and commissioner of public lands and 
buildings, who shall each hold his otfice for the 
CERs'oP*^^™ ^^ two years from the first Thursday after 
EXECU- the first Tuesday in January next after his elec- 
TIVE tion, and until his successor is elected and quali- 
FART- fied.' The governor, secretary of state, auditor of 
MENt'. public accounts and treasurer shall reside at the 
seat of government during their terms of office, 
and keep the pulilic records, books, and papers there, and 
shall perform such duties as may be required by law. 

Sec. 2. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor 
or lieutenant-governor, who shall not have attained to the 
age of thirty years, and been for two years next 
^YcA^' preceding his election a citizen of the United States 
TIONS. and of this State. None of the officers of the exec- 
utive department shall be eligible to any other 
Btate office during the period for which they shall have been 

Sec. 3. The treasurer shall be ineligible to the office of 
treasurer for two years next after the expiration of twocon- 
Becutive terms for which he was elected. 

Sec. 4. The returns of every election for the officers of the 
executive department shall be sealed up and txansmitted by 
the returning officers to the secretary of state, directed to 
the speaker of the house of representatives, who shall, im- 
mediately after the organization of the house, and before 
proceeding to other business, open and publish the 
EIiEC- same in the presence of a majority of each house of 

^^O^ the legislature, who shall, for that purpose, assem- 
TURNS. ble in the hall of the house of representatives. The 


person having the highest number of votes for 
either of said offices shall be declared duly elected; but if 
two or more havean equal and thehighest number of votes, 
the legislature shall, by joint vote, choose one of such per- 
S(;ns for said office. Contested elections for all of said offices 
shall be determined by both houses of the legislature, by joint 
vote, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. 

1 A temporary provision omitted, which also states that each elec- 
tion shall be held on Tuesday following the first Monday in November 
in even numbered years. 

142 Civil Government. 

Sec. 5. All civil officers of this State shall be liable to im- 
peachment lor any misdemeanor in office. 

Sec. G. The supreme executive power shall be vested in 
the |u>overnor, who shall takecarethat the laws be faithfully 

Sec. 7. The governor shall, at the commencement of each 
session, and at the close of his term of office, and whenever 
the legislature may reijuire, give to the legislature informa- 
tion by message of the condition of the State, and shall rec- 
ommend such measures as heshall deem expedient. He shall 
account to the legislature, and accompany his message with 
a statement of all moneys received and paid out by him 
from any funds subject to his order, with vouchers, and, at 
the commencementof each regular session, pi-esent estimates 
of the amount of money required to be raised by taxation 
for all purposes. 

Sec. 8. The governor may, on extraordinary occasions, 
convene the legislature by proclamation, stating therein the 
purpose for which they are convened, and the legislature 
shall enter upon no business except that for which they 
w^ere called together. 

Sec. 9. In case of a disagreement between the two houses 
with respect to the time of adjournment, the governor may, 
on the same being certified to him by the house first moving 
the adjournment, adjourn the legislature to such time as he 
thinks proper, not beyond the first day of the next regular 

Sec. 10. The governor shall nominate and, by and with 
the advice and consent of the senate (expressed by a ma- 
jority of all the senators elected voting by yeas and nays), 
appoint all officers whose offices are established bj^ this con- 
stitution, or w hich may be created by law, and whose ap- 
pointjuent or election is not otherwise by law or herein pro- 
vided for; and no such officer shall be appointed or elected 
by the legislature. 

Sec. 11. In case of a vacancy during the recess of the 
senate, in any office which is not elective, the governor shall 
makea temporary appointmentuntilthe nextmeetingof the 
senate, when he shall nominate some person to fill such of- 
fice; and any person so nominated, who is confirmed by the 
senate (a majority of all the senators elected concurring by 
voting yeas and nays), siiall hold his office during the re- 
mainder of the term, and until his successor shall be ap- 
pointed and qualified. No person, after being rejected by 
the senate, shall be again nominated for the same office at 
the same session, unless at request of the senate, or be ap- 
pointed to the same office during the recess of the legisla- 

Sec. 12. The governor shall have power to remove any 
officer whom he may appoint, in case of incompetency, neg- 

Constitution of Nebraska. 1-13 

lect of duty, or inalft^nsnnce in otiice, and lie ninj derlam 
his office vacant, and fill the same as herein provided in other 
cases of vaca)icy. 

Sec. 18. The p:ovprnor shall have the power to g'rant re- 
prieves, commutations and pinions after conviction, for 
all offenses, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon 
such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations 
as he may think proper, subject to such regulations as may 
be provided by law relative to the manner of applyinsa^ for 
pardons. Upon conviction for treason, he shall have power 
to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall 
be reported to the legislature at its next session, when the 
legislature shall either pardon or commute the sentence, di- 
rect theexecntionof thesentence, or grant afurther reprieve. 
He shall communicate to the legislature, at everv reguhir 
session, each case of reprieve, commutation or pr.rdon 
granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which 
he was convicted, the sentence and its date, and the date of 
the reprieve, commutation or pardon. 

Sec. 14. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the 
military and naval forces of the State (except when they 
shall be called into the service of the United States), and 
may call out the same to execute the laws, suppress insurrec- 
tion, and repel invasion. 

Sec. 15. Everv bill passed by the legislature, before it be- 
comes a law, and every order, resolution, or vote, to which 
the concurrence of both houses may be necessary (except on 
questions of adjournment), shall be presented to the gov- 
ernor. If he ai)prove, he shall sign it, and there- 
POWER "PO" it shall become a law, but if he do not ap- 
' prove, he shall return it, with his objections, to the 
house in which it shall have originated, which house shall 
enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed 
to reconsider the bill. If then three-fiiths of the members 
elected agree to pass the same, it shall be sent, together 
with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall 
likewise be reconsidered; and if approved by three-fifths of the 
members elected to that house, it shall become a law, not- 
withstanding the objections of the governor. In all such 
cases, the vote of each house shall be determined by yeas 
and nays, to be entered upon the journal. Any bill which 
shall not be returned by the governor within five days (Sun- 
day excepted), after it shall have been presented to him, 
shall become a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, un- 
less the legislature by their adjournment, prevent its return; 
in which case it shall be filed, with his objections, in the office 
of the secretar.v of state within five days after such adjourn- 
ment, or become a law. The governor may disapprove any 
item or items of appropriation contained in bills passed by 
the legislature, and the item or items so disapproved shall be 

144 Civil Government. 

stricken tliPrefrom, unless re-pass«din the manner herein pre- 
scribed in cases of disapproval of bills. 

Sec. 16. In case of the death, impeachment, and notice 
thereof to the accused, failure to qualify, resignation, absence 
from the State, or other disability of the governor, the pow- 
ers, duties, and emoluments of the office for the residue of 
the term, or until the disability shall be removed, shall de- 
volve upon the lieutenant governor. 

Sec. 17. The lieutenant governor shall be president of 
the senate, and shall vote only when the senate is equally 

Sec. 18. If there be no lieutenant governor, or if the lieu- 
tenant governor, for any of the causes specified in section 
sixteen of this article, become incapable of performing the 
duties of the office, the president of the senate shall act as 
governor until the vacancy is filled, or the disability re- 
moved; and if the president of the senate for any of the above 
named causes, shall become incompetent of performing the 
duties of governor, the same shall devolve upon the speaker 
of the house of representatives. 

Sec. 19. The commissioner of public lands and buildings, 
the secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney-g-eneral, shall 
form a board, which shall have general supervision and con- 
trol of all the buildings, grounds, and lands of the State, the 
state prison, asylums, and all other institutions thereof, ex- 
cept those for educational; and shall perform such 
duties, and be subject to such rules and regulations, as may 
be prescribed by law. 

Sec. 20. If the office of auditor of public accounts, treas- 
urer, secretary of state, attorney-general, commissioner of 
public lands and buildings, or superintendent of public in- 
struction, shall be vacated by death, resignation, 
CrES^HT ^^ otherwise, it shall be the duty of thegovernor to 
OFFICE, fill the same by appointment; and the appointee 
shall hold his office until his successor shall be 
elected and qualified in such manner as may be provided by 

Sec. 21. An account shall be kept by the officers of the 
executive department, and of all the public institutions of 
the State, of all moneys received or disbursed by them sever- 
ally from all sources, and for every service performed, and a 
semi-annual report thereof be made to the governor, under 
oath, and any officer who makes a false report shall be guilty 
of perjury, and shall be punished accordingly. 

Sec. 22. The officers of the executive department, and of 
all the public institutions of the State, shall, at least ten days 
preceding each regular session of the legis'lature, severally 
report to the governor, who shall transmit such reports to 
the legislature, together with the reports of the judges of the 
supreme court, of defects in the constitution and laws, and 

Constitution of Nebraska. 145 

the governor, or either house of the legislature, may, at any 
time require information in writing, under oath, from the of- 
ficers of the executive departnietit, aiul all officers and man- 
agers of state institutions, upon any subject relating to the 
condition, management, and expenses of their respective 

Sec. 23. There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be 
called the "Great Seal of the State of Nebraska," which shall 
be kept by the secretary of state, and used by him officially, 
as directed by law. 

Sec. 24. The salaries of the governor, auditor of public 
accouuts, and treasurer, shall be two thousand five hundred 
($2,500) dollars each per annum, and of the secretary of 
state, attorney -general, superintendent of public instruction, 
and commissioner of public lands and buildings, shall be 
two thousand ($2,000) dollars each per annum. The lieu- 
tenant-governor shall receive twice the compen- 
SIE^.~ sation of a senator, and after the adoption of this 
constitution they shall not receive to their own use 
any fees, costs, interest upon public moneys in their hands 
or under their control, perquisites of office or other compen- 
sation, and all fees that may hereafter be payable by law 
for services performed by an officer, provided for in this ar- 
ticle of the constitution, shall be paid in advance into the 
state treasury. There shall be no allowance for clerk hire in 
the offices of the superintendent of public instruction and 
attorney -general . 

Sec. 25. The officers mentioned in this article shall give 
bonds in not less than double the amount of money that 
may come into their hands, and in no case in less 
BONDS. ^Ijjjjj ^jig gyj,j of fifty thousand dollars, with such 
provisions as to sureties and the approval thereof, and for the 
increase of the penalty of such bonds as may be prescribed 
by law. 

Sec. 26. No other executive state office shall becontinued 
or created, and the duties now devolving upon officers not 
provided for by this constitution shall be performed by the 
officei's herein created. 


Section 1. The judicial power of this State shall be vested 
in a supreme court, district courts, county courts, justices 
of the peace, police magistrates, and in such other courts in- 
ferior to the district courts as may be created by law for 
cities and incorporated towns. 

Sec. 2. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, a 
su- majority of whom shall be necessary to form a 

FREME quorum, or to pronounce a decision. It shall have 
COURT, original jurisdiction in cases relating to the reve- 
nue, civil cases in which the State shall bo a party, n>a:i 


146 Civil Government. 

damus, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and such appellate 
jurisdiction as may be provided by law. 

Sec. 3. At least two terms of the supreme court shall be 
held each year at the seat of g-overnment. 

Sec. 4. The judges of the supreme court shall be elected 
by the electors "of the State at large, and their terms of of- 
fice, except of those chosen at the first election, as hereinaf- 
ter provided, shall be six years. 

Sec. 5. The judges of the supremecourt shall, immediately 
after the first election under this constitution, be classified 
by lot, so that one shall hold his office for the term of two 
years, one for the term of four years, and one for the term of 
six years. 

Sec. 6. The judge of the supreme court having the short- 
est term to serve, not holding his office byappoint- 
CHIEP jiieiit or election to fill a vacancy, shall be thechief 
TIC£. justice, and as such shall preside at all ternisof the 
supreme court; and in case of his absence, the 
judge having in like manner the next shortest term to serve 
shall preside in his stead. 

Sec. 7. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of 
the supreme court unless he shall be at least thirty years of 
age, and a citizen of the United States; nor unless he shall 
have resided in this State at least three years next preceding 
his election. 

Sec. 8. There shall be appointed by the supreme court a 
reporter, who shall also act as clerk of the supreme court, 
and librarian of the law and miscellaneous library of the 
state, whose term of office shall be four years, unless sooner 
removed by the court, whose salary shall be fixed by law, 
not to exceed fifteen hundred dollars per annum. The copy- 
right of the state reports shall forever belong to the State. 

Sec. 9. The district courts shall have both chancery and 
common law jurisdiction, and such other jurisdiction as the 
legislature may yjrovide, and the judges thereof may admit 
persons charged with felony to a plea of guilty, and pass 
such sentence as may be prescribed by law. 

Sec. 10. [A temporary provision concerning the appor- 

Sec. 11. The legislature, whenever two-thirds of the mem- 
bers elected to each house shall concur therein, may, in or 
after the year one thousand, eight hundred and eighty, and 
not oftener than once in every four years, increase the num- 
ber of judges oJ the district courts, aud the judicial districts 
of the State. Such districts shall be formed of compact ter- 
ritory, and bounded by county lines; and such increase, or 
any change in the boundaries of a district, shall not vacate 
the office of any judge. 

Sec. 12. The judges of the district courts may hold courts 
for each other, and shall do so when required by law. 

Constitution of Nebraska. 147 

Sec. 13. The judges of the supreme and dislrict courfta 
shall each receive a salary of .ii^2,.500, per annum, payable 

Sec. 14. No judge of the supreme or district courts shall 
i-eceive any other compensation, perquisite, or benefit for or 
on account of his office in any form whatsoever, nor act as 
attorney or counsellor-at-la\v, in any manner whatever, nor 
shall any salary be paid to any county judge. 

Sec. 15. There shall be elected in and for each organized 
county one judge, who shall be judge of the county court of 
such county, and whose term of office shall be two years. 

Sec. 16. County courts sliail be courts of record, and shall 
have original jurisdiction in all matters of probate, settle- 
ments of estates of deceased persons, appointment of guardi- 
COUNTY^'n'^ and settlement of theiraccounts, inall matters 
COURT: relating to apprentices, and such other juris- 
JY^lOjT diction as may be given by general law. But they 
shall not have jurisdiction in criminal cases in which 
the punishment may exceed six months imprisonment, or a 
fine of over five hundred dollars; nor in actionsiu which title 
to real estate is sought to be recovered, or may be drawn in 
question ; nor in actions on mortgages or contracts for the 
conveyance of real estate ; nor in civil actions where the debt or 
sum claimed shall exceed one thousand dollars. 

Sec. 17. Appeals to the distiict courts from the judgments 
of county courts shall be allowed in all criminal cases on ap- 
plication of the defendant, and in all civil cases on applica- 
tion of either party, and in such other cases as may be pro- 
vided b\' law. 

Sec. 18. Justices of the peaceaiid police magistrates shall 
be elected in and for such districts, and have and exercise 
such jurisdiction as may be provided by law; Provided, 
That no justice of the peace shall have jurisdiction 
tYces ^^ ^"-^ '^'^'' ^^^^ where the amount in controversy 
or THE shall exceed two hundred dollars, nor in a crimi- 
PEACE. nal case where the punishment may exceed three 
months imprisonment, or a fine of over one hun- 
dred dollars, nor in any matter wherein the title or bounda- 
ries of land may be in dispute. 

Sec. 19. All laws relating to courts shall be general and 
of uniform operation, and the organization, jurisdiction, 
powers, proceedings, and practice of all courts of the same 
class or grade, so far as regulated by law and the force and 
effect of the proceedings, judgments, and decrees of such 
courts severally, shall be uniform. 

Sec. 20. All officers provided for in this article shall hold 
their offices until their successors shall be qualified, and they 
TERMS shall respectively reside in the district, county, or 
OP or- precinct for which they shall be elected or ap- 
PICE. pointed. The terms of office for all such officers, 
when not otherwise prescribed in this article, shall be 

148 Civil Government. 

two years. All officers, when nob otherwise provided for 
in this article, shall perform such duties and receive such 
compensation as may be provided by law. 

Sec. 21. In case the office of any judge of the supreme 
court, or of any district court shall become vacant before 
the expiration of the regular term for which he 
CIE^^" was elected, the vacancy shall be filled by appoint- 
or- ment by the governor, until a sucessor shall be 
FZCES elected and qualified, and such successor shall be 
JUDGES ^'^cted for the unexpired term at the first general 
' election that occurs more than thirty days after 
the vacancy shall have happf^ned. Vacancies in all otiier 
elective offices provided for in this article shall be filled by 
election, but when the unexpired term does not exceed one 
year, the vacancy may be filled by appointment, in such 
manner as the legislature may provide. 

Sec. 22. The State may sue and be sued, and the legisla- 
ture shall provide, by law, in what manner and in what 
courts suits shall be brought. 

Sec. 23. The several judges of the courts of record shall 
have jurisdiction at chambers as may be provided by law. 

Sec. 24. All process shall run in the name of " The State of 
Nebraska," and all pro,secutions shall be carried on in the 
name of " The State of Nebraska." 


Section 1. Every male person of the age of twenty-one 
years or upwards, belonging to either of the following 
classes, who shall have resided in the State six months, and 
in the county, precinct, or ward, for the term provided by 
law, shall be an elector. 

First. Citizens of the United States. 

Second. Persons of foreign birth who shall have declared 
their intention to become citizens conformably to the laws 
of the United States, on the subject of naturalization, at 
least thirty days prior to an election. 

Sec. 2. No person shall be qualified to vote who is non 
compos mentis, or who has been convicted of treason or 
felony under the law of the State, or of the United States, 
unless restored to civil rights. 

Sec. 3. Every elector in the actual military service, of the 
United States, or of this Stat^, and not in the regular army, 
may exercise the right of suffrage at such place, and under 
such regulations as may be provided by law. 

Sec. 4. No soldier, seaman, or marine, in the army and 
navy of the United States, shall be deemed a resident of the 
State in consequence of being stationed therein. 

3ec. 5. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, 
or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their 
attendance at elections, and going to and returning from 

Constitution of Nebraska. 149 

the same, and no elector f=;hall be obliged to do military duty 
on the days of election, except in time of war and public 
Sec. 6. All votes shall be by ballot. 


Section 1. The governor, secretary of state, treasurer, 
attorney-general, and commissioner of public lauds and 
buildings shall, under the direction of the legisla- 
BOABD ture, constitute a board of ocjmmissioners for the 
SCHOOXi '*^^^' 1^"'^*^'"??' and general management of all lands 
IiANDS. and funds set apart for educational purposes, and 
for the investment of school funds in such man- 
ner as may be prescribed by law 

Sec. 2. All lauds, money, or other property, granted, or 
bequeathed, or in any manner conveyed to this State for 
educational purposes, shall be used and expended in ac- 
cordance witii the terms of such grant, bequest, or convey- 

Sec. 3. The following are hereby declared to be perpetual 
funds for common school jiurposes, of which the annual in- 
terest or income only can be appropriated, to-wit: 

First. Such per centum as has been, or may hereafter be 
granted by congress on the sale of lands in this State. 

Second. All moneys arising from the sale or leasing of 
sections number sixteen and thirty-six in each township in 
this State, and the lands selected, or that may be selected in 
lieu thereof. 

'JJiird. The proceeds of all lands that have been or may 
hereafter be granted to this State, where, by the terms and 
conditions of such grant the same are not to be otherwise 

Fourth. The net proceeds of lands and other property 
and effects that may come to the State, by escheat or forfei- 
ture, or from unclaimed dividends, or distributive shares of 
the estates of deceased persons. 

Fifth. All moneys, stocks, bonds, lands and other prop- 
erty, now belonging to the couimon school fund. 

Sec. 4. All other grants, gifts, and devises that have 

or may hereafter be made to this State, and not otherwise 

appropriated by the terms of the grant, gift, or 

TEMPO- devise, the interest arising from all the funds men- 

RABY tioned in the preceding section, together with all 
rUND. the rents of the unsold school lands, and such other 


means as the legislature may provide, shall be ex- 
clusively applied to the support and maintenance of com- 
mon schools in each district in the State. 

Sec. 5. All fiue.s, penalties, and license moneys arising 
under the general laws of the State, shall lielong and be 
paid over to the counties, respectively, where the same 

150 Civil Government. 

may be levied or im|)oserl, and all fines, penalties, and 
licHiisp moneys arisiiiti' under the rules, by-laws, or 
PEN^^fi- ordinances of cities, villages, towns, ])recincts, or 
TIES, other municipal sub-divisions less than a county, 
ASTD tl- shall belong- and be paid over to the same respect- 
^^■^^^gively. All such fines, penalties and license moneys 
shall be appropriated exclusively to the use and 
support of common schools in the respective subdivisions 
where the same may accrue. 

Sec. G. The legislature shall provide for the free instruc- 
tion in common schools of this State, of all persons between 
the ages of five and twenty-one years. 

Sec. 7. Provisions shall be made by general law for au 
equitable distribution of the income of the fund set apart for 
the support of the common schools, among the several 
school distr cts of the State, and no appropi-iation shall be 
made from said fund to any district for the year in which 
school is not maintained at least three months. 

Sec. 8. University, agricultural college, common school, 
or other lands, which are now held, or may hereafter be ac- 
quired by the State for educational purposes, shall not be 
sold for less than seven dollars per acre, nor less than the 
appraised value. 

Sicc. 9. All funds belonging to the State for educational 
purposes, the interest and income whereof only are to be 
used, shall bedeemed trust funds held by the State, 
TORE^ and the State shall sui)plyall losses thereof that 
MAIN may in any manner accrue, so that the same shall 
INVIO- remain forever iiiviolate and undiminished; and 
IiATE. g}jall not be invested or loaned except on United 
States or state securities, or registered county bonds of this 
State; and such funds, with the interest and income thereof, 
are hereby solemnly pledged for the purposes for which they 
are gi-anted and set apart, and sliall not be transferred to 
any other fund for other uses. 

Sec. 10. The general government of the university of Ne- 
braska shall, under the direction of the let>islature, be 
vested in a board of six regents, to be styled the 
EBN- board of regents of the mnversity of Nebraska, 
MENT vvho shall be elected by the electors of the State at 

or UNI- large, and their term of office, except those chosen 



^^^' at the first election, as hereinafter provided, sha,ll 

be six years. Their duties and powers shall be pt-e- 
scribed by law; and they shall receive no compensation, but 
may be reiuibursed their actual expenses incurred in the dis- 
charge of their duties. 

Sec. 11. No sectarian instruction shall be allowed in any 
school or institution su}iported in whole or in part by the 
public funds set apart for educational pur])oses; no'- shall 
the State accept any grant, conveyance, or beijuest of muney, 

Constitution of Nebraska. 151 

lands or othei- property, to be used for sectarian purposes. 
Sec. 12. The le<>islature may provide by law for the es- 
tablishment of a school or schools for the safe 'keeping, ed- 
ucation, employment, and reformation of all children under 
the age of sixteen years, who, for want of proper parental 
care, or other cause, are growing up in mendicancy or 


Section 1. The legislature shall provide such revenue as 
may be needful, by levying a tax by valuation, so that every 
person or corporation shall pay a tax in proportion to the 
value of his, lier, or its property and franchises, the value to 
be ascertained in such manner as the legislature 
Faxes' ^^'^^'l direct, and it shall have power to tax ped- 
dlers, auctioneers, brokers, hawkers, commission 
merchants, showmen, jugglers, inn-keepers, liquor dealers, 
toll bridges, ferries, insurance, telegraph and express inter- 
ests or business, venders of pLiteats, in such manner as it 
shall direct by general law, uniform as to the class upon 
which it opei'ates. 

Sec 2. The property of the State, counties and municipal 
corporations, both real and personal, shall be exempt from 
taxation, and such other pro()erty as may be used exclu- 
sively for agricultural and horticultural societies, for school, 
religious, cemetery and charitable purposes, may 
EX^^^ be exempted from taxation, but such exemptions 
BMPTEDshall be only by general law. In the assessment of 
FKOM all real estate encumbered by public easement, any 
TIOII^" depreciation occasioned by such easement may be 
deducted in the valuation of such property. The 
legislature may provide that the increased value of lands, 
by reason of live fences, fruit and forest trees grown and 
cultivated thereon, shall not be taken into account in the 
assessment thereof. 

Sec 3. The right of redemption from all sales of real e.s- 
tate, for the non-payment of taxes or special assessments of 
any character whatever, shall exist in favor of owners and 
persons interested in such real estate for a period of notless 
than two years from su(,'h sales thereof; Provided, That oc- 
cupants shall in all cases be served with personal notice be- 
fore the time of redemption expires. 

Sec 4. The legislature shall have no ])ower to release or 
discharge any county, city, township, town, or district 
whatever, or the inhabitants thereof, or anv corporation, or 
the property therein, from their or its proportionate share 
of taxes to be levied for state purposes, or due any munici- 
pal corporation, nor shall commutation for such taxes be 
authorized in any form whatever. 

Sec. 5. County authorities shall never assess taxes iiie 

152 Civil Government. 

aggregate of which sliall exceerl one and a half dollars per 
hundred dollars valuation, PXfei)t for the payiiientof indebt- 
edness existing at the adoption of this constitution, unless 
authorized by a vote of the people of the county. 

Sec. 6. The legislature may vest tlie corporate authori- 
ties of cities, towns, and villages, with power to make local 
iinprcjvements by special assessments, or by special taxa- 
tion of property benefited. For all otiier corporate pur- 
I)oses, all municipal corporations may be vested with au- 
thority to assess and collect taxes, but such taxes shall be 
uniform in respect to persons and property within the juris- 
diction of the body imposing the same. 

Sec. 7. Private property shall not beliable to be tak<ni or 
sold for the payment of the corporate debts of municipal 
corporations. The legislature shall not impose taxes upon 
municipal corporations, or the inhabitants or property 
thereof, for corporate purposes. 

Sec. 8. The legislature at its first session shall provide by 
law for the funding of all outstanding warrants and other 
indebtedness of the state, at a rate of interest not exceeding- 
eight per cent per annum. 

Sec. 9. The legislature shall provide by law that all 
claims upon the treasury shall be examined aiid adjusted by 
the auditor and aj^proved by the secretary of state before 
any warrant for the amount allowed shall be drawn ; Pro- 
vided, Tliat a i)arty aggrieved by the decision of the auditor 
and secretary of state may appeal to [the] district court. 

article [x.]— countiks. 

Section 1. No new county shall be formed or established 
by the legislature which will reduce the comity or counties, 
or either of them, to a less area than four hundred square 
miles, nor shall any county be formed of a less area. 

Sec. 2. No county shall be divided, or have any part 
stricken therefrom without first submitting the question to 
a vote of the people of the county, nor unless a majority of 
all the legal voters of the county voting on the question 
shall vote for the same. 

Sec. 3. There shall be no territory stricken from any or- 
ganized county unless a majority of the voters living in such 
territorj' shall petition for such division, and no territory 
shall be added to any organized county withoutthe consent 
of the majority of the voters of the county to which it is 
proposed to be added; but the portion so stricken off and 
added to another county, or formed in whole or in part into 
a new county, shall be holden for and obliged to pay its jiro- 
jiortion of the indebtedness of the counties from which it has 
been taken. 

Sec. 4. The legislature shall provide by law for the elec- 
tion of such county and township officers as may be neces- 

Constitution of Nebraska. 153 

Sec. 5. The legislature shall provide by general law for 
township organization, under which anvcounty may organ- 
ize whenever a majority of the legal voters of such county, 
voting at any general election, shall so determine; and in 
any county that shall have adopted a township organiza- 
tion, the question of continuinsr the same may be submit- 
ted to a vote of the electors of such county at a general 
election in the manner that shall be provided by law. 


Section 1. Every railroad corporation organized or do- 
ing businessin thisState, underthelawsor authority thereof, 
or of any other state, or of the United States, siiall have and 
maintain a public office or place in this State for 
RAIIi- the transaction of its business, where transfers of 
COB-^ stock shall be made, and in which shall be kept, for 
POBA- public inspection, books in which shall be recorded 
TIONS. the amount of capital stock subscribed, and by 
whom, the names of the owners of its stock, and 
theamountsowned by them respectively, theamountof stock 
paid in and by whom, the transfers of said stock, tiie amount 
of its assets and liabilities, and the names and places of res- 
idence of its officers. The directors of every railroad corpor- 
ation, or other parties having control of its road, shall 
annually make a report, under oath, to the auditor of pub- 
lic accounts, or some officer to be designated by law, of the 
amount received from passengers and freight, and such other 
matters relating to railroads as may be prescribed by law. 
And the legislature shall i)as8 laws enforcing by suitable 
penalties the provisions of this .section. 

Sec 2. The rolling stock and all other movable property 
belonging to an\- railroad company or corporation in this 
State shall be liable to execution and sale in the same man- 
ner as the j)ersonal property of individuals, and the legisla- 
ture shall pass no law exem])ting any such property from 
execution and sale. 

Sec 3. No railroad corporation or telegraph company 
shall consolidate its stock, property, franchises, or earn- 
ings, in whole or in part, with any other railroad corpora- 
tion or telegraph company owning a, parallel or competing 
line; and in no case shall an^' consolidation take place ex- 
cept upon public notice of at least sixty days to all stock- 
holders in such manner as may be provided by law. 

Sec 4. Railways heretofore constructed or that may here- 
after be constructed in this State, are hereby declared pub- 
lic highways, and shall be free to ail persons foi- the traiis- 
jiortation of their persons and property thereon, umh-isuch 
r^-gulations as maj* be prescribed by law. And tlx^ i<'gisla- 
ture may from time to time pass laws establishing reasonable 
maximum rates of chargesfor thetransportation of pa.ssen- 

154 Civi] Government. 

j^i-i-s aud freitilit on the different railroads in this State. The 
liability of railroad corporations as common carriers shall 
never be limited. 

Sec. 5. No railroad corporation shall issue any stock or 
bonds except for money, hibor, or property actually re- 
ceived and applied to the purposer! for which such cor|)ora- 
tion was created, and all stock, dividends, and other ficti- 
tious increase of the capital stock or indebtedness of any 
such corporation shall be void. Thecapital stock of railway 
corporations shall not be increased for any purpose, except 
after ])ublic notice for sixty days, in such manner as may be 
provided by law. 

Sec. 6. Tlie exercise of the power and the right of eminent 
domain shall never be so construed or abridged as to pre- 
vent the taking, by the legislatuve, of the property and fran- 
chises of incorporated companies already organized or 
liereafter to be organized, and subjecting them to the pub- 
lic necessity, the same as individuals. 

Sec. 7. The legislature shall pfiss laws to correct abuses, 
and prevent unjust discrimination and extortion in all 
charges of express, telegraph, and railroad companies in this 
State, and enforce such laws by adequate penalties to the 
extent, if necessary for that purpose, of forfeiture of their 
property and franchises. 

Sec. 8. No railroadcorporation, organized under thelaws 
of any other state, or of the United States, and doing busi- 
ness in this State, shall be entitled to exercise the right of 
eminent domain, or have |)ower to acquire the right of way, 
or real estate for depot or other uses, until it shall have be- 
come a body corporate pursuant to and in accordance with 
the laws of this State. 


Section 1. No city, county, town, precinct, municipality, 
or other subdivision of the State, shall ever become a sub- 
scriber to thecapital stock, or owner of such stock, or any 
portion of interest therein, of any railroad or private cor- 
poration, or association. 

article [xiii.]— miscellaneous corporations. 

Section 1. No corporation shall be created by special 
law, nor its charter extended, changed, or amended, except 
those for charitable, educational, penal, or reformatory pur- 
poses, which are to be and remain under the patronage and 
control of the State, but thelegislatureshall ])rovide by gen- 
eral laws for the organizations of all corporations hereafter 
to be created. All general laws passed pursuant to this sec- 
tion may be altered from time to time, or repealed. 

Sec. 2. No such general law shall be passed by the legis- 
lature granting the right to construct and operate a street 

Constitntiou of Nebraska. 155 

railroad within any city, town, or incorporated village, 
without first requiring theconsent of a majority of the elect- 
ors thereof. 

Sec. 3. All corporations may sue and be sued in like cases 
as natural persons. 

Sec. 4. In all cases of claims against corporations and 
joint stock associations, theexact amount justly due shall be 
firstascertaiued, and after thecorjioiate property shall have 
been exhausted, the original suliseM-iber-s then^of shall be in- 
dividually liable to the extent of their unpaid subscription, 
and the liability for the unpaid subscription shall follow the 

Sec. 5. The legislature shall jjrovide by law that in all elec- 
tions for directoi'S or managprs of incorporated contpan- 
ies every stockholder shall [have] the right to vote in person 
or proxy for the number of shares (jf stock owned by him, for 
as many persons as there are directors or managers to be 
elected, or to cumulate said shares and give one candidate 
as many votes as the nunibin- of directors multiplied by the 
number of his shares of stock shall equal, or to distribute 
them upon the same principleamong as niauycandidates as 
he shall think fit; and such directors or managers shall not 
be elected in any other manner. 

Sec. 6. All existing charters or grants of special or exclu- 
siveprivilegesunderwhich organizationshall nothave taken 
place, or which shall not l)e in operation within sixty days 
from the time this constitution takes effect, shall thereafter 
have no validity or effect whatever. 

Sec. 7. Every stockholder in a banking corporation or in- 
stitution shall be individually responsible and liable to its 
creditors, over and above the amount of stock by him held, 
to an amount equal to his respe(-tive stock or shares so 
held, for all its liabilities accruing while he remains such 
stockholder; and all banking corporations shall publish 
quarterly statements, under oath, of their assets and liabil- 


SECTtON 1. The State may, to meet casual deficits or failures 
in therevenues, contract debts neverto exceed in theasgregate 
one hundred thousand dollars; ami no greater indebtedness 
shall be incurred except for purpose of repelling 
OP THE invasion, suppressing insurrection, or defending the 
STATE. State in war; and provision shall be made for the 

payment of the interest annually, as it siiall accrue, 
by a tax levied for the purpose, or from other sources of reve- 
nue, which law providinsr for the ])a,yment of such interest 
by such tax shall be irreiiealalde until such del)t be jtaid. 
'Sec. 2. No city, county, town, precinct, municipality 



156 Civil Government. 

or other subdivision of the State, shall ever make dona- 
tions to any railroad or other works of internal improve- 
ment, unless a proposition so to do shall have been 
first submitted to the qualified electors thereof at 
insilp an election by authority of law; ProvideiJ, That 
rOB^ such donations of a county with the donations of 
such subdivisions in the aggregate shall not ex- 
ceed ten percent of the assessed valuation of sueh 
county; Provided further, That any city or county may, by 
a two-thirds vote, increase such indebtedness five per cent in 
addition to such ten per cent, and no bonds or evidences of 
indebtedness so issued shall be valid unless the same shall 
have endorsed thereon a certificate signed by the secretary 
and auditor of state, showing that the same is issued pur- 
suant to law. 

Sec. 3. The credit of the State shall never be given or 
loaned in aid of any individual, association, or corporation. 


Section 1. The legislature shall determine what persons 
shall constitute the militia of the State, and may provide 
for organizing and disciplining the same. 

article [xAa.]— miscellaneous provisions. 

Section 1. Executive aud judicial officers and members 
of the legislature, before they enter upon their official duties, 
shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation : 
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the con- 
stitution of the United States and the constitution of the 
State of Nebraska, and will faithfully discharge the duties 

of according to the best of my ability, and 

that at the election at which I was chosen to fill said 
office I have not improperly influenced in any way the vote 
of any elector, and have not accepted, nor will I accept or 
receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable 
thing from any corporation, company, or person, or any 
promise of office for any official act or influence (for any 
vote I may give or withhold on any bill, resolution, or 
appropriation.)" Any such officer, or member of the 
legislature who shall refuse to take the oath lierein pi-e- 
scribed, shall forfeit his office, and any person who shall 
be convicted of having sworn falsely to, or of violating 
his said oath, shall forfeit his offline, and thereafter be dis- 
qualified from holding any ofiice of jM-ofit or trust in this 
State, unless he shall have been restored to civil rights. 

Sec. 2. Any person who is in default as collector and cus- 
todian of public money or property, shall not be eligible to 
any office of trust or jjrofit under tlie constitution or laws 
of this State; nor shall any person convicted of felony be 
eligible to office unless he shall have been restored to civil 

Constitution of Nebmska. 1.j7 

Sec. 3. Drunkenness shall be cause of impeachment and 
remoyal from office. 


Section 1. Either branch of the legislature may propose 
amendments to this constitution, and if the same be agreed 
to by three-fifths of the members elected to each house, such 
proposed amendments shall be entered on the journals, with 
the yeas and nays, and published at least once each week in 
at least one newspaper in each county, where a newspaper is 
published, for three months immediately preceding the next 
election of senators and representatives, at which election 
the same shall be submitted to the electors for approval or 
rejection, and if a majority of the electors voting at such 
election adopt such amendments, the same shall become a 
part of this constitution. When more than one amendment 
is submitted at the same election, they shall be so submit- 
ted as to enable the electors to vote on each amendment 

Sec. 2. When three-fifths of the members elected to each 
branch of the legislature deem it necessary to call a conven- 
tion to revise, amend, or change this constitution, 
^ON- they shall recommend to the electors to vote at 
TION ^^^ °*^^t election of members of the legislature for 
TO KE- or against a convention ; and if a majority voting 
CON^TI ^^ ^'^^^^ election vote for a convention, the legisla- 
TUTloiT.tu'''^ shall, at its next session, provide by law for 
calling the same. The convention shall consist of 
as many members as the house of representatives, who 
shall be chosen in the same manner, and shall meet within 
three months after their election for the purpose aforesaid. 
No amendment or change of this constitution, agreed upon 
by such convention, shall take effect until the same has 
been submitted to the electors of the State, and adopted 
by a majority of those voting for and against the same. 


Section 1. That no inconvenience may arise from the re- 
visions and changes made in the constitution of this State, 
and to carry the same into effect, it is hereby ordained and 
declared that all laws in force at the time of the adoption of 
this constitution, not inconsistent therewith, and all rights, 
actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts of this State, 
iudividualsor bodies corporate, shall continue to be asvalid 
as if this constitution had not been adojited. 

Sec. 2. All fines, taxes, penalties, and forfeitures owing 
to the State of Nebraska, or to the people thereof, under the 
present constitution and laws, shall inure to the use of the 
people of the State of Nebraska, undnr this constitution. 

Sec. 3. Recognizances, bonds, obligations, and all other 

15y Civil Government. 

instruments Piiterod into or executpd upon the adoption of 
this constitution, to the people of the State of Nebrasi<a, to 
the State of Nebraska, to any state or county officer, or 
public body, shall remain bindinj^- and valid, and rights and 
liabilities upon the same shall continue: and all crimes and 
misdemeanors shall be tried and punished as though no 
change had been made in the constitution of this State. 

Sec. 4:. All existing courts which are not in this constitu- 
tion specifically enumerated, and concerning which no other 
provision is herein made, shall continue in existence, and 
exercise their 4)resent jurisdiction until otherwise provided 
by law. 

Sec. 5. All persons now filling any office or appointment 
shall continue in the exercise of the duties thereof, accord- 
ing to their respective commissions, elections, or appoint- 
ments, unless by this constitution it is otherwise directed. 

Sec. 6. The district attorneys now in office shall continue 
during their unexpired terms to hold and exercise the duties 
of their respective offices in the judicial districts herein cre- 
ated, in which they severally reside. In each of the remain- 
ing districts one such officer shall be elected at the first gen- 
eral election, and hold his office until the expiration of the 
terms, of those now in office. 

Sec. 7. This constitution shall be submitted to the peo- 
ple of the State of Nebraska, for adoption or rejection, at 
an election to be held on tlie second Tuesday of October, 
A.D., 1875, and there shall be separately submitted at the 
same time, for adoption or rejection, the independent arti- 
cle relating to "Seat of government," and the independent 
article "Allowing electors to express their preference for 
United States senator." 

Sec. 8. At said election the qualified electors shall vote 
at the usual places of voting, and the said election shall be 
conducted and the returns thereof made according to the 
laws now in force regulating general elections, except- as 
herein otherwise provided. 

Sec. 9. The secretary of state shall, at least twenty days 
before said election, cause to be delivered to the county 
clerk of each county, blank poll-books, tally lists, and forms 
of returns, and twice as many of properly prepared printed 
ballots for the said election as there are voters in such 
county, the expense whereof shall be audited and paid as 
other public printing ordered by the secretary as is by law 
required to be audited and paid; and the several county 
jclerks shall, at least five days before said election, cause to 
be distributed to the judges of election, in each election pre- 
cinct in their respective counties, said blank poll-books, 
tally lists, forms of return, and tickets. 

Sec. 10. At the said election the ballots shall be of the 
following form: 

Constitution of Xebraska. 159 

For the new constitution. 

Against the new constitution. 

For the article relating- to "Seat of government." 

Against the article relating to " Seat of govern nieut." 

For the article "Allowing electors to express their prefer- 
ence for United States senators." 

Against the article "Alhjwing the electors to express 
their preference for United States senators." 

Sec. IJ. The returns of the whole vote cast, and of 
the votes for the adoption or rejection of this constitu- 
tion, and for or against the articles respectfully submit- 
ted shall be made by the several county clerks to the 
secretary of state, within fourteen days after the election, 
and the returns of the said vote shall within three days 
thereafter, be examined and canvassed by the president of 
this convention, the secretary of state, and the governor, or 
any two of them, and proclamation shall be made forthwith 
by the governor, or the president of this convention, of the 
result of the canvass. 

Sec. 12. If it shall appear that a majority of the votes 
polled are "for the new constitution," then so much of this 
new constitution as was not separately submitted to be voted 
on by article shall be the supreme law of the State of Ne- 
braska, on and after the first day of November, a.d. 1875. 
Butif itshall appear that amajorityof the votes polled were 
"against the new constitution," the whole thereof, including 
the articles separately submitted, shall be null and void. If 
the votes "for the new constitution" shall adopt the same, 
and it shall appear that a majority of the votes polled are 
for the article relating to the "seat of government," said 
article shall be a part of the constitution of this State. If 
the votes "for the new constitution" shall adopt the same 
and it shall appear that the majority of the votes polled are 
for the article "allowing electors to express their preference 
for United States senator," said article shall be a part of the 
constitution of this State. 

Sec. 13. The general election of this State shall beheld 
on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of Novembei- of 
each year. All state, district, county, precinct, and town- 
ship officers, by the constitution or laws made elective by 
the people, except school district officers and municipal of- 
ficers in cities, villages, and towns, shall be elected at a gen- 
eral election to be held as aforesaid. Judges of the supreme, 
district, and county courts, all elective county and precinct 
officers, and all other elective officers, the time for the elec- 
tion of whom is not herein otherwise provided for, and 
which are not included in the above exception, shall be 
elected at the first general election, and thereafter at the 
general election next preceding the time of the termination 
of their respective terms of office; Provided, That the of- 
fice of uo county commissioner shall be vacated hereby. 

160 Civil Government. 

Sec. 14. The terras of office of all state and couuty of- 
ficers, or judges of the supreme, district and county courts, 
and regents of the university shall begin on the 
OP^^- first Thursday after the first Tuesday in January 
FICE. next succeeding their election. The present state 
and county officers, members of the legislature, and 
regents of the university, shall continue in office until their 
successors shall be elected and qualified. 

Sec. 15. The supreme, district, and county courts estab- 
lished by this constitution shall be the successors respect- 
ively of the supreme court, the district courts, and the 
probate courts, having jurisdiction under the existing con- 

Sec. 16. The supreme, district, and probate courts 
now in existence shall continue, and the judges thereof shall 
exercise the power and retain their present jurisdiction until 
the courts provided for by this constitution shall be organ- 

Sec. 17. All cases, matters, and proceedings pending and 
undetermined in the several courts, and all records, judg- 
ments, orders, and decrees remaining therein, are hereby 
transferred to and shall beprocpeded and enforced in and by 
the successors thereof respectively. 

Sec. 18. If this constitution be adopted, the existing con- 
stitution shall cease in all its provisions on the first day of 
November, a.d. 1875. 

Sec. 19. The provisions of this constitution required to be 
executed prior to the adoption or rejection thereof shall 
take effect and be in force immediately. 

Sec. 20. The legislature shall i)ass all laws necessary to 
carry into effect the provisions of this constitution. 

Sec. 21. Oq the taking effect of this constitution, all state 
officers hereby continued in officii shall, before proceeding in 
the further discharge of their duties, take an oath or affii-iu- 
ation to support this constitution. 

Sec. 22. The regents of the university shall be elected at 
the first general election under this constitution, and be 
classified by lot so that two shall hold their offices for the 
term of two years, two for the term of four years, and two 
for the term of six,years. 

Sec. 23. The present executive state officers shall continue 
in office until the executive state officers provided for in this 
constitution shall be elected and qualified. 

Sec. 21. The returns of the whole vote cast for the judges of 
the supreme and district courts, district attorneys, and re- 
gents of the university, under the first general election, shall 
be made by the several county clerks to the secretai-y of 
state within fourteen days after theelection; and the returns 
of the said votes shall, within three days thereafter, be ex- 
amined and canvassed by the governor, secretary ol state, 

Constitution of Nebraska. 161 

and the president of this convention, or any two of them, 
and certiflcates of election shall forthwith be issued by the 
secretary of state to the persons found to be elected. 

Sec. 25. The auditor shall draw the warrants of the State 
quarterly for the payment of thesalaries of all officers under 
this constitution, whose compensation is not otherwise pro- 
vided for, which shall be paid out of any funds not other- 
wise appropriated. 

Sec. 26. Until otherwise provided by law, the judges of 
the district court shall fix the time of holding courts in their 
respective districts. 

Sec. 27. The members of the first legislature under this 
constitution shall be elected in the 3'ear Jy7i). 

Sec. 28. This constitution shall be enrolled and deposited 
in the office of the secretary of state, and printed copies 
thereof shall be prefixed to the books containing the laws of 
the State, and all future editions thereof. 



The legislature may provide that at the general election 
immediately preceding the expiration of a term of a United 
States senator from this State, the electors may by ballot, 
express their preference for some person for the office of Uni- 
ted States senator. The votes cast for such candidates shall 
be canvassed and returned in the same manner as for state 


The seat of government of the State shall not be removed 
or re-located without the assentof a majority of thp electors 
of the State, voting thereupon at a general election or elec- 
tions, under such rules and r«»gulations as to the number of 
elections and manner of voting, and places to be voted for, 
as may be prescribed by law; Frovidea, The question of 
removal may be submitted at such other general elections 
as may be provided by law. 

Done in convention at Lincoln, June 12, 1875. 

J. L. Webster, President of Convention, 
Guy a. Brown, Secretary. 



Abstracts of votes, 118. 
Acqnisitiou of torritory, 36- 

Acres, school land, 119, note 

3, 120. 

Acts, ulien in force, 140. 
Adjdiii'imient, 142. 
Adiiimistrative business, 

Ft'.l.THl, 127-129. 
Adobe, 15. 
Adoption of constitution, 


Adoption of .statutes, 53. 
Agriculture, 59, 71-73. 
Atrricuitnral college, 150. 
Aliens. 113, 135. 
Alluvium, 15. 
AmeiidmentH, 157. 
American fur trade, 30. 
Animal life, 18. 
Annujil school meeting, 83. 
Annual town meeting, 95. 
Anti-cyclone, 11. 
Antelope, 18. 

Antiquity of Nebraska his- 
tory, 27. 

Appeals, U. S. courts, 126; 
concerning claims upon 
treasury, 152; in general, 

Appointment of city officers, 

Apportionment, 67, 103, 
104, 129, 136. 

Appropriations, 57, 140. 

Arbor day, 18. 

Area of Nebraska, 2. 

Area of highest tempera- 
tures, 7. 

Ashley's expedition, 30. 
Attacks of Indians, 25. 
At large, 88. 

Attorney general, 141, 144, 

145, 149. 
Auditor of public accounts, 

141, 144, 161. 
Australian ballot law, 102. 

Bail, 134. 

Ballot, Australian, 102, 116. 

Ballots, 117, 118. 

Banking system, 129. 

Base lines, 79. 

Battles, Indian, 23-24. 

Beginning of Territory, 39, 
40, 49. 

Bill of attainder, 135. 

Bill of rights, 98, notel; 

Birds, 19. 

Bison, meaning of word, 18. 

Blind, institute for, 122. 

Blizzard, 10, 11. 

Bridges, township organiza- 
tion, 95. 

British Columbia, origin of 
storms, 11. 

Boards: of equalization, 
state, 104; state printing, 
105; of transportation, 
102, note 2, 105; of public 
lands. 104, 144; of state 
canvassers, 119. 

Bonds, 145; state, 155. 

Books, school, 84, note 1. 

Booths, election, 116, note, 

Boundaries, of State, 2, 3, 
of territory, 47. 

Buffalo: hunting, 18, 22; 
word used for bison, 18. 

Burt, Francis, -19. 

Candidates, 114, 115. 
Canvassers, state, of elec- 
tion, 119. 



Capital, effect of high rate of 

tax upon, 1 12. 
Capital fight, 54, 57; loca- 

tiou of, 161. 
Carboniferous rocics, 13. 
Care of unfortunates, 122, 

Cattle thieving, 25. 
Caucus, 114. 
Census, 136. 
Center of State, elevation of, 

Centralized government, 94. 
Certificate of citizenship, 

Cession of land, bv Indians, 

Cession of Louisiana, 37. 
Chalk rock, 14. 
Challengers, elections, 116. 
Chancery, 102, note 1, 146. 
Charitable institutions, 122. 
Cheyenne River, 6. 
Chief justices, 65, note 2, 

Cibola, cities of, 27, 28. 
Circuit courts, 126, 127. 
Circuit justices, 126. 
Cities, 86-89; ex> cutive, 87; 

judiciarv, 89; growth of, 

70; registration of, 115; 

residence, 112, 113; school 

districts, 85. 
Citizens, 113, 148. 
Civil code, 54. 

Civil government of Nebras- 
ka, 77-161. 
Civil service reform, 127- 

Civil war, effect on Indians, 

Clerks, election, 117; hire, 

Climate, 1, 7-11. 
Coal measures, 12, 13. 
Cobb, AniJisM, 64, note 2. 
Codes, crirninai and civil, re- 
peal of, 54. 
Cold with blizzards, 11. 
Colorado group, 14. 

Colorado territory, 49. 
Commerce between states, 

Commissioner, system, 91- 

94; districts, 93. 
Comnaissioners: of Dublic 

lands, 141, 144, 145; of 

school land, 149. 
Committee, central, 114; in 

legislation, 103; of the 

whole, 100, note. 
Common schools, 149-151. 
Commutation, 143. 
Composites in Nebraska, 17. 
Compromise of 1850, 41. 
Compromise, Missouri, 41. 
Corruption of blood, 99, 

note 2. 
Congress, 129-131. 

Congressional : district con- 
vention, 115; townships, 

Congressmen, 129-131. 

Constables, 93. 

Constitution, 133-161 ; 
ado|)tion of, 97; of 18()6, 
61, 62; of 1871, 63; of 
1875, 63, 158; nature of, 

Consolidated tax, 110. 

Contracts, 135. 

Conventions, party, 114, 

Corn and wheat, 71, 72, 72, 

Corouado, 27-28. 
Coroner, 93, 94. 

Corporation, 82, 83; munic- 
ipal, 154; miscellaneous, 
154; powers of, 155; rail- 
road, 153-154. 

Cost, state, 66, 67 ; territory, 

Council, of city, 88, 115; 
territorial, 45, 52. 

Country, populal.on, 70. 
Count of PeneJo>;i, 2i). 
Counting ballots, HS. 
Courses, uni vers. ty, 121. 



County, 90-95, 152, 153; 
board of ssiiiiHi-visors, 95; 
clerk, 117, 118, coroner, 
93, 91; conrt. 160; judi-e, 
93, 1 17 ; origin of, 90 ; sher- 
iff, 93; superintendent, 91, 
120, 121 ; taxes, limit, 
151, 152; treasurer, 110. 

Court, 131, 135, 115; Fed- 
eral, 12G, 127; of impeach- 
ment, 138, 139. 

Covinffton, elevation, 3. 

Criminal code, 51. 

Crops, effects of blizzards 
upon, 11. 

Cuming T. B., acting gov- 
ernor, 49. 

Cyclone, 10, 11. 

Dakotas, 23. 

Dakota group, 14. 

Days, registration, 115, 

note 2. 
Deaf and dumb, institute 

for, 122. 
Debt, imprisonment for, 135. 
Debt of territory, 56. 
Debate, liability of mem- 
bers, 140. 
Deer, IS. 

Defaulters, public, 156. 
Delegation of powers, 96. 
Democracy, representation 

in, 96; t^lieory of, 96. 
Dei)artments of government, 

Desert, Great American, 16. 
Descent of property, 135. 
Director of school districts, 

Direction of storms, 10. 
District attorney, 127; 

court, 145, 146,^60. 
Districts: congressional, 129 

-130; commissioner, 93; 

Federal courts, 120 ; of the 

State, 96, note; school, 82- 

Distribution of funds, 110. 
Distribution of rainfall, 8. 
Divides betWr-eu rivers, 4. 

Divisions of townships, 80, 
81 ; into counties, 152. 

Dog tax, 111. 

"Douglas," Lancaster coun- 
ty, 58, 68. 

Douglas, Stephen A., 40. 

Drainage, 5, 6. 

Drawing state money, 140. 

Drunkenness in public office, 

Earliest rocks, 12. 

Eastern border, elevation, 3. 

Eastern states, rainfall, 8. 

Eastern states, size, 2. 

Education, 73, 119. 149- 
151; provision for inor- 
ganic act, 45; special insti- 
tutions for, 124. 

Effect of Kansas and Ne- 
braska bill, 41-42. 

Elections, 112-119, 135, 
159; judges and clerks of, 
92, 93; of city officers, 88; 
of commis.sioners, 93, note 
1 ; returns, 141. 

Electioneering, 116. 

Electors, 112-114, 148. 

Eli'vation, 3, 4. 

Elk, 18. 

Eminent domain, 99, note 3, 

Enabling act, 61. 

Enacting clause, 137. 

Endowment, school, 119, 

Error,use of word, 99, note4. 

Error, writ of, 135. 

Evidence, 135. 

European countries, size, 2. 

Excess (if ballots, 118. 

Executive, 141-145; general 
character, 104; territorial 
officers, 44. 

Exemptions from taxation, 

Expedition : TV. H. Ashley, 
30: Gen. Fremont, 31; 
Lewis and Clark, 30; Ma- 
jor Long, Samuel Parker, 



Expenditure, school, 120, 

note 3. 
Explorers, 27-29. 
Ex post facto law, 101, note 

Expulsion of members of the 

legislature, 137. 
Extent of State, 1, 3; of set^ 

tlements, 59. 
Extra compensation, 139. 

Farm stock, value of, 60. 

Features, physical, 1. 

Federal relations, 125-131; 
courts, 126, 127. 

Fertility of soil, 15. 

Finances of State, 66; of Ter- 
ritory, 55-57, 59,60, 151, 

Fines, 131. 149-150. 

Flora of Nebraska, 15-18. 

Folding ballots, 118. 

Foreigners, 113. 

Forests, 17. 

Forfeiture, 99, note 2. 

Formation of State, 61, 62. 

Franchise, 112-114, 135, 
148, 149. 

Freedom of conscience, 133. 

Fremont's expedition, 3l. 

French explorations. 29. 

Fugitive slave provision, 45, 

Funds, school, 149. 

Fur trade, 29, 3(>. 

Funding state debt, 152. 

Games of chance, 140. 
Gage county, rocks of, 13. 
Genoa, Mormons, 34. 
General elections, 159. 
General legislation, 52, 53. 
Geogra])hical townships, 79. 
Gerrvmandering, 58, 103, 

Glacial drift, 15. 
Gold hunters, 34, 35. 
Governor, 104, 141-145, 

149 ; message, 142 ; Black, 

16, 61; Cuming, 56; of 

State, 65, note i. 

Grades of school districts, 

84, 85. 
Grasses, 17. 
Grasshoppers, 19. 
Great Aiherican Desert, 15, 16 
Great plains, floi-a of, 17. 
Greeley, A. W., 8. 
Groups of cretaceous, 14. 
Growth of constitutions, 97, 

Guide meridians, 78, 79. 
(juide parallels, 79. 
Gulf of Mexico, 1. 

Habeas corpus, 99, note 1, 

134, 146. 
Haigler, 4. 

"Half breed" tract, 22. 
High school districts, 84-85. 
High area storm, 11. 
Highest temperature, 7. 
Home for the friendless, 123. 
House of representatives, U. 

S., 129-131. 

Immigration, 58, 59. 
Impeachment, 138, 142; of 

Gov. Butler, 65, 68, note3. 
Im[)risonment, members or 

legislature, 137; for debt., 

Increase in rainfall, 8; in 

lenght of session, 64. 
Indians, 22-26; troubles of 

1890-91, 26; treatment 

of, 24, 25. 
Industrial schools, 122-124. 
Insane hospitals, 123. 
Insects, 19. 
Indebtedness of State, etc., 

Internal revenue, 125, note. 
Iowa Indians, 23. 
Iowa Laws, 53. 

James, W. H., 65. 
Jefferson, Thos., 37. 
John Brown, 55. 
Journal, 137. 

Judges: eU-ction, 117; of 
city, 89; of county, 93, 147. 



Judicial districts: of State, 

105, 146; convention, 

115; of U.S., 126, 127. 
Judiciary' of State, 65, 105. 
Justice of peace, 92, 93, 136, 

Justice of supreme court, 

Jurisdiction; original, 101, 

note 2, 146; of U. S. 

courts, 126-127 ; of courts 

of State, 145-147. 
Jury trial, 134. 

Kansas : size 2 ; tornadoes, 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 39- 

43, 44-46. 

Labor tax, 111. 

Lacotas, 23. 

Laud of the Quivera, 28. 

Lauds: survey, 77; of the 
State, 140; school, 119, 
note 3, 149; exempt from 
taxes, 151. 

Law: school, 121; of elec- 
tions, 116. 

Leasing school land, 149. 

Legal person, 82, 83. 

Legal voters, schools, 83. 

Legislation, character of; 
102-104; of territory, 52, 
of State, 64, 65, 137, 138. 

Legislative department, 136 

Legislature, 45, 119, note 1, 

Leguminosas, 17. 

Length of session, 64, 136. 

Levy, 110. 

Lewis and Clark, 22, 30. 

Liability of members of cor- 
porations, 155. 

Librarian, state, 146. 

Licenses, 111, 149-150. 

Lieutenant governor, 141- 

Lincoln, location of capital, 

Lines of elevation, 4. 

Liquor laws, 54. 

Lobbying, 103. 

Location of capital, 57, 67, 

68, 161. 
Locustw, 19, 20. 
Loess, 15. 
Log rolling, 103. 
Longest distance, 3. 
Long's expedition, 16, 30. 
Lotteries, 140. 
Lot, to decide tie, 119. 
Louisiana purchase, 36-38. 
Low area storm, 10, 11. 
Low valuation, 111. 

Malfeasance in office, 143. 

Mallet brothers, 29. 

Mammals, 18. 

Mansfield, 4. 

Manufactures, 59, 72. 

Maps: geology, 13; rivers, 
6; elevations, 4; territory, 
48, 50; state judicial dis- 
tricts, 10(); congressional 
districts, 130. 

Marking ballots, 117. 

Marquette, Father, 29. 

Marl, 15. 

Mayor, power of, 89. 

Meeting, annual town, 95; 
county board of supervis- 
ors, 95. 

Members of Congress, 66, 
notes 1 and 2. 

Membership, state legisla- 
ture, 64, 65; territorial 
legislature, 52. 

Meridians, 77-80. 

Merrill, Moses, 31. 

Message, 142. 

Metropolitan cities, 87-89. 

Military, 125, 135, 136, 143, 
148, 156. 

Milford home, 123. 

Minnesota, size, 2. 

Missouri Compromise, 40, 
41, 46. 

Missouri River, 2, 3. 

Missouri Indians, 22. 

Missouri, state, 11. 



■Mis?<ionarira, 31. 
Mississippi liiv'er, 36. 
Moderator, 84. 
Money-bills, 137. 
Money ot State, 140. 
Mormons, 33, 34. 
Morton, J. S., 58. 
Muck, 15. 

Municipal corporations, 86; 
riglits, 154-155. 

N an 1 es Pla tte &nd Nebraska, 

]S"ai)oIeoii, 37. 

Naturalization, 113. 

Nebraska: Animals, 18; 
birds, 19; boundaries, 3, 
36; climate, 7; drainage, 
5; elevation, 3; exi)lorers, 
27-30; tlcjra. 16-18; In- 
dians, 22-:>6; insects, 19; 
missionaries, 31; name 
suggested for Territory, 
39, aote 1; pojiulation, 
70, note, and 71, note 3; 
physical ieatures, 1-20; 
rainiail, 8; rocks, 12; set- 
tlement, 58, 59, 71, note 
4^siz-, 2; slope, 3,4; soils, 
15; State, formation of, 
61 ; storms, 1(», 11; sur- 
vey of, 78, 79; tempera- 
ture, 7; Territory of, 47- 
60; traders, 30; winds, 9. 

Nebraska Bill in congress, 

New ballot law, 116-117. 

Niobrara River: elevation, 
5; word iXiohrara, 5. 

No-drainage lands, 6. 

Nominations, 114.115,142. 

Normal school, 120, note 1. 

Northern boundarv, 2. 

Notaries public, 136. 

Noti:eof ini|)eaclinient, 138. 

November elections, 159. 

Number senators, 136. 

Oath of office, 156. 
Object of publicinstitutions, 

Offense.?, criminal, 134, 

Officers: elction, 117; of 
cities, 88; of house of leg- 
islature, 137, of town, 
95, note 1; of villages, 87. 

Official ballots, 117. 

Omaha, elevation, 3; Indi- 
ans, 22: smelting works, 

Ogaiallas, 23. 

Ordinance of 1787, proto- 
tyj)e of Kansas-Nebraska 
Bill, 44. 

Organic act, 44. 

Origin of county, 90. 

Oi'iginal jurisdiction, 101; 
note 2, 145. 

Otoe Indians, 22. 

Pardon.5, 143. 
Talker's expedition, 30. 
Tarty conventions. 114, 115. 
Tarties, effect of Nebraska 

Bill upon, 41. 
Pawnee Indians, 22, 23. 
■ Teddlers, 111. 
rexni\ institutions, 123,124. 
Tenuities, 135, 149, 150. 
I'enelosa, 29 
Tenitentiary. 123. 
Termancnt home of locusts, 

Teiniian Age, 13. 
Tetition, 135. 
Teat, 15. 

Thysicai features, 1. 
I'ine Ridge, 5. 
I'lain, great western, 8. 
TIant life, 15-18. 
Tlatte, name, 5. 
TIatte Valley, 4, 5. 
Tolice judge, 89. 
To itical events, 67-69. 
Toll tax, 111. 
Tonca, 4. 

I'onca Indians, 22. 
Topular sovereigntv, 41,42, 

Topulatioii, 7lt, note 1. 
Tort.s of enlry, I 28. 
Tosition of NVbraska, 1. 



Postoffl-A 127. 
Powers: county commis- 
sioners, 92 ; delegation of. 

96, 97; mayor, 8S, 89; 

United States, 1 25 ; village 

board of trustees, 87, note 

Precincts, 9-1; officers, 92, 

93, 136. 
President of senate, 144. 
Presidential candidates, 

Presiding officer of house, 

Press, freedom of, 134. 
Prevailing winds, 9. 
Primaries, 114, 115. 
Privileges of members, 138. 
Probate judge, 93, IGU. _ 
Property, descent of, 135. 
Propositions, constitution 

of, 63, 75. 
Publication of laws, 140, 

Public highways, 153. 
Public institutions, 122- 

Publicity of proceedings, 

Punishments, 134. 

Qualifications: of members 
of the legislature. 138; of 
state officers, 141 ; of su- 
pervisor.s of registration, 
115, note 1; of voters, 

Qui vera, land of, 28. 

Quorum, 137. 

Railroads, 128, 129, 153, 

Rainfall, 7, 8. 
Ranue of temperature, 7. 
Ranges, 79, 80. 
Rank of Nebraska: in crops, 

73; in population, 71 ; in 

school expense, 73. 
Readings of bills, 137, 138. 
Reform, civil service, 127, 


Reform schools, 122, 123, 

Regents, 150, 160. 
Registration, 115, 116. 
Relinious freedom, 133. 
Removal of capital, 54,57. 
Removals by governor, 142. 
Re])eal of laws, 54. 
Reporter, supreme court, 

Reports, state officers, 144. 
Representative district, con- 
vention, 115. 
Representation, democracy, 

Representations: in state 
legislature. 65: of town in 
county board, 95. 
Reprieves, 143. 
Reptiles, 19. 
Republican Yallev, 6, 
Residence, 112, 113, 141. 
Resident aliens, 135. 
Reservation, 23. 
Resources of State, 70-73. 
Returns of election, 116, 

Revenue, 151-152; of Terri- 
torv, 56; of State, 67; 
school, 120,121, notel. 
Revision of constitution, 

Right of property, 99, note 

Rights, 133-135. 
Rise in elevation, 4. 
River svstems, 6. 
Road: district, 93; tax, 111. 
Kocks, 12-14. 

Rocky Mountains: effect on 
climate, 1; flora of, 17; 
origin of storms in, 10. 
Rotten limestones, 14. 

St.I.ouis: court of appeals, 

126; fur trade. 30. 
Salarie.s, 145; of judges, 
147; of members of legis- 
lature, 13G. 
' Saloons, election day. 116. 



Salt, effect on flora, 17. 

Salt springs, 140. 

Sample ballots, 117. 

Santee Sioux, 23. 

Schedule, 157-161. 

School: boards of country 
districts, 84; buildings, 
cost, 120, note 3; books, 
84; county superintend- 
ent, 94; districts, 82-85; 
land, 149; taxes, 107- 
112; trustees, 85. 

Scirgemot, 92. 

Scott's Bluff, 5. 

Seal, 145. 

Search and seizure, ]34. 

Season of rainfall, 7, 8. 

Seat of government, 161. 

Secretary of state, 141, 144, 
145, 149. 

Sectarian instruction, 150. 

Sections, 80. 

Sections of school land, 119, 
note 3. 

Sectional struuglt^, 57, 68. 

Senatorial districts, conven- 
tions, 1 1 5. 

Senators: number, state 
legislature, 64, 65; United 
States, 129. 

Serpents, 19. 

Sessions, state legislature, 
63, note 4, 64, 136. 137. 

Settlements, 58, 59 ; by Mor- 
mons, 33, 34. 

Seven cities of Cibola, 27, 

Sheriff, 93. 

Shire, 90. 

Sidewalk tax. 111. 

Sidney, 4. 

Signing bills, 138. 

Sioux, 23. 

Situation of State, 1. 

Sixth principal meridian, 78. 

Size of Nebrtiska, 1, 2. 

Slavery, 40, 41, 45, 55,133. 

Snow with blizzards, 11. 

South Dakota, size, 2. 

Southern boundary, 3. 

Spaniards, 27-29. 

Spanish possessions in Amer- 
ica, 36. 

Speaker of the House, 144. 

Special legislation, 52, 53, 

Special taxes. 111. 

Species of plant life, IG. 

Sprinkling tax. 111. 

Square miles, 2. 

Squatter sovereignty, 41. 

State: as a corporation, 96; 
board of canvassers, 119, 
note 2; boards, 104, 105; 
central committee, 114; 
citizens of, 113; civil gov- 
ernment of, 96; finances, 
66; formation of, 61, 62; 
governors, 65, note 1; ju- 
dicial districts, 146; judi- 
ciary, 65, 105; legislature, 
64, 65; members of con- 
gress, 66, notes 1 and 2; 
period of, 61-69; resources, 

Statutory, 97, 98. 

Stock of railroads, 153. 

Stock raising 72. 

Storms, 9-11. 

Street railways, 154, 155. 

Studies on constitution, 98- 

Subjects of bill, 138. 

Succession to governorship, 

Suffrage, 148, 149. 

Suits against and by State, 

Suits, United States courts, 
126, 127. 

Summer school, 121, note2, 

Summit of Rockies, 47. 

Supei'intendent: county, 94, 
120, 121; state, 141, 144, 

Supervisor of registration, 

Supervisor system, 91. 

Supreme court, 145,160. 



Surface, character of, 5. 
Surveys, 77-81. 

Taxation, 107-112, 151; 
dog, 111; labor. 111; ped- 
lers, toll. Ill; school, 85, 
120, note, 2; sidewalk, 
special, sprinkling. 111. 

Teachers, cost of, 120, note 

Tenipprature, 7. 

Teni])oi'ary aj)poiutments, 

Ten]f)orary school funds, 

Term: state and county offi- 
cers, 160; supreme court, 
14(5; irember.s of legisla- 
ture, 136; treasurer, 141. 

Territory, 47-60. 

Teton Sioux, 23. 


Tie, county elections, 119. 

Time of session, 137. 

Time of residence, 112. 

Tornadoes, 10, 11. 

Towns, 94, note 1, 95. 

Town meeting, 95. 

Township organization, 94, 
95, 136, 153. 

Transportation, 99, note 2, 
102, note 2. 

Treason, 135, 143. 

Treasurer: school district, 
84; state, 141,144, 149. 

Treaties, 22, 36-38. 

Trees, 17. 

Trial by jury, 134. 

Two legislatures, 62. 

Underground railroad, 55. 
Uniformity of laws, 147. 
United States: citizmis of, 

113; senators, 161; land 

survey, 77-81. 
University, 120, note 1, 121, 

note 2, 150; exteusiou, 

121, note 2, 5. 
Utah, size, 2. 

A'acancies, 140; in office, 144, 

Valleys, elevation, 4, 5. 
Yalli'ys, in NebrasUa, 5. 
Valley of the Niobrara, 5. 
Veto power, 143-144. 
Village organization, 87, 

note 1; trustees, 87. 

Villages, number, 71. 

Votes, counting, 118. 

Vote on adoption of constitu- 
tion of 1866, ()2; on consti- 
tution of 1^75, 63, note 3. 

Vote on Nebraska Iiill.42. 

Voting, 135; legi.-latjire, 
137; corporations, 155. 

Voters, those not, 113; 
"white," 45. 

Wards, 87. 
War of 1890-91, 26. 
Wealth of Tei-ritory, 59. 
West, elevation, 5 
Western boundary, 3. 
Wheat and corn, 71-73, 72, 

note 1. 
AVhig party, destroyed by 

Nebraska Bill, 41. 
White Earth River as a 

boundary, 47, note 1. 
White River, 6. 
Wilkins secretary of war, 

suugests name Nebraska, 

39, note 1. 

Winds, 8-11. 
Winnebago Indians, 23. 
" Winter quarters," 33. 
Wisconsin, center of fur 

trade, 29. 
Women and voting. 114. 
Writ of error, 135, 99, note 

Writ, definition of, 90, note 

Written constitution, 97. 


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