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Nebraska Estate Historical. 

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State Historical Society 

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Edited by ROBERT W. FURNAS. 

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I. — Oeganization and Proceedings. page 

Origin of the Nebraska State Historical Society 13-16 

Meeting of January 23, 1879 16-17 

" 20,1880 17-18 

" 11, 1881 18-21 

17,1883 21-22 

Treasurer's report 21-22 

County histories, list of 23-24 

II. — Pioneer Eeminiscences. 

Historical recollections in and about Otoe county — 

-Paper of James Fitche 27-31 

-Letter of S. F. Nuckolls 32-37 

Otoe county in early days, by E. H. Cowles 37-42 

Historical letters of Father DeSmet 42-44 

First white child born in Nebraska 44-47 

_ Father William Hamilton on traditional origin of Omahas and other 

tribes 47-48 

Robert W. Furnas on the same 48-49 

Some historical data about Washington county 49-56 

Relics in possession of .the Society 56-58 

First female suffragist movement in Nebraska 58-60 

- Autobiography of Rev. William Hamilton 60-73 

Father Hamilton on derivation of Indian names 73-75 

Henry Fontenelle on derivation of Indian names 76 

History of Omaha Indians, by Henry Fontenelle 76-83 

Anecdotes relating to "White Cow" or "White Buffalo," by R. W. 

Furnas 83-85 

III. — Biographical. 

Amelia Fontenelle Lockett 89 

Notes relating to Fontenelle Family, by Mrs. A. L. Thompson 90-93 

Death of Gov. Francis Burt 93-95 

-Mrs. Mary T. Mason 96-100 

_ Dr. Gilbert C. Monell 100-102 

-Hon. Phineas W. Hitchcock : 102-103 

Joel T. Grififen ...104-106 

-Bishop Robert H. Clarkson 106-111 

Dr. Enos.Lowe 111-114 

Mrs. Caroline Joy Morton 115-127 

Moses Stocking 128-137 




Rev. William McCandlish 138 

John McCormick 139-140 

S. S. Caldwell 140-141 

Hon. John Ta£fe 141-142 

Elder J. M. Young 142-144 

Charles Powell 144 

Eev. Alvin G. White 145 


Addresses — 

Annual address of R. W. Furnas, 1880 149-151 

- The Philosophy of Emigration, by Hon. J. M. Woolworth 151 161 

Admission of Nebraska into the Union, by Hon. C. H. Gere 162-173 

- Gold at Pike's Peak— Rush for— Stampede, by Dr. A. L Child.. 174-180 

The Discovery of Nebraska, by Judge J. W. Savage 180-202 

The Place of History in Modern Education, by G. E. Howard... 202-217 

The organic act * 218 

Constitution and by-laws 219-228 

Officers, 1885 228 

List of active members 229-230 

Brownville, Nebraska, Jan. 1st, 1885. 
To the Hon. James W. Dawes, Governor of Nebraska : 

Sir — In accordance with the requirements of "An act to aid and 
i^ncoiirage the Nebraska State Historical Society," approved February 
27th, 1883, I hereby submit this the first report of said organization. 
Very respectfully, 





The preparation of this first report of the Nebraska State Histor- 
ical Society for publication, while entered upon with much interest 
and pleasure, has been surrounded with many disadvantageous con- 
ditions. Principal among which has been want of time, owing to 
other pressing duties, since the work came into my hands. The 
Secretary left the state a year or more ago. Since then I have 
performed the duties of both President and Secretary. The books 
and papers of the Society came into my hands in a confused con- 
dition, requiring much time to digest and arrange. While not as 
much as I desired has been accomplished, I feel that a good work 
has been commenced, and now can be followed up under more favor- 
able conditions. 

I find it quite difficult to obtain existing desirable data and matter 
by correspondence. To be entirely successful requires personal visits 
and attention. This has not been possible heretofore, but will be 
resorted to more in the future. 

In this report, in matter of biographies, I have, with a single ex- 
ception, confined myself to those early pioneers who have died. The 
autobiography of Fath-er Hamilton, the oldest of all, is so full of in- 
teresting history that I present it in this volume. 

I have on file the autobiographies of many of the old and promi- 
nent citizens, still living, for future use. 

As to future collections and reports, I feel I cannot too strongly 
urge the people of the state to make contributions. The importance 
of such work requires no argument. A moment^s thought will con- 
vince all. Only let thoughts be followed by acts and an invaluable 
work is easily and quickly accomplished. 





RoBT. W. FuRXAS, President, Brownville. 

J. M. AVooLWORTH, 1st Vice-President, Omaha. 

E. S. DuxDY, 2d Vice-President, Omaha. 

W. AV. WiLSOX, Treasurer, Lincoln. 

Samuel Aug-hey, Recording Secretary, Lincoln. 

Mes. C. B. Colby, Corresponding Secretary, Beatrice. 


Silas Garber, Red Cloud. 
J. Sterlixo Mortox, Xebraska City. 
H. T. Clarke, Belle vue. 
LoEEXZO Crouxse, Fort Calhoun. 
C. D. WiLBER, Wilber. 









The present historical society was organized at the time, date, and 
under circumstances as hereinafter indicated. Some thirty or more 
days prior to Sept. 25th, 1878, the following circular was signed and 
generally published in state papers : 

Nebraska State Historical Society. 

The undersigned, impressed with the importance of collecting and 
preserving, in particular, such historical material as shall serve to 
illustrate the settlement and growth of the state of Nebraska, and 
knowing that much valuable to that end can now be obtained from 
living tongues and pens of those familiar from organization, and 
which may be lost by further procrastination, adopt this method of 
securing the organization of a state historical society. We call on 
friends of the object in view throughout the state to meet at the Com- 
mercial Hotel in the city of Lincoln, on the evening of Wednesday, 
September twenty-fifth, 1878, for the purpose herein indicated. 

Alvin Saunders. Geo. L. Miller. 

A. S. Paddock. J. Sterling Morton. 

Robert Hawke. J. C. Lincoln. 

R. R. Livingston. Wm. Adair. 

D. H. Wheeler. J. L. Edwards. 

E. Lowe. El am Clark. 
John L. Carson. E. B. Fairfield. 
Silas Garber. G. C. Barton. 
Frank Welch. E. H. Rogers. 
Robt. W. Furnas. Thos. W. Tipton. 

The above circular letter was obtained by addressing the following 
letter to the parties : 



Brownville, Neb., Aug. 12th, 1878. 
My Dear Sir— Feeling, as I presume every citizen of this state 
does, the necessity for a state historical association, after some consul- 
tation with persons in several parts of the state, it is thought advisa- 
ble to call a meeting at Lincoln on some day of the State Fair to 
effect the organization of a state historical society/' Would like 
your, views, and, if favorably entertained, to use your name to such 
call. Please advise me at your earliest convenience. 

Verv truly yours, 


In pursuance of this call the foliowing meetings were held, and 
the organization perfected : 

LmcoLX, Neb., Sept. 25th, 1878, 

Pursuant to a call heretofore published, the following named gen- 
tlemen convened at the Commercial Hotel, Lincoln, Neb.: 

Dr. George L. Miller, Chris, Hartman, and J. T. Allan, Douglas 
county; Gov. Silas Garber and H. S. Kaley, Webster county; S. P. 
Thompson, T. P. Kennard, W. W. Wilson, and Samuel Aughey, 
Lancaster county; Rev. J. M. Taggart and J. H. Croxton, Otoe 
county; C. H. Walker, Franklin county; Hon. L. Crounse and E. 
N. Grennell, Washington county; Prof. C. D. Wilbur, Saline county; 
J. Q. Goss, Sarpy county; D. H. Wheeler and Wm. Gilmore, Cass 
county; O. T. B. Williams, Seward county; L. B. Fifield, Buffalo 
county; Rev. L. B. W. Shryock and E, Shugart, Gage county; Wm. 
Adair, Dacotah county ; and Robt. W. Furnas, Nemaha county. 

Robt. W. Furnas called the meeting to order, and on his nomina- 
tion Dr. George L. Miller was elected temporary chairman. R. W. 
Furnas was elected Secretary on motion of D. H. Wheeler. 

Dr. Miller on taking the chair delivered a short, approjn'iate, and 
pressing address on the importance of forming a historical society, 
and regretting that it had not been done before. 

On motion of S. R. Thompson, the Chair ap]:>ointed the following 
gentlemen Committee on Organization: S. R. Thompson, J. Q. Goss, 
D. H. Wheeler, J. M. Taggart, and Lorenzo Crounse. 

The committee in due time made the following report, which was 
adopted : 

Your committee to which was referred the matter of organization, 



report favorably, and recommend that the name of the organization be 
Nebraska State Historical Society." That the officers be one presi- 
dent, two vice-presidents, treasurer, and secretary. Also a board of 
five directors. Membership to be elective, upon the payment of a fee 
and annual assessment to be agreed upon hereafter. Also that com- 
mittees be appointed on permanent officers and constitution and by- 

In compliance with recommendations of the report the Chair ap- 
pointed the following committees: 

On Permanent Officers: T. P. Kennard, Silas Garber, E. N. Gren- 
nell, O. T. B. Williams, and C. D. Wilbur. 

On Constitution and By-Laws: D. H.Wheeler, J. T. Allan, L. B. 
W. Shryock, J. H. Croxtou, and Samuel Aughey. 

On motion, the meeting then adjourned to meet at same place to- 
morrow evening. 




i^iNCOLN, Neb., Sept. 26th, 1878. 

Pursuant to adjournment the meeting convened with the follow^ing 
additional named gentlemen: H. T. Clark, Sarpy county; J, H. 
Brown, A. Humphrey, J. H. Ames, John Cadman, and A. G. Hast- 
ings, of Lancaster county ; J. A. MacMurphy, Cass county ; Hiram 
Craig, Washington county; J. J. Budd, Douglas county; F. J. Hen- 
dershot, Thayer county; S. A. Fulton, Richardson county; Theron 
Nye, Dodge county. 

Dr. Miller, chairman, being absent, Gov. Silas Garber was called 
to the chair. 

The Committee on Constitution and By-Laws, through Prof. 
Aughey, presented a constitution and by-laws, which, after being 
read in full, were adopted.* 

Mr. Kennard, from the Committee on Permanent Officers, reported 
as follows, which report was adopted, and the officers declared duly 
elected : 

*The constitution and by-laws as then adopted, and since amended, will be 
found in the Appendix to this report. 



President — Ex-Gov. Robt. W. Furnas, Nemaha county. 

First Vice-President — Dr. Geo. L. Miller, Douglas county. 

Second Vice-President — Judge E. S. Dundy, Richardson county. 

Treasurer — W. W. Wilson, Lancaster county. 

Secretary — Prof. Samuel Aughey, Lancaster county. 

Corresponding Secretary — D. H. Wheeler, Cass county. 

Directors — Gov. Silas Garber, Hon. J. Sterling Morton, Prof. C. 
D. Wilbur, Dr. G. C. Monell, and Hon. Lorenzo Crounse. 

The committee recommend that the President and Secretary be ex- 
officio members of the Board of Directors, which by vote was agreed 

Meeting adjourned to meet again at the same place September 30th 





As the annual and quarterly convocations are mere business meet- 
ings it is not deemed important that the details be given in an annual 
report. The proceedings of the first meeting are presented in full 
because of its historic character. Of all others a mere summary is 


Met at library hall, University building, Lincoln. Old officers re- 
elected. Ordered that Recording Secretary perform duties of both 
corresponding and Recording Secretary. Matter of Historical block 
was discussed, and W. W. Wilson, H. T. Clark, and O. T. B. Wil- 
liams appointed a committee to memorialize the legislature to restore 
said block to the Historical Society. Secretary ordered to publish in 
pamphlet form 1000, copies of Constitution and By-Laws, also to have 



a book-case made to not exceed in cost $16; $20 appropriated to de- 
fray incidental expenses of Secretary's office for the year. 

Secretary reported that he had corresponded with various individ- 
uals in the state with a view to obtain historical matter and data, and 
had received fair responses. That he had received also historical docu- 
ments from other state societies. That he had labeled all books and 
papers received, and properly filed matter obtained in manuscript 
form. The secretary asked for authority to purchase letter files. 
Granted. He reported that room could be had in University build- 
ing free of cost for book-case and other property of the Society. Ac- 
cepted with thanks. 


Met in University chapel, Lincoln. New members elected : Geo. 
W. Doane, S. G. Owen, L. A. Kent, H. B. Mathewson, John Heth, 
D. Butler, J. Dougherty, V. Yivquain, and J. M. Woolworth ; Eev. 
Wm. Hamilton was made a life honorary member. 

Old officers re elected except J. M. Woolworth, who was elected 
1st Vice-President in place of Geo. L. Miller. 

The question of Historical block was again brought up, and after 
discussion a committee consisting of C. O. Whedon, J. M. Wool- 
worth, and J. R. Webster was appointed to examine and report on 
the legal aspect of the case and to obtain unity of action on the part 
of the old and dormant " Nebraska Historical and Library Associa- 
tion" and this organization. 

Robt. W. Furnas, J. M. Woolworth, H. T. Clarke, J. A. Mac- 
Murphy, and S. Aughey, appointed a committee to secure the co-oper- 
ation of County Historical and Old Settlers' Association with this. 

By-Laws of the Society were amended providing for quarterly meet- 
ings at such places in the state as might be agreed upon. The first 
was fixed at Omaha, and Judge Savage invited to deliver an address 
on the Discovery of Nebraska." 



Secretary allowed $25 for incidental expenses of his office and a 
salary of $100 for the year 1880. 

Secretary reported he had, in compliance with instructions, printed 
Constitution and By-Laws ; that the legislature had been memorialized 
to restore Historical block, but by efforts of citizens of Lincoln the 
prayer was not granted; that the old society had commenced legal 
proceedings to obtain said block; that some historical data had been 
obtained from individuals and county authorities, and filed. The 
whole number of books and pam])hlets received during the year was 
83; of manuscripts, 41 ; of historical newspapers, 51 ; of those not 
yet classified, 75. Total, 250. 

The Secretary reported considerable feeling in the state as to the 
diversion of Historical block by the legislature — taking it from the 
Society and giving it to the city of Lincoln. 

Met at University chapel, Lincoln. 

Mr. Woolworth presented the following report from the committee 
appointed to examine the legal status of Historical block matter : 

310 South 13th Street, 
Omaha, July 2ist, 1880. 

To the State Histoincal Society : 

Your committee, to whom was' referred the matter of the block 
number twenty-nine, in the city of Lincoln, claimed to have been ap- 
propriated by the state of Nebraska to the purposes of the State His- 
torical Society, have had the same under advisement and report as 
follow^s : 

1. By an act of the legislature of the state entitled ^^An act to pro- 
vide for the the seat of government of the state of Nebraska, and for 
the erection of public buildings thereat,^' approved June 14, 1867, the 
commissioners for selecting the site for the capital were required to 
make three plats thereof, on which, among other blocks, were to be 
laid out " public squares or reservations for public buildings," and 
these plats were to be made public records by filing them in certain 
public offices. 



2. Tlie coiuiiiissioiiers, having selected the present site of Lincoln 
for the purposes of tlie act, caused plats thereof to be made, on each 
of which block twenty-nine was desiiiiiated as the ^' State Ilistorical 
and Library Association Block/' and on the legend it was thus re- 
fei'red to — " The following blocks are reserved for public purposes : 
* * * Block 29, for State Historical Library Association, incor- 
porated August 26ih, 1867." These plats were duly filed in pursu- 
ance of the act. The commissioners, in their report to the legislature 
of their doings, specially state that the reservation of a block for the 
State Historical and Library Association had been made. 

3. On the 15th of February, 1869, the legislature passed a joint 
resolution adopting the plat, with "all reservations of public squares.'^ 

4. On the 26th of August, 1S67, certain persons procured their 
incorporation under the general laws of the state for the purpose of 
establishing a state historical and library association,'' and it is un- 
derstood by your committee that that corporation is still in existence. 

5. On the 24th of February, 1875, the legislature passed an act do- 
nating this block to the city of Lincoln for the purposes of a market. 

6. Your committee, after the most careful consideration, are of the 
opinion that the state had, before the act of February, 1875, divested 
itself of all right over this block of land, and that the grant to the 
city of Lincoln was void. It is not clear to your committee whether 
the association which became incorporated August 26, 1867, and was 
referred to in the legend of the plats, is entitled to the block. Your 
committee recommend the passage of the following resolution: 

Resolved, That a committee be raised composed of three members 
of this Society, to be appointed by the Chair, to confer with the State 
Historical and Library Association, incorporated August 26th, 1867, 
for the purpose of harmonizing and uniting their interests, and in 
connection with, or apart from, the said Association to institute proper 
legal proceedings to have the act of the legislature granting block 29, 
in Lincoln, to that city, declared by the proper judicial courts null and 

All which is respectfully submitted. 





My only criticism on this report is that I hardly wish to admit a 
doubt of the title of the old incorporation (see page iv., top). In re- 
spect to Mr. Wool worth's judgment^ I defer to his opinion. 

I am in favor of the uniting of the two societies. 


Reported also that the old society had revived and put itself in 
shape to work in harmony with this organization to secure, if possible, 
the property in question. 

J. A. MacMurphy, J. M. Wool worth, Lorenzo Crounse, C. H. Gere, 
and C. O. Whedon were appointed a committee to draft a bill and 
ask its passage by the legislature, recognizing this organization as a 
state institution, requiring the President to report annually to the gov- 
ernor, as other institutions, and the state to print such reports as pub- 
lic documents. 

J. M. Woolworth, J. R. Webster, and C. O. Whedon appointed 
committee on union of the old and this society. 

The President announced that he had much valuable historical mat- 
ter he would present to the Society when it was in condition to care 
for and preserve it. 

Mr. Woolworth gave an outline account of a historical mantel-piece 
he was constructing in his new building in Omaha. 

At this meeting Dr. A. L. Child, of Plattsmouth, read a paper, 
^^Gold at Pike's Peak— Rush for — Stampede.'' (This address will 
be found in its place in the Appendix.) 

• A quarterly meeting was appointed for April, at i^ebraska City, 
and J. Sterling Morton invited to address it. Also, a meeting was 
provided for at Plattsmouth, in October, the orator to be selected here- 
after. No meetings, however, were held at either of these places. 
The old officers were all re-elected. 

Secretary reported he had sent out 600 of our circulars, 200 of our 
Constitution and By-Laws, and had written 211 letters; that he has 
on file 800 books, pamphlets, and manuscripts ; that he encounters 
increased and bitter opposition because of action of Lincoln people 
and the legislature in the matter of the Historical block. 



Dr. Child presented the organization with a copy of Fremont's 
First and Second Expedition, 1842-3-4/' for which thanks were ex- 

Owing to absence of officers there was no annual meeting held in 

Met at Commercial Hotel parlor, Lincoln. 

Death of Moses Stocking announced. R. W. Furnas, S. Aughey 
and W. W. Wilson were appointed a committee on resolutions ex- 
pressive of the feelings of this Society at the loss of Mr. Stocking. 

The old officers were re-elected. The office of Recording Secretary 
was revived, and Mrs. C. B. Colby elected to fill this place. 

W. H. Eller was elected a member of the Association. 

The Secretary reported now on hand 925 books, pamphlets, and 

R. W. Furnas, David Butler, and C. O. Whedon were appointed 
a committee to again ask the legislature for recognition as a state in- 
stitution, and for a small appropriation to collect historical data and 
matter, and to obtain, if possible, a room in the Capitol building for 
library and other accumulating matter. 

An hour was spent in relating reminiscences, participated in by 
Messrs. Merritt, Allan, Grennell, Wheeler, Clark, Dinsmore, Mullon, 
Furnas, and others. 

The following is the Treasurer's Report, from organization to date : 


■ For every year since the organization of the State Historical Society. 
Year 1879. 

To amount fees and dues |60 00 

By amount paid out on order 54 59 

Balance I 5 41 

3 • 


Year 1880. 

Balance, as per report of '79 $ 5 4] 

To amount lees and dues 64 00 

$69 41 

By amount paid out on order 50 80 

' Balance $18 61 

Year 1881. 

To balance on hand as per report of '80 $18 61 

To amount fees and dues 24 00 

$42 61 

By amount paid out on order , 42 00 

Balance $ 61 

To the Hon, R. W. Furnas^ President of Nebraska State Historical 
Society : 

I have the honor to submit my annual report, as your Treasurer of 
Nebraska State Historical Society, for the year 1883 : 

To balance on hand, as per report of '81.. $ 61 

To amount fees and dues ob 00 

To cash received of state treasurer, as per appropriation by 

legislature 500 00 

$535 61 

By cash paid State Journal for letter heads, as per voucher... 9 00 

Balance on hand , $526 61 

liespectfully submitted, 


Treas. Neb. Hist. Society. 

Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 2d, 1884. 

This balance is deposited in 1st National Bank, Lincoln, in name 
of Nebraska State Historical Society, the $500 to draw 3 per cent in- 
terest if left for three months or longer. 


1 1 IS'rOli 1 K8 OF COUNTI ES. 

We have collected, and have on file, reliable, detailed histories of the 
following counties, together with many interesting reminiscences con- 
nected therewith. These are entirely too voluminous for publication 
as part of this report. But will form the basis, as valuable data for 
future historical use and publication. 

Antelope county. 

Boone county, prepared by S. P. Bollman. 

Butler county, pre})ared by G. L. Brown. 

Colfax county, prepared by Wm. Draper. 

Clay county, prepared by Dr. M. Clark. 

Cuming county, prepared by E. N. Sweet. 

Cass county, prepared by A. L. Childs. 

Cedar county, prepared by L. E. Jones. « 

Dixon county, prepared by Ed. Arnold. 

Dawson county, prepared by T. J. Jewett. 

Dodge county, prepared by L. J. Abbott. 

Douglas county, prepared by E. Estabrook. 

Dacotah county, prepared by Wm. Adair. 

Franklin county, prepared by M. O'Sullivan. 

Furnas county, prepared by W. E. Crutcher. 

Fillmore county, prepared by W. H. Blaine. 

Gage cou.ity, prepared by W. H. Soraers. 

Howard county, prepared by R. Harvey. 

Hamilton county, prepared by L. W. Hastings. 

Hall county, prepared by Wm. Stolley. 

Johnson county, prepared by Andrew Cook. 

Knox county, prepared by A. L. Towle. 

Lancaster county, prepared by C. H. Gere. 

Merrick county, prepared by J. L. Martin, 

Madison county, prepared by Judge M'Callum. 

Nemaha county, prepared by Robt. W. Furnas. 



Otoe county, prepared by J. Sterling Morton. 
Polk county, prepared bv A. Nance. 
Pawnee county, prepared by J. L. Edwards. 
Red Willow county, prepared by Royal Buck. 
Seward county, prepared by O. T. B. Williams. 
Saline county. 

Saunders county, prepared by Moses Stocking. 
Sarpy county, prepared by S. D. Bangs. 
Webster county, prepared by H. S. Kaley. 
Washington county. 

Wayne county, prepared by R. B. Crawford. 
York county, prepared by F. M. Connelly. 



To James Fitche, of Nebraska City, the Society is indebted for the 
following recollections, reminiscences, and records. A portion are 
papers read before the Otoe county Old Settlers' Association, and 
others as furnished and published in the local newspapers. 

The following is a paper read by Mr. Fitche, at an Old Settlers' 

On the 19th of May, 1855, I left Muscatine, Iowa, in company 
with Mr. John Hays, Mr. Eaymer, and Mr. Gates, together with 
their families, bound for Nebraska. When about half way across 
the state of Iowa we met families returning, who assured us if we 
went into the territory we would not get out alive. 

Our small party paused to hold a council and the majority were in- 
clined to recede. I was consulted as the senior. My reply was, 
^''On, Stanley, on,' Ave are this far, let us see the elephant." Had 
my family been along, my decision might have been different. 

I have always looked on that moment as one upon which hinged 
our weal or woe; especially when I look around upon the numbers it 
brought into this place, you would scarcely believe, were it possible 
for me to enumerate, and all due to my elephant speech " on the 
bleak prairies of Iowa. 

On the 6th of June, '55, I first put foot on Nebraska soil, guiding 
the near ox by the horn off the ferry boat at Florence. Oh, how warm, 
and the river so muddy; it seemed thick enough to make slapjacks. 
I asked the pilot what made the water so dirty. He said 'twas the 
last river in creation, and when the Almighty finished all the rest he 
gathered up all the slops and made the Missouri. 

We camped in a ravine where now stands the beautiful and wealthy 
city of Omaha. 


The next day, in company with Mr. Hays, I started for Tekama. 



The first night out we experienced a terrible thunder storm, and not 
a vestige of shelter; not even a glimmer from a shanty to cheer the 
lonely night. The second day the heat was excessive, and doubly op- 
pressive for want of water. Toward evening we struck a trail leading 
to timber which we followed, thinking to find water, but not a drop 
to moisten our parched lips. Upon entering the timber we saw a large 
tree with a chip taken out, and qu close inspection noticed an arrow 
or finger pointing the direction we came, under which was written, 
^^Four miles to Tekama.'' To the heart and hand that placed 
that small though potent inscription there we might attribute the 
preservation of our lives. It is needless to say we took courage and 
retraced our steps. About 12 o'clock at night we reached the city, 
consisting of one tent and two small cabins covered with bark. Here 
we found Mr. John Young, an old acquaintance, who gave us tea and 
refreshments which revived us greatly. After a sound sleep and 
hearty breakfast we each laid claim to a section of land, after which 
we returned to camp, feeling so rich. Go away with your small east- 
ern lots. I would not take one as a gift. We have never since vicAved 
our possession ; for aught we know they have been sold for taxes. 

We again hitched up " Buck " and " Berry,'' and our party recrossed 
the Muddy, traveled down the Iowa side, and pitched our tents opposite 
this place. Mr, Hays and myself crossed in a flat-boat. Was kindly 
received by Mr. John McMecham and family, at whose house good 
square meals were dished up by a young boy who grew up to be the 
good man Edward Henry. 


Wending our way up, not Main street, but a ravine where now 
stands Pinney & Thorp's mill; the hot sun scorching us suggested 
something to take, and had we known that Wallace Pearman could 
have slaked our thirst, gladly would we have patronized him, for we 
were '^orfui dry." 

After viewing for several days the beautiful limpid streams skirted 
with timber, the undulating prairies dotted all over with choice flowers^ 
and comparing all with the country surrounding Omaha, we concluded 
to make this our future home. Accordingly, on the first of August I 
started back to Muscatine, Iowa, for my family, on foot, a distance of 
over three hundred miles, with a little "grub," a quart canteen, and 



two and one-half dollars in my pocket. On one occasion I traveled 
six miles out of my way to get a canteen full of water. Two nights, 
being unable to reach a house, I lay on the prairie with no covering 
but the starry decked canopy of heaven, with nothing to break the 
monotony save the buzz of the mosquito, who, like a hungry creditor, 
insisted on presenting his bill. I made the night short for fear Mr. 
Wolf would find lawful prey. The only weapon I had was a one 
bladed knife to sharpen my pencil — the only dangerous weapon I 
ever carried was when, in our country^s need, Col. Ivers, some others, 
and myself, in order to show the blood of our forefathers and the 
ambition of our mothers, carried an old rusty musket and drove the 
Indians into the Rocky Mountains, where Col. Chuniugton put his 
foot on them. If my own gun was ever loaded some other person 
fired it 0% or the load is in her yet. 

Please excuse the divergence. To resume, I arrived home after 
about three months' absence, and when nearing my house two little 
boys seeing me ran in trembling with fright, and said to their 
mother, '4iere comes a crazy man." 


Soon again I turned westward with my family, and on the 10th 
day of October, 1855, again set foot in Nebraska, taking up our abode 
in a most dilapidated shanty situated on Kearney Heights, and known 
as Christy's college, where we were visited soon after by Mr. John B. 
Boulware, and on casting his eye around he said, ^^This will not do, 
I have a better house near the landing, move into it," And gladly 
we accepted the proffered kindness. Moving was easy, a few wheel- 
barrow loads and we M^ere confortably situated in the new quarters. 
The next day Mrs. Boulware called, and in her we found a friend in- 
deed, only equaled by her husband. The memory of all their kind 
deeds will ever be cherished by our family, and so far as dollars and 
cents could repay them, John was remunerated with both principal 
and interest in after years when he visited us at Camp Creek. 


Mr. President, these are but the outlines of the initiatory steps over 
the threshold of Nebraska. I suppose every one here remembers too 
well their own checkered path. In those days I considered myself a 



pretty good carpenter, but unfortunately my tool chest, together with 
some other things shipped from Muscatine, did not arrive until the 
following spring. Then the all important question arose as to how I 
was to support my family, with cruel winter staring me in the face, 
no tools to work with and no acquaintance with the only firm that kept 
them. One morning I plucked up courage — did I say courage, not I, 
for I had none. However, I got to the store by the ground not com- 
plying with my foolish wishes to open and swallow me up. What a 
task for me to ask an entire stranger to trust me for a set of tools. 
One of the proprietors was pointed out to me, who proved to be Mr. 
Nuckols, of the firm of Nuckols, Hail & Vandorn. I approached 
him with a bow and the salutation of the morning, and commenced 
to tell my story; that I was a carpenter with a large family; then 
come the tug of war; he surveyed me a moment from head to foot, 
then said, "do you intend to remain here?" "Yes." It was easily 
answered for we could not get away. He turned and said, John, let 
this man have what he wants. That sounded good, and after select- 
ing such things as I stood most in need of, John said, is there any- 
thing else? That sounded still better. I have always tfiought John 
was the nearest "white" of any man I ever knew, when gathering up 
my tools. Mr. Nuckolls asked me if I could do a job for Judge 
Bradford. It was a small one, for which he paid me a five dollar 
gold piece. Oh! how large it looked. And just here I claim to 
have made the first window sash by hand that was ever made in 
this city. 


But, Mr. President, I find neither time nor space will permit giving 
in detail the vicissitudes of our early days in Nebraska. A trip to Sid- 
ney for a little salt, thence to Sonora with a grist of corn, making the 
trip with oxen, taking several days. Our daughter's marriage to S. 
B. Davis, being the first wedding in Kearney; tlie cake being a sad 
affair — no eggs to be had and flour scarce. Our moving to the claim 
in mid-winter, with the thermometer 30 degrees below zero, the pov- 
erty stricken oxen sticking in a snow bank, two children shivering in 
the sled, and my hazardous tramp several miles for Mr. F. Simms to 
help with his team. Then our cabin with its dirt roof leaking for 
several days after a rain, the occupants sitting up in bed with a bucket 


or pan to catch the drops, and after the sleepy liold'er was drenched 
with the contents, do/cin^ off, [)erhaps to dream of shingle roofs and 
board floors. The trial of having a grist ground at Jamison's mill, 
which only made six revolutions a week, as the old logs lying around 
will testify to this day. Necessity being the mother of invention? 
I made a grater of enormous size, on which we ground our corn, 
often at the expense of skinning our knuckles ; the marks I now 


Once a minister came, and after addressing the few settlers, all dis- 
persed without inviting him to dine. Perhaps they all felt like our- 
selves, too poor and proud to offer the man of God what would hold 
soul and body together. At all events, I invited him home, all the 
while pondering over in my mind what we could set before him ; the 
clouds were somewhat removed when I thought of the plate of butter 
in the root house, which was a great luxury those days. I felt easy 
until the table was being set, when, alas! vain hopes. Our dog 
" Trusty,'' so untrue to his title, had stolen the butter, and sorrow- 
fully we watched the preacher wash down the dry corn bread with the 
familiar beverage, corn coffee ; and that was the last Camp Creek 
ever saw of Mr. Preacher. 


Then the cattle died, the loved cow was long on the lift, and, like a 
funeral procession, every morning the family gathered around the 
prostrate form, lifting, steadying, and caressing her, fully impressed 
that a cow w^as a good thing in a family where milk was scarce. 

In conclusion, Mr. President, you may think, to contrast eighteen 
years ago with the present, I am going to tell you that I am rich ; 
but I cannot say that, but if we could have been half as comfortable 
then as now, would have felt rich. I have occupied too much of your 
time and the half is not told. 


Well, it gives me pleasure to look around on not only our own 
children but our grandchildren. I do not like to be profane, but I 
could live in this healthy Nebraska until I saw the third and fourth 
generation, for this is my place, here will I stay, for I do love it well. 




Bead before the Old Settlers^ Picnic on June 17, 1874. 

Salt Lake City, Utah, 

June 10, 1874. 
Maj. J. W. Pearman, President Old Settlers^ Assooiation : 

I thank you kindly for the honor done me in your letter of the 
26th ult., in behalf of the Old Settlers' Association of Otoe county, 
Nebraska, extending to me an invitation to deliver the annual ad- 
dress before your Society at the fourth reunion, to be held this present 

I would most gladly accept your invitation, but now is the busy 
mining season, and I have other and pressing duties that prevent, so 
that I must decline this opportunity of meeting my old friends in Otoe 
county — the best friends that man ever had. 

It was October 1, 1846, when, being just twenty-one years of age, 
I left my native Virginia and traveled two hundred miles on foot to 
Wyandotte, on the Ohio river. There I took passage on a steamboat 
to St. Louis as a deck passenger. I have before me my passage 
ticket, which read as follows : 

Trip No. 4. 1846. 
Paid Deck Passage to St. Louis. 
To Wood and Coal. 

From St. Louis I made my way by land to what is now called 
Civil Bend, but which was then known as Hog Thief Bend, about five 
miles from Nebraska City. On the steamer Sv/atara I had made the 
acquaintance of William Lambert, who lived there. When I arrived 
at his house he told me I could board there gratis, as long as I 
pleased, if I would help " grit ; " as there was no mill in the country 
and all the corn meal had to be made in that way. 

The next day there was a horse race, and as every one present had 
bets on the race except A. A. Bradford, Deacon Lambert, and the 
writer, we three were elected judges of the races. Judge Bradford 
was then county clerk of Atchison county, and he persuaded me to go 
down with him to Linden, Mo. 



In a few days there was a wedding to take place at Mrs. Cornog's 
in Hog Thief Bend, to which all Linden went, ere the sun was low. 
But lo ! the Methodist circuit rider, who was to tie the knot, did not 
come because the Tarkio river could not be crossed. The impatient 
guests arranged with B. M. George, sheriif of that county, to perform 
the ceremony between Wm. Wells and Miss Cornog. Mrs. Cornog 
was opposed to this proceeding, but every one else said it was all 
right; so the ceremony was performed, turkey and pigs eaten, and 
there was dancing on the puncheon floor of that log cabin ^'tWl day- 
light did appear.'^ Two days thereafter the minister arrived and 
learned of the circumstance, and insisted that they should be remar- 
ried according to the forms of his church, which was duly done. 

Judge Bradford, who was prominent at this wedding, some years 
afterwards was connected with Hon. J. S. Morton, Hon. J. F. Kin- 
ney, and Horace H. Harding in inducing Joseph Murphy, of Iowa, 
to give a grand oyster and champagne supper at the Nuckolls House, 
Nebraska City. At this social gathering there were present such em- 
inent men as Gov. S. W. Black, A. J. Hopkins, E. A. Des Long, Dr. 
J. C. Campbell, John B. Boulware, W. R. Craig, Wm. McLennan, 
Geo. E. Crater, W. R. Broat, C. H. Cowles, Dr. Wm. Dewey, J. H. 
Decker, Wilson M. Maddox, Gideon Bennett, Dr. Henry Bradford, 
H. P. Bennett, Gen. H. P. Downs, N. S. Harding, Thomas Morton, 
Judge Edward R. Harden, of Georgia, M. W. Riden, Mills S. Reeves, 
and many others. Hon. J. F. Kinney presided, and, after all the 
wine in town had been drank, at the expense of Murphy, the follow- 
ing resolutions were introduced by Hon. J. S. Morton, and unani- 
mously passed : 

Whereas, We are convened here this evening, at the invitation of a distin- 
guished and eminent member of the high and honorable profession of the law — a 
bright particular star in that firmament of legal erudition, whose effulgence 
illumines the fertile and magnificent valley of the Missouri river — Joseph Murphy, 
Esq., of Fremont county, Iowa; therefore, be it 

Resolved, 1. That in the intellectual economy of Joseph Murphy are all the ele- 
ments and acquirements appertaining to the sound, practical, and profound lawyer, 
the ever reliable, staunch, active, energetic, and sagacious Democrat. 

2. That the said Joseph Murphy, for his honesty, integrity, and indomitable 
industry and sobriety, is peculiarly fitted for a seat upon the supreme bench of the 
supreme court of Utah, for which place he seems to us the man — the man furnished 
at this crisis in the affairs of that polygamous commonwealth, as Napoleon was to 
France, by the hand of a never erring destiny. 



3. That we earnestly, vsolicitously, anxiously, and prayerfully petition His Ex- 
cellency, James Buchanan, the President of the United States, to nominate and, by 
and with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, confirm our friend 
and host as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Utah. And furthermore, 
be it 

Besolved, That we wish Joseph Murphy, Esq., long life, honor, happiness and 
prosperity in this world; that we thank him for this entertainment; and that 
when late he may be called to return to heaven, his ecstatic psj^chological essence 
may evaporate to sing forever and ever beneath the ambrosial palm trees of that 
viewless world, where the HesiDerian oligarchy blooms perennially forever and aye. 

A newspaper printed up the river, called the Bugle, in 1854, pub- 
lished the following : 

The Military Reserve on which Nebraska City is situated has not been publicly 
abandoned. What assurance have settlers that the War Pepartment will not order 
the whole Reserve — six miles long, three broad — upon which the pleasant town site 
of Nebraska City is situated, to be sold to the highest bidder ? The public build- 
ings are yet unsold, and the peojile may at some future day find their happy homes 
subject to the auctioneer's hammer. 

During the fall of the same year the first foot race took place, in 
which Wilson M. Maddox was beaten by the writer. 

In 1855 the first legal " mill" occurred, before Judge E. R. Har- 
den, of Georgia. Hon. O. P. Mason and H. P. Bennett engaged in 
physical combat, but no blood was shed. The court was much aston- 
ished at western habits. 

During the same year Hon. J. S. Morton became interested in the 
Nebraska City News. Uf>on his first arrival with his estimable wife 
they visited the printing office, then in the second story of the old 
Block House, in company with the writer, finding Shack Grayson 
the sole person in charge, who afterwards — owing to his early associ- 
ations — became a distinguished member of the Mississippi legislature. 

In 1856 the proprietors of ^Tebraska City, fearing that the town 
of Wyoming would eclipse Nebraska City, concluded to buy that 
town, and did so, but they did not pay much for it. 

Later in the same year Eiden & White published the following 
statement of the stock market : 

Nebraska City lots, |50 to |300. No choice ones offered. 

Omaha scrip, no inquiry. 

Omaha lots, no sales. 

Wyoming lots, heavy transfers to capitalists. 

Hamilton, ten shares foi' a brass watch an(^l a little black dog;. 



Otoe, (jtideoii Bennett reports that no sales made except to those 
who will build. 

Delaware, no intjuiry. 

Powhocco, 20 shares for an old blind horse and two Peter Funk 

Fairview, 36 shares for a big white dog and an old gun. 
Xenia, 50 shares ibr a gilt watch chain and ten cents easli. 
Fredonia, 20 shares for a pewter watch and a pair of boots. 
Brown ville, lots donated to any man who wears store clothes. 
Kearney, 7J miles distant, too high (on the hill). 

In January, 1857, the Otoe County Lyceum was established, and 
the following officers elected: 
President — W. P. Craig. 
Vice-President — Wm. E. Pardee. 
Recording Secretary— Philip K. Reily. 
Corresponding Secretary — H. H. Harding. 
Librarian — H. M. Giltner. 
Treasurer — Francis Bell. 
Sergeant-at-Arms^ — J. O. B. Dunning. 

Trustees — Joshua Garsiele, M. W. Piden, Henry Bradford, S. F. 
Nuckolls, M. K. Kay. 

In 1858 the great firm of Pussell, Majors & Waddell commenced 
freighting for the government from Nebraska City to Utah, New 
Mexico, and military posts in the West. During that year they 
started out 4,000 teamsters, with 3,000 wagons, and over 30,000 
head of oxen. Their business was managed by Alexander Majors, 
Esq., in a manner that gained the admiration of the country and 
gave the city an impetus in every branch of business. 

The writer and other old settlers were invited to go out to camp to 
see the first train started, upon which occasion Mr. Majors addressed 
the Outfit'^ as follows: 

Ox Teamsters: I am a moral and religious man, and feel it my duty as a 
member of society to carry out and enforce so far as possible a wholesome moral 
influence; therefore I give every employe one coi3y of the Holy Bible to defend 
himself against moral contaminations, and also a pair of Colt's revolvers and a 
gun to defend yourselves against vs^arlike Indians; and each of you are required to 
sign a contract to the effect that while in our employ you will not use profane lan- 
guage, nor get drunk, nor gamble, nor treat animals with cruelty, nor interfere 
with the rights of citizens or Indians; nor do anything ungentlemanly towards 



any one; and a violation of this agreement shall make you liable to a discharge 
and a forfeiture of your wages. 

We pay the highest prices that are paid for the services that you are now about 
to engage in, and your good behavior is a part of the value that we receive for 
what we pay you. 

If it were right to take a man's labor for nothing, which it is not, I would not 
allow any one of you to travel with one of our trains if you would board and find 
yourselves and work for nothing, and at the same time violate the rules of pro- 
priety just laid down to you. 

It is my desire that our firm shall be a means of largely benefiting our em- 
ployes while they are associated with us. To do this, we must have rules and 
discipline for your government, which must be obeyed, otherwise there will be 
confusion, and your standard of morality would be lowered. There are two dis- 
tinct kinds of influence that affect the children of men — what we call the bad and 
the good. If men enjoy the genial and wholesome influences desired, they must 
be practically right in their lives. Otherwise the bad influence will take hold of 

I desire you, wagon masters, to be kind and gentle and dignified toward the men 
in your care, and for this your reward will be the respect and gentlemanly de- 
portment of your men toward you. 

I want you young men who are placed under these wagon masters to obey them^ 
and shall anything then go wrong they will be held accountable for any blunders. 
Now, young gentlemen, you will observe by the rules established that I do not 
require you to sign a temperance pledge, but to keep from getting drunk. I will, 
however, suggest that the only sure way to keep from getting drunk is not to 
drink at all. 

If I had a weakness of that kind, and a man calling himself my friend invited 
me to drink, I would consider him more an enemy than a friend. There are some 
here who may say that they cannot refrain from the habit of swearing. Perhaps 
you have not thought of what a wicked thing profane swearing is. 

Many young men have mistaken notions in regard to this practice. I may think 
it an accomplishment, while it is a shameful disgrace. It carries with it other 
evils that you would be ashamed to acknowledge that you were guilty of. 

Many say that it is the only bad habit they have — that they hate a liar or a 
coward. They forget that it is next to impossible to swear without commencing 
with a lie. The greatest cowards in the world are the most profane and vulgar 
swearers. No man who calls upon the Almighty to damn his soul means what he 
says. If he did he would not be guilty of such blasphemy. Now, young gentle- 
men — you who think that you cannot refrain from swearing — I will now tell you 
of three positions where it would not be possible for you to swear. I will call 
with you upon your mother sitting at her center table with the old family Bible 
on it, and two or three other ladies with her. Could you introduce me to them 
and wind up with an oath ? Not one of you is so degraded as to be guilty of 
doing so. 

I will now go with you to church. We will place three Christian ministers in 
the pulpit, fill the pews with fathers and mothers with their little curly headed, 
blue eyed, and rosy cheeked boys and girls. Is there a gentleman among you 
that could bring out a profane oath with such surroundings? The next situation 



in which we will make the test will be in the position in which we are now asso- 
ciated. We are here in onr rough costumes, we have the ox yoke, the huge wagon 
and log chain, and our situation is one that gives us nothing to bolster up or re- 
strain us, but the manhood and remembrance of our good mothers and their ad- 
vice. Now, young gentlemen, I will say to those who assert that they cannot help 
swearing I will cease speaking for two minutes, so as to give time for any man 
who is now present who says that he cannot refrain from swearing to deliver him- 
self from some of those huge oaths, [A pause.] 

So now, not one of you seems burdened with a desire to swear. I thank you, 
young gentlemen, for standing the test, and pray that you may always maintain 
true integrity and refrain from profane practices. If perchance I meet one of 
your mothers I pray that she will not say to me that while you were in our employ 
you lost your good name, and my aim shall be to send you back to your 
homes with your habits and business qualifications bettered instead of lowered. 
Now, young gentlemen, in time of peril remember your fathers and mothers who 
raised you, and the God who sustains you. 

And now. Old Settlers, 
Farewell. I will omit no opportunity 
That may convey my greetings, love to thee. 


By E. H. COWLES, One of the Oldest Settlers. 

Thinking a sketch of the early history of good old Otoe county 
would be a readable article in your columns and at the same time be 
appropriate to the times, I will give a few items of the many inci- 
dents that fell under my observation at an early day in the organiza- 
tion, settlement, and progress of the territory; more particularly that 
which refers to the then Pearce, but now Otoe county. 

As my books and papers referring to transactions which happened 
in those days were all burned when my house was burned, I can 
only speak from memory and approximate as to dates. It should be 
remembered that this whole country bordering on the Missouri river, 
including Kansas, was called Nebraska territory, or the Great Amer- 
ican Desert, supposed to be an uninhabitable waste; not until about 
from ^50 to '54, during the great California emigration, which passed 
over nearly every portion of this wild country, was the fact generally 
known that this vast country possessed agricultural qualities unsur- 
passed by any portion of our wide-spread country. Stimulated by 
these facts a few adventurous individuals put a practical test to the 
productiveness of the soil by planting different kinds of grain and 



vegetable seeds, with the happiest results. Conspicuous among these 
is the name of General Southerland, an exile leader of the Canadian 
rebellion. His writings and lectures, fortified by his experimental 
knowledge, contributed no little in kindling the fire of excitement 
which soon after swept along the other side of the river, until even 
the women seemed to excel the men in enthusiasm, even the very 
chickens as they crowed seemed to hurrah for [N'ebraska. 

During the summer of 1853 communications with Indians dis- 
closed the fact that the Kickapoos, half-breed Missouris, Otoes, and 
Omahas were not only willing but anxious to sell their lands to the 
government. In order to facilitate business we determined to call a 
convention to meet at St. Joseph, Mo., during the winters of ^63 and 
'54, for the purpose of memorializing the President and Congress in 
Tegard to the necessity of taking early steps to treat with the Indians, 
organize the territory, and open it up for settlement. 

The convention was called, the delegates from this part of the 
country were: H. P. Bennett, from Glen wood, Iowa; A. A. Bradford 
and W. McEweu, from Sidney, Iowa; H. P. Downs, from old Fort 
Kearney, Nebraska; S. F. Nuckolls and C. H. Cowles, from Linden, 

In starting from Linden nothing unusual occurred to disturb our 
happiness until near Savannah, Mo. Mr. Nuckolls and myself be- 
ing in a buggy behind the rest, in hurrying up we drove astride a 
stump which proved a little too high for our buggy tongue, breaking 
it in several pieces, compelling us to switch ofP for repairs. But it is 
better to be born lucky than rich; Mr. Nuckolls having a lumber 
wagon a short distance behind, which soon came to our relief, taking 
us in tow for St. Joe, where we landed all right. 

The convention being organized the next thing that occurred to in- 
terfere with our harmonious action was in the committee room of the 
committee on resolutions, Charles F. HoUey, chairman. We played 
mock-congress from ''dusky eve until early morn," the committee be- 
ing nearly equally divided on a resolution substantially as follows: 

Resolved, That the emigrants in the territory ought to receive the same protec- 
tion to property that they enjoyed in the states from which they emigrated. 

Of course property, in the resolution, meant slaves. We finally 
compromised by agreeing to report nothing on the subject, little dream- 
ing that we were making a small ripple in the tidal wave which was 



SO soon to sweep over tlie bloody plains of historic Kansas and 
finally culminatin£»' in a national wide-spread fratricidal strife, form- 
ing an epoch in our history both humiliating and degrading to the 
morality and intelligence of a people possessing all the advantages of 
a high state of civilization in the nineteenth century. But the conven- 
tion closed harmoniously with the best feeling over a champagne supper 
provided by the wide-awake and enterprising citizens of the then vil- 
lage, but now the city of St. Joe. Next morning we all took our 
leave, McEwen and myself in a buggy, Downs on horseback, (Brad- 
ford and Nuckolls going another road on business). Here again I was 
doomed to more bad luck; just as we were entering a long unsettled 
prairie we not only broke our buggy-tongue, but an iron axle. Here 
again we were compelled to switch off for repairs. Downs, seeing our 
misfortune, said he never forsook a friend in trouble, stuck by and 
assisted us like a brother until we were fully repaired and on the 
track again. We could only make headway against the drifting 
snow and wind by letting down our buggy-top and taking the full 
benefit of the storm, with the thermometer from 18° to 20° below 
zero. We stood it however, until we arrived at ray home in Lincoln, 
Mo., a little frost-bitten, otherwise all right. Here we rested a little 
and partook of such refreshments as the landladies (my wife and her 
sister, then a young girl, now the widow Jasen) had provided. Ex- 
citement being on tip-toe, a goodly number of our friends visited us 
to hear our report, which we proceeded to give that night over a box 
of cigars, etc. For the condition of the room and the amount of man- 
ual labor necessarily expended on it next day I will refer you to the 
landladies aforesaid. 

The early settlement of Nebraska seemed to be a fixed fact, treaty or 
no treaty. The objective points for town sites and towns was the first 
thing to be taken into consideration. In order to get ahead of any one 
else, one Green, Johnson, and myself agreed to locate forthwith at 
Table Creek, or old Fort Kearney, as it was then called, but we agreed 
to call it Nehmsha City, and to build and to take a stock of goods 
there as soon as navigation opened in the spring, provided we could 
get the consent of H. P. Downs, a sergeant in the regular army de- 
tailed to take care of the military reservation and government pro- 
perty at old Fort Kearney, the fort having been moved to where it 
now is. • 



Next morning after the arrangement I started for the purpose of 
seeing Downs and getting his permission ; this was about the first of 
of February 1854. Not being very well posted in such matters I 
concluded to go by Sidney, Iowa, and let A. A. Bradford know 
about the enterprise, for the purpose of getting his advice as to the 
safety of the movement. So far as the B mile reservation was con- 
cerned, Downs was supposed to be monarch of all he surveyed, ex- * 
cept the ferry, of which Boulware had enjoyed the exclusive right for 
many years. Bradford went over with me to see Downs, who cor- 
dially received us on our arrival; I think w^e found Charley Pearce 
and Charley Bearwagner there. We soon let Downs know our busi- 
ness. He, Downs, proposed that if I would take him in as partner 
in place of Mr. Johnson, that we would proceed at once to make a 
show for a town ; that seemed to be the only safe course, I agreed to 
it at once. I went to work forthwith to build a store- house and a 
dwelling for myself. We were to buy a stock of goods to be shipped 
as soon as navigation opened. As Mr. Nuckolls was soon to start 
for St. Louis to buy goods, we agreed to see him for the purpose of 
getting him to buy our goods for us. For this we agreed to go to 
Linden the next day; as I had to go by Sidney with Bradford, we 
were to meet at Austin for dinner. While there we saw Mr. Nuckolls 
passing, so we all went to Linden together; we told Nuckolls our 
plans and asked him to buy our goods, which he readily agreed to do 
without any extra charges, saying that he thought it would pan oat 
well and proposed to make it a third larger and go in with us, which 
we readily agreed to while at Linden. Nuckolls bought of Downs an 
undivided half interest in the prospective town site, paying Downs 
enough to enable him to furnish his quota in buying the goods. This 
much being arranged the paramount object now was to provide our- 
selves with customers; for this purpose an early treaty with the In- 
dians became a necessity. 

For this purpose runners w^ere sent out to convene the Otoe Nation 
at a point near the mouth of Platte river, for the purpose of signing a 
preliminary treaty and to make arrangements for the chiefs to go to 
Washington. The delegates selected to assist in drafting the prelim- 
inary articles of the treaty between the Otoe Nation and the United 
States of America were H. P. Downs, C. W. Pearce, with Hon. A. 
A. Bradford as *ninister plenipotentiary extraordinary, to form alii- 



ances, conclude peace, and make treaties. Upon meeting, the Indians 
eating dog-supper, smoking the pipe of peace, they at once proceeded 
to business. The necessary papers were soon made out, and signed on 
the ])art of the Otoe Nation by Artakeeta, principal chief, and Big 
Buffalo, White Water, and Kickapoo, cliiefs of bands. In order to 
make the thing eifective at Washington the signature of Major Gate- 
wood, the legally appointed agent of the United States, became an 
imperative necessity which there, was no getting over. For that pur- 
pose he was sent for (found at Glenwood, la.) and his services soon 
procured. The chiefs were to start for Washington immediately, with 
Maj. Downs as escort. The programme now was that Downs was to 
go to Washington with the Indians to assist in the final ratification 
of the treaty; Nuckolls to St. Louis to buy the goods, and myself to 
keep making a show for a town, by building my houses, etc. Here 
matters took a turn which were not as favorable as we desired. The 
excitement in Congress over the slavery question prevented the ratifi- 
cation of the treaty at an early day as we had expected. Downs 
wrote from Washington that the Secretary of War had informed him 
that if the whites settled over here on the Indians' land he should feel 
that it was his duty to order them off and to remove them by force if 
necessary. Under this state of facts Mr. Nuckolls very prudently 
thought it best not to take the risk, and came home (after having 
waited in St. Louis several weeks) without buying the goods, thus 
bringing the enterprise to an abrupt termination at least for the time 

Notwithstanding the unfavorable news a goodly number of us had 
to move over during the spring of '54 and commenced a permanent 
settlement. Having completed my buildings, and being out of em- 
ployment, I concluded to take the risk alone, and in June started for 
St. Louis in company with Messrs. S. F. Nuckolls, Columbus Nuck- 
olls, and Mr. Hall, Mr. Nuckolls rendering me every needed assist- 
ance in buying and shipping my goods, which were safely landed 
about opposite where the elevator now stands. I soon had my goods 
in position to accommodate my customers, nearly all of whom were 
Indians. I had not been in operation long before sure enough as 
had been expected Major Hepner, the newly appointed agent, received 
instructions to order all the whites to leave this side of the river. This 
of course was a little trying on me, as all that I had was hourly in 
danger of being confiscated. 



To make the situation more critical and alarming, tiie Indians hav- 
ing become in possession of the facts and taking advantage of them, 
they soon formed themselves into a war party and came upon us, 
painted in a manner most hideous to behold, frightening men, women, 
and children, ostensibly for the purpose of driving us from their land, 
but the real object was to levy a tribute upon the inhabitants. In this 
they were successful, as many of the old settlers can testify, to the tune 
of from five to forty dollars. But the order from the War Department 
was to go. Major Hepner requested us to call a mass meeting and 
pass resolutions that we would go and he would send them on with 
his report. This was done in order to stay proceedings, thinking that 
before Major Hepner could make his report, and the War Department 
learn the real state of facts (which were that we didn't intend to go) 
that the treaty would probably be ratified, and the territory opened 
up for settlement. Fortunately in this our hopes were well founded. 


The following letters were written by Father De Smet, a Roman 
Catholic Missionary among the Northern Indians in a very early day. 
One was written to the St. Louis Historical Society, and the other to 
A. D. Jones, Secretary of the Old Settlers' Association of Omaha. 
They are valuable historical data : 

St, Louis University, December 9, 1867. 
Mr. N,Ranney, Secretary of the Historical Society of St. Louis: 

Dear Sir— I received your kind favor of the 5th instant. Your 
kind invitation of the 16th ult. I intended to answer by attending 
your meeting of the Historical Society of St, Louis, on the 7th ; this 
being Saturday, I was much occupied at St. Francis Xavier's Church, 
and I regret I was unable to accomplish my desire on this occasion. 

The question of locality which has arisen about old Fort Atkinson, 
or Council Bluffs, built in 1819, I think I can answer satisfactorily. 
During the years 1838 and 1839 I resided opposite what is now called 
the city of Omaha. In 1839 I stood on the bluff on which the old 
fort was built in 1819; some rubbish and remains of the old fort were 
still visible, and some remaining roots of asparagus were still growing 



in the old garden. Fort Atkinson was located where now stands the 
town of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska territory, about sixteen miles, in a 
a strai(>:ht line, above the city of Omaha, and forty miles by river; 
Mr. Cabanne's trading post was ten miles, by land, above where now 
stands Omaha city. Manual Kisa had a trading post one mile above 
Cabanne's. I met Captains Joseph and John La Barge, and proposed 
the question of the former site of Fort Atkinson, in order to test the 
accuracy of my memory, and they confirmed it in every particular. 
Most respectfully, dear sir, your humble servant, 

P. J. De SMET, S. J. 

St, Louis University, December 26, 1867. 
Mr. A. D. Jones, Secretary Old Settlers' Association, Omaha, Nebraska: 

Dear Sir — My absence from St. Louis has delayed my answer. 
You have the kindness to inform me that we are still entitled to a 
reserve of land, on which the old mission house and grave-yard were 
located in New Council Bluffs. All I could learn on the subject is : 
several years after the last missionary among the Pottawatomies left 
that location he was applied to by the Catholic bishop of Dubuque, and 
' ceded to him all the right to the mission claim. How the bishop has 
acted upon this cession in his favor I have never been informed. I 
would feel obliged to you to obtain further information on this subject. 

To the best of my own personal knowledge, and assisted by Capt. 
Joseph La Barge, the old explorer of the Missouri river, I will here 
answer your various queries: First. " Where was old Fort Calhoun 
located?" Fort Calhoun was never Jocated ; it took the name of Fort 
Atkinson, which was built on the very spot where the council was 
neld by Lewis and Clarke, and was the highest and first military post 
above the mouth of Nebraska river. Second. " Where was old Fort 
Crogan After the evacuation of Fort Atkinson or Calhoun, either 
in 1827 or 1828, or thereabouts, the troops came down and made 
winter quarters on Cow Island — Captain La Barge states it was called 
Camp Crogran. The next spring the flood disturbed soldiers and 
they came down and established Fort Leavenworth. Col. Leaven- 
worth was commandant at the breaking up of Fort Atkinson. Third. 
"There is an earthen remain of fortifications on the east bank of 
Omaha; do you know who built or occupied it?'^ The remains al- 
luded to must be the site 9f the old trading post of Mr. Heart. 



When it was in existence the Missouri river ran up to the trading 
post. In 1832 the river left it, and since that time it goes by the 
name of " Heart's Cut-Olf/' having a large lake above Council Bluffs 
city. Fourth. '^Do you know of either soldiers or Indians ever hav- 
ing resided on the Omaha plateau?" I do not know. A noted 
trader by the name of T. B. Roye had a trading post from 1825 till 
1828, established on the Omaha plateau, and may be the first white 
man who built the first cabin on the beautiful plateau where now 
stands the flourishing city of Omaha. I cannot call to memory the 
signification of the word Omaha. 

My time is much occupied at present. Should I find later any 
point worthy of communication in reference to our old mission, the 
New Council Bluffs, the early history of Omaha and Nebraska, I 
shall take great pleasure in forwarding it to you. 

Very respectfully, dear sir, 

your humble servant, 

P. J. De SMET, S. J. 


The following correspondence relating to the first white child born 
in Nebraska was published in the Omaha Herald at dates indicated 
therein : 

Brownville, Neb., January 29, 1880. 
Dr. Geo. L. Miller, Omaha: 

Dear Sir— The enclosed letter I have just received. Being of a 
historical character, I hand it to you for publication, hoping by that 
means Mr. Harnois may be able to obtain desired information. 

I would ask, too, that any one being able to communicate any facts, 
would do so either through The Herald or direct to me, as President 
of the State Historical Society, that we may have them for file. 

As Father Hamilton, now of the Omaha Indian agency, was, in an 
early day, connected officially with the Indian tribes named, he will 
be more likely to know of the matter referred to than any other per- 
son. Send him a copy of The Herald QOiiis^mmg this correspondence, 
^' marked,^' please. Yours, 




The letter of Mr. Harnois is as follows : 

St. Joseph, Mo., January 23, 1880. 

R. W. Furnas, Esq. : 

Dear Sir — I have for quite a while past thought I would write 
you inquiring who were the first whites (of whom you have any 
knowledge) born in your State. My father, Mr. Peter Harnois, 
thinks that my sister, Mrs. Rosa Knight, of this city, has the honor, 
she being born in 1842, November 11th, and I in 1844, November 
12th. My father at the time was a government blacksmith and was 
working for the Pawnee Indians. Think he worked for them five 
years, and five years for the Otoes and Omahas. My father and 
mother are both living and are here, have lived here over thirty years. 
Very respecitfully 

your obedient servant, 


Brown ville, Neb., February 2, 1880, 

Dr. George L. Miller : 

Relating further to the question, Who was the first white child 
born in Nebraska ? I have received the following letter from Father 
Hamilton, which I hand you for publication. Yours, 


Omaha Mission, Neb., February 13, 1880. 

R. W. Furnas, Esq. : 

Dear Sir — Your favor was duly received, but in the pressure of 
matters relating to the mission school, was forgotten, till I accident- 
ally picked up a fragment of the Omaha Herald (sent to Susette La 
Flesche), containing your letter and Mr. Harnois' letter also. 

I answered a similar inquiry some years ago, when Judge Kinney, 
of Nebraska City, thought a child of his, born while on the way to 
Salt Lake, in 1833, was the first white child born in Nebraska. 

I came to the Iowa mission at or near Highland in 1837 
(Dec. 29), Mr. and Mrs. Irvin came out in the spring and met in St. 
Louis. Rev. Mr. Dunbar and Samuel Alice, who had spent some 
time with the Pawnees and had gone that far east to meet their future 
companions in labor, returned to the Pawnee mission on the Platte 
river that same spring of 1837. I do not know how many children 



these men had. Mr. Alice had four grown up and still living as far 
as I know, and some I think died. Mr. Dunbar I think had several, 
one not long since in Topeka, Kansas, John B., I think professor in 
some institution there. He could give more definite information as 
to the time of their several births. 

But these were not the first born in what is now Nebraska. Rev. 
Moses Merril was missionary to the Otoes, Mr. Irvin thinks_, for about 
ten years. He died near Bellevue, I think about the time Mr. John 
Harnois thinks his sister was born. Mr. Merril had been laboring 
many years among the Otoes before Mr. Irvin and myself come to 
the lowas. I saw an account of a missionary meeting in Maine a 
few years ago, at which a Mrs. Merril made some remarks, an aged 
lady, and I have no doubt his companion in labor among the Otoes. 
They must have gone there in \32, ^33, or '34, I think not later. I 
never saw them. Mr. Irvin did, and said they had several children. 

I think a family by the name of Chase lived there about the same 
time. In the winter of '37 and '38 I met a gentleman who had been 
among the Poncas (it may have been the year following), who spoke 
of a missionary who was appointed to the Poncas, but resided some 
distance this side of their village with his wife. 

Rev. Edmund M. Kinney went to Bellevue in 1846. I went there 
in 1853. 

If any one wishes the honor of being the first white child born in 
Nebraska he will have to search records about 10 years before 1842. 

Yours truly, 


Dr. G. L. Miller: 

I will endeavor to throw some light on the subject of the early 
births of Nebraska, as propounded by John Harnois, through the so- 
licitation of ex-Governor R. W. Furnas, President Historical Society. 
During the lengthy correspondence that I had with Capt. Bissel,and 
General Ranney, some years since, in which I took issue with those 
eminent and worthy gentlemen in reference to the location of Coun- 
cil Bluffs, I obtained many historical and interesting facts, among 
which were the marriages and births of those early days. Mr. E. 
Luther wrote to me that he went to Fort Atkinson, afterward 
Fort Calhoun, and formerly Old Council Bluffs, in 1818, and re- 
mained there until 1823. During that time he said there were two 



marriages and two births, but did not inform me as to what were 
their name or even the sex. 

After Omaha had become a village of some importance, a young 
gentleman informed me that he was born at Fort Atkinson and was 
the iirst white child born in Nebraska. 

Mr. Allison, who came to Bellevue in 1834 as a teacher and mis- 
sionary, informed me that a Mr. Rentz, a blacksmith and married 
man, resided there, to whom was born the first male child of that 
agency, and that his, Mr. Allison's, daughter, afterward Mrs. Captain 
Holland, our former city marshal, was the first female born at that 

Fort Calhoun was abandoned and the troops sent to Fort Leaven- 
worth about 1827. If the young man above referred to was born even 
up to the year of evacuation, he was ahead of Mr. Harnois. But w^e 
have at least two others. Mr. Rentz's son born at Bellevue previous 
to 1834, and Mrs. Holland, daughter of Mr. Allison, born at that 
mission in 1834, and others a few years later, were all older than Mr. 


Secretary 0. S. A. 

The following letter is from Rev. Wm. Hamilton, who was a Pres- 
byterian missionary among the north-western Indians, commencing in 
what is now Kansas, in 1837 : 

Omaha Mission, March 4, 1868. 

A. D. Jones, Esq.: 

Dear Sir — Yours of February 22d is received. I would have 
replied at once, but thought I would enquire of Le Fleche, to see if 
the traditions of the Omahas was the same as that of the lowas, from 
whom I first received the traditions. It is as follows: 

A long time ago the lowas (they call themselves Pa-ho-cha or Pa- 
hu-cha), Otoes, Omahas, and Missourians (called Ne-yu-ta-ca) were 
one people, and in their traveling they encamped in four bands on 
the river (perhaps the Missouri or Mississippi). The lowas encamped 
on a sand-bar, and the dust blew in their faces, and they received the 
name of Pa-hu-cha, or " Dusty Men." They are called lowas only 
by other tribes and the whites. Long, in his " Expedition, inter- 
prets it Gray Snow." ^' Pa," or pah," is used for the nose of the 



human face, or for the head of an animal, but not for the human 
head. " Ho-cha is ^' dusty,'^ hence of a dirty gray color. Pa,'^ 
scarcely distinguishable from " pah,^' the nose, is the name for snow ; 
hence Long's mistake, being ignorant of their traditions. Ne-u-tach, 
the Missourians, encamped at the mouth of a stream, " Ne-u-cha-ta," 
hence they were Ne-u-cha-ta — "at the mouth." But Le Fleche says 
the same men were in a canoe, and were drowned, " ne," " water," 
" o-cha-tan-ye," " died in ; " ne-o-cha-ta, " drowned," or " died in 
water." The Omahas encamped above, on the stream " E-ro-ma-ha," 
contracted into '^O-ma-ha," which means above," with reference to a 
stream, or " above, on a stream." To understand the word, I must 
add that they have three words translated " above." " Mang-gre," 
with reference to height, "air ; " " o-me-re~ta," with reference to a 
country, "bordering on" or "near a stream;" "e-ro-ma-ha," with 
reference to the stream where your position is. Literally, Omaha is 
" e-ro-ma-ha," with reference to Bellevue, but " u-re-ka-re-ta," with 
reference to this point. Le Fleche gives the same meaning to the 
word that the lowas do. The way the Otoes get their name is hardly 
fit to be named. Otoes, lowas, and Missourians speak the same lan- 
guage. Omahas, Poncas, Osages, and Thonges speak a kindred 
language, but far more guttural, the two last named especially so. 
Hoping the above may prove satisfactory, I remain, 

yours truly, 


In connection with the letter of Father Hamilton, I desire to add 
the following facts : 

During my term of four years as agent for the Omaha Indians, I 
took pains to learn all possible as to the origin, meaning of name, 
etc. From the oldest chief, Noise, or Muttering Thunder, I learned 
this tradition, and which I give as near in his own language as 
possible : 

"A long time ago" (that is about as definite as time can be ob- 
tained from an Indian) " our fathers came from where the sun wakes 
up " (far east). " They were looking for a new home, where the sun 
goes to sleep " (in the far west). " They crossed the Ne-shu-da " 
(Missouri) " river way down below here, and out onto the sea land" 



(meaning the western prairies). To abbreviate the interview, the 
chief proceeded to relate that, after wandering on the prairies for a 
long time, they became discouraged. Dissensions and differences of 
opinion prevailed, but all agreed to go back to the Ne-shu-da river. 
The tribe divided into four bands, as indicated by Father Hamilton, 
and started eastward to the river. What is now the Omaha tribe — 
their baud reached the river farther north than either of the other 
three bands and for this reason were called the Ma-has. The inter- 
pretation of the word "Ma-ha," given me by Noise, was "farthest up 
the river," up yonder," " up above the others." 

As proof of the original name, " Ma-ha," I have now in my pos- 
session original documents, credentials of chiefship, given to the 

Ma-ha Indians;" one, in Spanish, given in 1794 to '^Wa-ging-a- 
sa-by, head chief nation Ma-has;" two given by James Wilkinson, 
Commander-in-chief of the Army of the IT. S., and Governor of the 
Territory of Louisiana, and Supt. Indian affairs," given on July, 1806, 
to Wa-ga-sa-by ; one to Wash-co-ma-ni, chief of the Ma-has; and one 
to Wa-ho-ra-ka, a soldier of the Ma-ha nation. 

Lewis and Clarke, in the narrative of their expedition in 1804-5-6, 
speak of the ^' Ma-ha nation" and Ma-ha village." 



W. H. Woods, of Fort Calhoun, Washington county, furnishes me 
with following data: 

Hon. R. W. Furnas, President Nebraska Historical Society: 

Dear Sir — Agreeable to our promise to continue our investigations, 
we, last Tuesday, visited the site of the old village mentioned in BelFs 
History of Washington County, page 39, as the site of an old Mormon 
settlement of 1845; but thought by Mr. Grenell and others to have 
been of much older date, and probably a farm station or outpost of 
either Fort Atkinson, which lay about one mile east, or Fort Calhoun, 
four miles south. 

The location is but a few rods north of the present De Soto P. O., 



near Mills station, in a cultivated field belonging to the Hon. T. M. 
Carter. The buildings were in two rows, running north and south, 
and the foundations were so well laid as to be a continual annoyance 
to the plowman yet. Here in company with Mr. C. we scratched 
around in the frozen earth with our feet, and were rewarded by finding 
an old butcher knife, a piece of a glass dish of an antique pattern, 
and a portion of a tombstone, with the letters O and N in perfect 
condition and an S partly gone, making the word ^'son,'^ the same 
being the end of the name. The top was neatly chiseled and orna- 
mented, and of a species of reddish sandstone. Four kinds of brick 
were found, from a very small variety almost as hard as granite to a 
very large one, each differing in hardness, yet all keeping good condi- 
tion. The small ones are covered on one side with a species of cement, 
and we understand of these kind were made the floors in the houses 
of Fort Calhoun and then covered with a thin coating of this material 
to form a smooth even surface. 

We next visited the cave of the De Soto " Light Horse Brigade,^^ 
Bell's History, page 38. The entrance was too much closed by the 
caving in of the bank and a stream of melted snow water to obtain 
an entrance. We will try again. The boys in the neighborhood who 
were last summer think they passed about forty feet, when 
they found a depression in the floor, probably a magazine or rifle pit, 
and as the entrance was nearly closed and they had no torches, they 
did not investigate further. Mr. C. also kindly presented us for the 
Society the lock and key to the door of the old Waubeek Bank, of 
DeSoto, 1857, A. Castetter, now of Blair, teller. See Bell, page 38. 
The lock is a formidable affair, and apparently as good as new, and 
cost, Mr. Grenell says, twelve dollars and a half. The lock of the 
safe is in the possession of Mr. Grenell. 

Mr. Carter has a five dollar bill of the old bank of De Soto that a 
few years ago could have been purchased for a few cents, now con- 
sidered of more than face value. 

This portion of Nebraska promises to open up a rich field for the 
antiquary, the dry-a-dust of those particularly interested in the early 
days of our now wonderfully prosperous state of Nebraska. Brick 
that have been buried in foundation and cellars for over half a century 
are being constantly exhumed and used, and they are in just as per- 
fect condition as they were when first laid. Fire-brick, also in the 



most perfect order, are also still here, the last remaining monuments of 
the old hearthstones, many of them, no doubt, as bright and beautiful 
in their surroundings as the joy and cheer that may pass around the 
hearthstones of to-day. They have left behind them also specimens 
of their handicraft, their arms, coins, metals, etc., many of which are 
now in the hands of our citizens. The site of the old blacksmith shop 
under the blulf has been established and a careful digging may reveal 
many things. A portion of the old dairy house still remains just 
west of town; the old spring still running, surrounded by the same 
stones, quarried and brought from Rockport hills probably more than 
sixty years ago. 

The old grave-yard, too, on the highest point of the bluff west of 
the fort, may yet bring forth some treasures in names, dates, etc., as it 
is but a few years, I understand, since the last stone fell. 

We have now added to our collection in addition brick, fire-brick, 
fragments of cement, a barrel of a flint-lock musket, a cannon axle 
weighing about fifteen pounds, of charcoal iron, hand-forged, the 
points turned in a lathe, but of inferior workmanship; also specimens 
of hand-made nails, used in the construction of their buildings, and 
three varieties of delf, all varying in color, design, and thickness, one 
with a green figure and the other blue. 

For many years there has been a legend current here that two lieu- 
tenants from the South, stationed at Fort Calhoun, fought a duel here 
upon the point of the bluff about a half mile north of the fort, and 
that both were killed and buried where they fell. Mr. A. P. Allen 
reported a few years ago that a portion of one of the grave stones had 
been plowed up and thrown over against the timber, and in conversa- 
tion with Mr. Frahm we learned that the stone was in the possession 
of his little seven-year-old son Otto, and that the other one had been 
for some time on the premises, but now mislaid, and that it bore the 
word "Hanson.^' The one in the possession of little Otto he kindly 
presented to the Society. It is of triangular form, evidently from the 
center of the monument, is six by twelve inches in size, two and one- 
quarter inches in thickness, of limestone, and bears the following 
part of the inscription complete, except the letter C, here noted, and 
other marks not strictly legible, ■ — C — eniber, 30 years. 

Mr. Frahm's son, Freddie, also permitted us to examine and meas- 
ure the head of the femur and also a section of vertebrae of a mam- 



moth found upon Mr. Frahm^s farm. The former originally meas- 
ured thirty and the latter fifteen inches in circumference. 


To Hon. R. W. Furnas., President Nebraska State Historical Society : 
Mr. Craig having called our attention to certain discoveries made 
at the dairy house and spring, already mentioned, while building his 
fish ponds, we again visited it, and found that after the stone had 
been removed that the extreme diameter of the well was about eip-ht 
feet, of octagon form, a curb having first been made of three sided 
Cottonwood posts with two-inch cottonwood boards, spiked upon the 
outside of these with a peculiar form of hand-made nails of various 
length and thickness, and so well preserved was the wood that we had 
hard work to secure good specimens of the spikes, although the latter 
were as good as though but recently driven. About two rods east 
of this, where some charred timbers had been exhumed, we found 
a portion of an oak framing timber 8x8, with the tenon and oak 
pin in good shape, also three-inch oak plank measuring about four- 
teen inches in width and mortised across the end to make a smooth 
joint. These were evidently a portion of the milk room, and by 
placing on edge on the outside of a frame and placing the earth back 
they would require no nails; no marks of nails could be found upon 
them, and they came from out of the side of a high bank. Mr. Grenell 
and others expressed doubts about the age of the well, and cited us 
to Mr. Daniel Franklin for information, but in conversation with the 
latter gentleman we think we are in the main correct. 

Our attention has also been called to a ditch and earthwork half a 
mile south of the fort. But as it runs across a bend in the prairie 
with steep banks and timber on three sides, it was probably a sod 
fence for garden or corral purposes. 

W. H. W. 

Mr. E. H. Clark, now of Blair, in 1856, probably planted the first 
orchard in Washington county, which is now a portion of the resi- 
dence property of Hon. L. Crounse. The next year two or three 
others were planted, and three or four years after the well known 
Stevens or Grenell orchard was planted. They have all made a good 
growth, and been more than ordinarily fruitful. We, to-day, measured 
one of the neatest, smooth-trunked apple trees it has ever been our 



pleasure to examine, and found it to measure four feet and nine 
inches in circumference two feet above the ground. We also exam- 
ined the deciduous trees planted by the roadside at the same time, and 
give the result with the same kind of measurement: White elm, 5 
feet and 10 inches; hackberry, 5 feet 7 inches; black walnut, 4 feet 
3 inches ; coffee bean, 3 feet 6 inches ; black locust, 5 feet 8 inches ; 
while Cottonwood planted by the late Col. Stevens at the present resi- 
dence of S. N. Pennell in 1863 measures 6 feet 6 inches. 

Mr. Hiram Craig thinks he has the largest transcendent crab tree 
in the state, three feet ten inches, while a Scotch pine planted by our 
venerable horticulturist. Dr. J. P. Andrew, measures thirty-two inches 
And it may be a matter of surprise to many to know that by close 
observation of a number of years we can find less than a dozen trees 
now standing upon this plateau that were here at the time of the 
evacuation of the fort. At that time, said a trader at Fort Randall 
in 1853 to Mr. Chester Bannister, of this place, I was a soldier at 
Fort Calhoun, and the river ran where is now the old slough, and 
the timber on the other side of the stream was not larger than a man^s 
thigh. This then is the hundreds of acres of large cotton woods cut by 
the settlers during the past twenty-five years. The channel of the 
river would have been about seven-eighths of a mile from the present 
depot of the St. P. & O. R. R. The channel now lies, by recent gov- 
ernment survey, a fraction over three and a quarter miles from the 
above building. This is from the surveyor's note book the day the 
line was run. 

In 1856-^7 the steamboat landing was about half or three-quarters 
of a mile west of the present channel, supposed to be the exact spot 
where stands the cabin near the still water, known as NichoPs shanty. 

For the benefit of travelers by railroad we would state that the 
camp of Lewis and Clarke was supposed to have been nearly east of 
the first railroad bridge north of Calhoun. This may have been the 
reason why this spot was chosen by the two unfortunate young men 
spoken of in a previous issue. 

Mr. Woods, in a subsequent letter, referring to his previous com- 
munication, adds the following notes : 

And here also remain the younger scions of the old black locust 
grove (probably the first artificial grove planted in Neb.), from which 



hundreds of trees have been sold and planted in Iowa and Nebraska. 
Horseradish and asparagus still remain in the old garden, from which 
our citizens have supplied themselves for the past twenty-five years. 
Several varieties of plums are also supposed to have been brought here 
and planted at the same time. 

In addition to which, Mr. Gideon, now of Iowa, states that in 1865 
he first ploughed up the sod, and in so doing he came across a number 
of fragments of grave stones in two places at some distance apart. 
The one was of a white color, and the other much darker in color, and 
also differed very much in thickness, the white being the thicker; and 
that the stones lay in a line from N. E. to S. W., which would also 
agree with the shadow of the sunlight coming from the east and 
shining squarely upon both parties to this sad affair. We know that 
two kinds of tombstones were used by the solders, as we have the two 
kinds referred to here, but not both from the same place. 

We have reason now to suppose that the plank used were barge 
plank, brought up from below with them, probably a portion of the 
boats used in coming. 

Should you chance to pass here on S. C, St. P. & P. R. R., 
by a little study of this rough diagram you can have some idea 
of the points of interest. The plan is drawn for two city blocks 
for each section as numbered, streets included. The cemetery is upon 
the high point of bluffs north of the grove, five blocks west and four 
north of depot, and is at present marked by a large pile of manure 
hauled upon it. ( * ) is very near where Legerd states that an Indian 
chief was buried with his pony and trappings, and for several years 
his friends came to hold lamentations over his grave. 


From Washington county papers I present the following data re- 
lating to death of old settlers in that county : 

HUMPHRIES— On Saturday, March 16th, on a U. P. train, in Western Nebraska, 
Mr. Edwin Humphries, of this place, aged 64 years. 

Ed. Humphries was well and favorably known to almost every- 
body hereabouts. He was one among the first settlers in this county, 
locating at De Soto in May, 1855, where he continued to reside until 
last fall, when he moved to Blair on account of failing health. He 
has been troubled with a dropsical affection, and has been steadily 



declining for several months. On Friday last he started on a trip to 
Colorado, seeking relief in a change of climate, and this effort proved 
fatal, for on Saturday evening a telegram announced his death on the 
cars at a point near Julesburg. The remains were returned by ex- 
press, arriving here on Monday, and the funeral was held on Tuesday 
from Germania Hall, services being conducted by Rev. Doherty, of 
Omaha, according to the faith of the Episcopal church. Ed. was a 
warm hearted, genial man, and a citizen of sterling integrity, who 
had many friends and no enemies. He leaves a wife and one son — 
Wm. Humphries, of this place — to mourn his loss. He served with 
credit during war times in the Second Nebraska Calvary, and has 
always been recognized as a progressive member of the body politic. 
His death is the falling of another landmark in the early history of 
this county. 

WARKICK — At his home in Cuming City precinct, this county, April 25, 1883, 
Amasa Warrick, aged 58 years. Funeral at the Baptist church at 11 o'clock 

The subject of the above notice was born in Clearfield county, 
Penn., Aug. 10th, 1825. Coming to Nebraska in 1856, he located 
where Watson Tyson now lives. The next year he moved to the 
spot where he died, and has lived there with his family ever since, 
respected by all who knew him. Only a few months since Mrs. 
Warrick died from an attack of small-pox, and now her husband has 
gone to meet her in that happier and better land. By honesty and 
frugality Mr. Warrick accumulated a competency, supplying each of 
his children with a home for himself or herself as they reached their 
majority. He leaves eight children, respected, highly esteemed young 
men and women, to mourn his death. No man who ever lived in 
Washington county was more thought of or more highly respected 
by his neighbors and acquaintances than Uncle Amasa Warrick, 
and certainly none were ever more entitled to it. He lived as he 
died, an honest, conscientious, Christian man, respected by the rich 
and beloved by the poor, whose friend he always was. 

FRANKLIN — At the residence of her son, W. B. Franklin, in Fort Calhoun pre- 
cinct, on Saturday, July 14, 1883, at seven o'clock a.m., Huldah Franklin, 
wife of Daniel Franklin, in the seventy-fifth year of her age. 

Mrs. Huldah Franklin, who died at her son's home near the vil- 
lage of Fort Calhoun last Saturday, was one of the oldest settlers of 



Washington county. She came to Nebraska with her husband twenty- 
seven years ago the 23d day of the present month, and located near 
Fort Calhoun, where she has ever since resided. She was approach- 
ing her seventy-fifth birthday, and had been married about fifty-three 
years. Her husband, Daniel Franklin, and four children. Warren 
B., Monroe, D. L., and Mrs. Dean Slader, who are left to mourn her 
death — all reside in Calhoun precinct. Pioneers of the county who 
knew her as a kind and obliging neighbor years ago will join her 
friends and relatives in mourning her death. 


The Society is in possession of the following valuable relics : 


A commission as chief of the " Ma-ha Indians to " Wa-ging-a- 
saby.'^ El Baron de Carondalet, Caballero de la Religion de San 
Juan, Mar de Campodelo Reals Exercistas Gobernador General, Vice 
Patrono de las Provincial la Louisiana, of Florida Occidental, Sub- 
inspector General de las Tropas of Milcias de las Mis Mas de," dated 
New Orleans, May, 1796. 

A commission to ''The-ro-chy " (two sides of a cow), "Chief Sol- 
dier of the Ma-ha Nation," dated July 27th, 1815. Given by '^Wil- 
liam Clark, Governor of the Territory of Missouri, Commander-in- 
Chief of the Military thereof, and Superintendent of Indian affairs." 

Also two other Indian commissions given by same authority. One 
to "Wa-ho-ra-be," "Soldier of the Ma-ha Nation," of date August 
4th, 1815. One to " Wash-ca-ma-nee " (The Hard Walker), as 
"Second Chief of the Ma-ha Nation," of date July 27th, 1815. 

A commission to " Wash-com-ma-nii," a "Chief of the Ma-has," 
given by " James Wilkinson, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of 
the United States, Governor of the Territory of Louisiana, and Su- 
perintendent of Indian Affairs," dated July 27th, 1806. This com- 



mission clothes the chief with a " medal as a badge of special au- 

While the names " Wash-ca-ma-nee " and " Wash-com-ma-nii*' are 
spelled somewhat dilFerently, the two commissions, without doubt, refer 
to one and the same person. 

Another commission, of same date as last named, and issued by 
same authority to Wa-shing-ga-sa-be," Chief of the Ma-has,^' and 
on him was bestowed the great medal." 

There is no doubt, too, but that W^^-ging-a-sa-by,'' named in the 
first commission referred to, and this last named "Wa-shing-ga-sa-be," 
while spelled somewhat differently, refer to the same person. The 
name in our language is " Little Black Bear." 

These documents were presented by Robt. W. Furnas. 

An old Spanish coin of the value of six and one-fourth cents, 
Hispan et ind. R. M. F. M. Carolus IIII, Dei Gratia 1798." This 
coin was picked up at old Fort Calhoun, E'ebraska, and presented by 
W. H. Woods, of that place. 

The gavel used by Gen. Bo wen, President of that portion of the 
old Territorial Council at Florence, after the legislature split at 
Omaha. It is made of hickory wood, handle and body of gavel, 
both with bark on. 

Autograph letters from Henry Clay, Horace Greeley, Horatio 
Seymour, Wm. Cullen Bryant, and P. T. Barnum. 

The original and first telegraphic message received on Nebraska 

Douglas town shares, of date 1856. 
Brownville hotel scrip, of date 1857. 

Copy '^Newport Mercury/^ a newspaper published " Newport, 
Tuesday, December 19th, 1758." 

The Omaha Indian dialect, in manuscript, as prepared by Henry 

A small volume each of the Sioux and Creek Indian dialect, in 



All items named after the Spanish coin donated by Mr. Woods, 
were presented by Robt. W. Furnas. 

An Indian scalping knife, presented by F. J. Hendershot, Esq., of 
Hebron, was taken in a fight between Indians and whites in Thayer 
county at an early day. 

Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, Council Bluffs, Iowa, under date of Dec. 
26th, 1878, furnishes the following, relating to the first female suf- 
fragist movement in Nebraska. She prefaces with this historic note : 

My first visit to Omaha was July 4th, 1865. The day was being 
celebrated. Omaha was then a small place. The Douglas House was 
the only hotel. The speaker's stand was erected in front of it, across 
the road. The dinner table was out doors, on the east side of the 
street. Acting Governor Thomas Cuming was the orator. Omaha 
was then but eight months old. 

On the 29th Dec, 1855, I received an invitation, of which the fol- 
lowing is a copy : 

Mrs. Amelia Bloomer: 

■ The undersigned would respectfully invite you to deliver an address on Woman's 
Eights, or any other subject you may select, in the Hall of the House of Eepresent- 
atives, on any evening that suits your convenience, during the sitting of the legis- 


Omaha, N. T., Dec. 28, 1855. 

B. E. FuLSOM. 

C. B. Smith. 

H. C. Anderson. 
Wm. Clancy. 
A. F. Salisbuey. 
Thos. Gibson. 
J. H. Sherman. 

C. W. PlEECE. 

P. C. Sullivan. 
W. A. Finney. 
E. B. Chinn. 

W. B. Beck. 

* Wm. Laeimee, Je. 
J. Steeling Moeton. 
A. D. KiEK. 
L. Haesh. 
J. H. Decree, 
J. M. Thayee. 
A. A. Beadfoed.- 
T. E. Haee. 
M. W. Eiden. 
W. E. Mo6ee. 
C. McDonald. 
S. A. Chambers. 



The following is my reply ; this correspondence was published in 
an Omalia paper, and from that I copy : 

Council Bluffs, Iowa, Dec. 31, 1855. 

Gentlemen — Your favor of the 28th inst., extending to me an invitation to lect- 
ure in your city during the sitting of the legislature, is received. 

Feeling, as I do, the importance of the Woman's Eights movement, and its bear- 
ings upon the welfare of the whole human race — realizing most deeply the injustice 
done to woman by the laws of our country in relation to the property rights of mar- 
ried women, &c. , I shall take pleasure in complying with your request by presenting 
for the consideration of your citizens generally, and the members of the legislature 
particuliirly, some thoughts on the question of woman's right of franchise. It will 
afford me especial gratification to bring this subject before you at this time, when 
your legislature is about adopting a code of laws for the government of the territory. 

Should it meet your wishes, I will be with you on Tuesday evening, the 8th of 
January, or at such other time as will best suit your convenience. 

Respectfully , 


To Won. Larimer, Jr. , J. H. S herman, and others. 

A correspondent of the Chronotype, of this city, wrote from Omaha 
of this lecture as follows : 

Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, who had been formerly invited by member of the legisla- 
ture and others, arrived at the door of the State House at 7:00 o'clock p.m., and by 
the gallantry of Gen. Larimer, a passage was made for her to the stand. The 
house had been crowded for some time with eager expectants to see the lady 
and listen to the arguments which were to be adduced as the fruitage of female 
thought and research. When all had been packed into the house who could possi- 
bly find a place for the sole of the foot, Mrs. Bloomer arose, amid cheers. We 
watched her closely, and saw that she was perfectly self-possessed-— not a nerve 
seemed to be moved by excitement, and the voice did not tremble. She arose in 
the dignity of a true woman, as if the importance of her mission so absorbed her 
thoughts that timidity or bashfulness were too mean to entangle the mental powers. 

She delivered her lecture in a pleasing, able, and, I may say, eloquent manner 
that enchained the attention of her audience for an hour and a half. A man could 
not have beat it. 

In mingling with the people next day we found that her argument had met 
with much favor. As far as property rights are concerned, all seemed to agree 
with the lady that the laws of our country are wrong, and that woman should re- 
ceive the same protection as man. All we have time to say now is, that Mrs. 
Bloomer's arguments on Woman's Eights are unanswerable. We may doubt the 
policy for women to vote, but who can draw the line and say that naturally she 
has not a right to do so? Mrs. Bloomer, though a little body, is among the great 
women of the United States; and her keen, intellectual eye seems to flash fire from 
a fountain that will consume the stubble of old theories until woman is placed in 
her true position in the enjoyment of equal rights and privileges. Her only danger 
is In asking too much. 





So much interest was created by the lecture that a bill was drawn 
up and introduced into the legislature giving to woman the right of 
franchise. This bill, I think, was drawn and presented by Gen. Wm. 
Larimer, formerly of Pittsburgh, Pa. It was not until the last day 
but one of the session that this woman suffrage bill came up, by special 
order of the House. A number of ladies were present to hear the discus- 
sion. Gen. Larimer spoke ably and eloquently in favor of the bill. 
On the vote being taken, it stood as follows : Yeas — Messrs. Boulwere, 
Campbell, Buck, Chambers, Clancy, Davis, Hail, Decker, Haygood, 
Hoover, Kirk, Larimer, Rose, Sullivan. — 14. Nays — Messrs. Beck, 
Bowen, Gibson, Harsh, Laird, Miller, Moore, Riden, Morton, Mc- 
Donald, Salisbury. — 11. 

Having passed the House, it was sent to the Council, where it was 
twice read, but failed, for want of time, of coming to a third reading. 

The session was limited to forty days — it was drawing to a close — 
there was considerable wrangling and excitement over county bound- 
aries, removal of the capital from Omaha, etc. — men talking to kill 
time until the last hour of the session expired, and the woman suf- 
frage bill not again reached, and so was lost. 

There was no little excitement concerning the matter, pending the 
action of the legislature on the bill and afterward. Gen^l William 
Larimer was the special exponent of the bill. The opponents pre- 
sented him with a petticoat, over which there came near being a gen- 
eral melee. 


Every old settler in Nebraska will remember " Father Hamilton," 
early and so long a missionary among the western Indians. I solicited 
his biography for this report from his own pen. The following letter 
in response I feel would be marred if it were changed, even in the 
" dotting of a single ^ i,^ or the crossing of a ' t.' " I therefore pre- 
sent it just as it came to me. 

Decatur, Burt County, Nebraska, 

May 22nd, 1884. 

Robt. W. Furnas J Esqr., Brownville, Neb.: 

My Dear Friend— Your kind favour of March was duly re- 
ceived, and it was then my intention to comply with your request as 



soon as I could. I had much on hand that needed attention, but a 
longer time has elapsed than I intended, ere I should make the at- 
tempt to reply. 

Without further apology, I remark, I was born in Lycoming 
Co. (now Clinton), Pa., on the banks of the Susquehanna, West 
Branch, on the First of Aug., 1811. The house that my father built 
shortly before his marriage is still standing, and is the home of my 
youngest sister, now in her 78th year. I am the youngest of eleven 
children, all of whom, with one exception, lived till mature life, and 
five of whom are still living. My father was a farmer, and settled 
there before the revolutionary war, and was among the number of 
those who composed what was called "The Big Runaway His 
father was killed by the Indians, while peaceably engaged on his 
farm ; yet the Indians had no warmer friend than my father, one 
evidence of which was his anxiety, when I offered myself as a Foreign 
Missionary, that I should be sent to the Indians in our own country. 

I worked on the farm till my eighteenth year, and part of the time 
till in my 21st year, studying and preparing for college with our 
Pastor, Rev. J. H. Grier, and, in part, privately. I went to college 
in Washington, Pa. (now "Washington and Jefferson College"), and 
entered the freshman, half advanced, and graduated in two and a half 
years, in the fall of 1834. Four of our class of twelve still live; 
one, the Hon. Wm. Russel, who has been in congress, who also re- 
ceived the first honours ; the other two, with myself, are in the min- 
istry. During my junior and senior year, I kept bachelor^s hall, as 
more economical than boarding, though boarding could then be had 
for $1.50 a week, and in the club it cost a dollar a week. It cost me 
thirty-seven and a half cents a week, during the first winter, when 
alone — coal, 31 J; light, 6 J ; washing, 25; but when my brother, 
J. J. Hamilton, now also in the ministry, came from the plow to get 
an education, our boarding cost us seventy-five cents a week. I gained 
one year, and he gained two and half, going with two classes from 
the start. By boarding ourselves we had more quietness and more 
time to study, and needed less exercise, our principal food being bread 
and butter and milk, with occasionally a taste of meat, or some little 
delicacy, such as apple-butter. My brother, though keeping up with 
two classes, had no equal in mathematics, while he was doubtless the 
equal of the others in the other branches. At the request of the class, 



no hononrs were given. Four in my class participated in the honours, 
the second honour being divided between two. If I may be pardoned 
for referring to self, as illustrating how some things were done, I may 
say that I told the one who got the third honour how to parse all his 
words in Greek, and wrote his Greek speech for him, which he drew 
by lot, and could not write one sentence in Greek correctly. Then, as 
a little amusement, I wrote my last composition in Greek Sapphic verse, 
and exchanged with the other member for criticism — S. L. Russel — 
but he did not go into the room to criticise, but asked me to exchange 
on the portico, and the professor readily excused him when I told him 
of the manner of exchanging. This was near fifty years ago, and is 
mentioned simply as illustrating how some things were done. 

As my father was unable to do more for me I at once engaged in 
teaching in Wheeling, Va., but as the bully of Wheeling undertook 
to cowhide me for whipping his boy — quite a youth — and was laid up 
himself under the doctor's care, and it produced quite an excitement 
(those were the days of slavery), I did not stay long though all the 
virtuous part of the town sustained me. I left and w^ent to the semi- 
nary at Pittsburgh, or Allegheny. Do not suppose I carried any 
deadly weapons, this I have never felt it necessary to do even in the 
Indian country. At the seminary I boarded in a private family and 
taught three children three hours a day for my board and a room in 
the attic. Having a prospect of a school in Louisburg, Pa., I went 
home in January, 1835, and taught school in Bellefonte, Pa., for over 
two years, studying divinity privately while teaching, and was licensed 
to preach by the Presbytery of Northumberland in the spring of 1837, 
and returned to the seminary, resuming the studies with the class I 
had been with. During the summer I was accepted by the Presby- 
terian Board of Foreign Missions as their missionary, and was mar- 
ried to Miss Julia Ann N. McGiffin, daughter of Thomas McGiffin, 
Esq., of Washington, Pa.; went back to my parents, was ordained in 
October, 1837, by the same Presbytery of Northumberland, and 
started west on my journey by stage, taking near a week to reach 
Pittsburgh. This we left on the 30th of October, 1837, and reached 
Liberty Landing on Saturday, November 18th, having been on the 
way nearly a month (from Pittsburgh), and more than a month from 
my home in Pennsylvania, and traveling from St. Louis to a point 
where Glasgow now stands, by stage. We had 86 miles yet to go to 



reach the phice of our future hibors. Forty-five miles of that was 
pn horse back to the old agency iiiue miles below East Black Snake 
Hills, where St. Joseph now stands. This we reached on the 27th of 
December, and were detained at the agency on account of there being 
no way to cross the Missouri River till it should freeze. From the 
agency to St. Joseph I footed it, while my wife and a little Indian 
girl and white girl in Mr. Ballard's family rode a-horseback. The 
ice was only strong enough to cross on foot, and we waited till the 
trader bought a mule from an Indian, and hiring it and an Indian 
pony, my wife rode the mule and the two girls rode the pony, while 
I took it afoot. We had twenty-five miles to go to reach the Indians 
on Wolf creek, and night overtook us at Musquito creek, still seven 
or eight miles from our place of destination. As it was intended for 
us to get through, no provision was made for camping out, or for din- 
ner, supper, or breakfast. It was very dark, and knowing nothing 
of the road we encamped on that stream, and I spent most of the 
night in cutting wood, having an axe in my saddlebags, in which I 
fixed a temporary handle. The next morning we started breakfast- 
less, and reached Wolf creek about eleven o'clock. The water at the 
ford lacked only three or four inches of coming over the pony's back 
and the bank was very miry, and not till near four o'clock did we 
get over, all getting wet. Fortunately, though it was the 29th of 
December, it was for the time of year moderate, or we might have 
perished. Mr. Irvin and wife were there in a log shanty, and we 
were most kindly received by them and shared their hospitality till 
we could fix up the other end of the log house for our home. He 
had a small quantity of flour and we got some corn and beef from the 
trader at Iowa Point, six miles away, when it was issued to the In- 
dians. I walked this six miles on one occasion and ground corn on a 
hand-mill as long as it was prudent to stay, and carried the meal 
home on my back. On another occasion I went to Fort Leaven- 
worth, fifty-one miles, to take the borrowed mule home, expecting to 
cross there and go thirty miles further to reach St. Jo. that now is, 
over eighty miles, to get to a place only twenty-five miles from the 
mission, and return the same way, but when I got to the fort the cold 
of the preceding night rendered the river uncrossable on account of 
the ice. About sundown, when I was near twenty miles from the 
garrison, though I then knew nothing of the distance, there came up 



suddenly what would now be called a blizzard, and it seemed as if I 
must perish if I had not had a buffalo robe on my saddle which a 
trader, who traveled with us from St. Louis, when we left him at Fay- 
ett, gave to Mrs. H., saying we might need it. The next day I 
started back, having obtained a sack of flour at the garrison through 
the kindness of Gen. Kearney, and got home on the third night near 
midnight, having had to break the ice to cross Wolf creek. It was 
February before we got our trunks, and then I had to make another 
trip, which took ten days. During this absence my wife and Mr. 
Irvin and wife had the pleasure of trying to live on the siftings of 
corn meal. But I need not go further into particulars, as this is a 
specimen of much of a similar nature. The lowas then numbered 
about 800 souls, and the Missouri Sacs about 500. I do not suppose 
fifty of those then living are alive now. It was a common thing for 
them to continue their drunken sprees for days together, or till they 
had killed some of their own number, when they would swear ofP, as 
it was called, for a certain number of days, but before the expiration 
of the allotted time some would break over the rule, and then it was 
like one sheep going to water, a signal for all to follow. I spent 
over fifteen years of my missionary life among them, and Mr. Irvin, 
who had kept a diary, told me some time before I left that they had 
then in their drunken sprees murdered about sixty of their own num- 
ber, while not one was killed by any other tribe, though they killed 
others in cold blood. At first they were very jealous of us, thinking we 
came to trade, and when told that was not our object they told us we 
might then go home as they could conceive of no higher object. 
They, however, became our warm friends, and generally came to us 
when in a difficulty, I was once waylaid, as the interpreter told me, 
.by the head chief, a very bad man, when I had gone to mill and was 
returning after night. I however took a different road near his house 
without knowing why, and thus avoided him. We had also been under 
their consultation when they wished to commit murder, but they crossed 
the river and shot a white man in the bottom. No-Heart, when a 
little drunk, told Mr. Irvin that we should not die — a remark not 
understood at the time— but plain enough when we heard of the 
shooting across the river. All this happened before the purchase of 
this country in 1854. I had a pistol and bowie knife drawn on me 
by a white man who had been blacksmith, and was then farmer, who 



was burnt in Texas for shooting the prosecuting attorney in court, 
confessing at the stake the murder of several whites and Indian 
James Dunham. 

I was transferred from the Iowa and Sac mission on Wolf river, to 
the Otoe and Omaha mission at Bellevue, Neb., in 1853, reaching Belle- 
vue on the 6th of June, that year. During that summer Col. Many- 
penny visited them with a view to getting their consent to sell a portion 
of their lands. They had a long council and hardly seemed to know what 
was best for them to do, but they were all very particular to tell him that 
they were chiefs and that their fathers were chiefs. Their agent. Major 
Gate wood, was ordei'ed to bring a delegation to Washington with a 
view to making a treaty. He at once proceeded to call councils and 
made treaties with the Otoes and Omahas, which I believe was noticed 
when he reached Washington. He was a man who felt the dignity 
of his office, and sometimes was ready to be advised, as was illustrated 
by his giving his report to the printer at St. Mary's to print him some 
copies for government to save the trouble of writing them. The 
printing was done, and as the type was set, it w^as much easier to make 
that report a part of his next issue, than to distribute it and set up 
new matter; so the public got the report of the agent before the agent 
reached Washington, who started to carry his own report to head- 
quarteis, being, I presume, called there on business. 

Col. Peter A. Sarpy had much to do with making these Gatewood 
treaties, but to his credit be it said, that when they had made choice 
of their present reserve, he earnestly opposed the agents trying to get 
them to to go the Blue with the Otoes. With all his faults he had a 
kind heart, and was a warm friend to the Indians, as is evidenced by his 
helping them when in need, and leaving to his faithful wife a legacy 
of two hundred dollars a year, while those who have inherited his 
w^ealth have for years tried to keep her out of her just dues. In fact^ 
it has only been obtained for some years by employing a lawyer to 
collect it. This has been the case only since the death both of John 
B. Sarpy and his son. 

After the treaty was made and the Indians supposed they had a 
home of their own choice at Blackbird Hills, they were kept in doubt 
for some time while efforts were made to get them to go elsewhere, 
and it was only when the facts were laid before the Hon. Walter 
Lowrie, Sec. of the Pres. Board of Missions, and he went to Washing- 



ton and laid the whole matter first before the Commissioner of I. Aff., 
then before the Sec. of the Interior, then before the Sec. of War, and 
finally before President Pierce, that with a resolute stamp on the 
floor, he said, " I say they shall go there." 

I could relate many things in connection with the treatment of the 
Indians that ought to make us, as a nation, blush, but it would re- 
quire a book to fell all I have witnessed of fraud practiced upon them, 
and by many persons things that I have personally known to be true 
would now hardly be believed. Much has been written on the In- 
dian problem, but there is only one way of solving the problem that 
has troubled so many wise heads; that is, to give them the Gospel, and 
if possible, in their own language, and civilization will follow or go 
along with equal pace. The policy of teaching them English is well 
enough, but the idea of driving their own language out of their minds 
may do to talk about, but will not be done in many generations. 
Even the few who seem to understand our language as well as we do 
ourselves (only a few) prefer speaking in their own. Their mode of 
thought is so different from the English, and I might say, from all 
modern European languages, that it is a great barrier to their acquir- 
ing our language perfectly. It must be a work of time, and while 
they are instructed in the English, the great truths of the Gospel must 
be heard in their ^^own language wherein they were born." With 
this instruction in religion and the education of the young, strict jus- 
tice on the part of our government should be done to them. They 
have rights that seem to have been little respected. 

Although I seemed to offend an agent forty-six years ago by say- 
ing the whites would have this country before long, and I could not 
believe what he so confidently asserted again and again, that they 
could not, for it was set apart forever for the Indians, yet time has 
shown that what he could not then believe has almost literally come 
to pass. When the treaty was ratified, it was not long till great num- 
bers were seeking a home in what was thought, not a century ago, to 
be a desert country, and only fit for the huntings grounds of the In- 
dians. When I came west in 1837 most of Iowa was unsettled and 
owned by Indians, and the buffalo roamed over it, there being a few 
settlements on the Mississippi. I have seen all west of the Missouri 
settled up, and I might say, as far south as Arkansas. When asked 
in an early day how far my diocese extended, I replied, I supposed 



Dorth to the forty-ninth degree of latitude, and west to the summit 
of the Rocky mountains, as at that time I knew of no other Presby- 
terian minister within these bounds. Rev. Dunbar had been among 
the Pawnees, but had left. The population of the United States did 
not at that time exceed fifteen millions of souls. Now what do we 
see? Churches and schools all over this then Indian country and a 
population of fifty-five mdlions. 

In the early settlement of Xeb. there was much excitement and 
some bloodshed, but the greatest excitement was about the location of 
the capital, as on that depended the future wealth of many, as they 
supposed. Had Governor Burt lived, it was his intention to examine 
the country, and then place the capital where it would be most bene- 
ficial to the territory, not to the individual or himself, though he was a 
poor man and in debt. I suppose I was better acquainted with him 
than any others, except those who came with him to the territory. 
He was remarkable for his kindness of heart and his sterling integrity, 
as those who came with him testified and as I could bear witness to, as 
far as I knew him. His kindness led him to listen to the proffered ad- 
vice of those who came to consult about their own interest, when he 
should have enjoyed perfect quietness. His state of health required 
this, and I was anxious to secure it for him, but the people would not 
let him rest. I might almost say he was worried to death. I feared 
the consequences from the first, but caution was of no avail to those 
who hoped to get rich by his deciding according to their wishes. 
The end came, and it does not seem a harsh judgment to say, that to 
some it did not seem to be regretted. After his death, and before his 
remains had left the Mission, plans were made, and arrangements 
made to carry out those plans, to place the capital at Bellevue. These 
plans were talked over in the room where the corpse was lying, while 
I was opening the zinc coffin to fill it with alcohol and soldering it 
up again. The talk w^as intended to be blind, but I understood it 
well enough. It was between the acting Gov. Gumming, and a man 
called Judge Green, who had before asked me the price of the mission 
reserve, four quarter sections. The plan was to purchase it of the 
Board of F. Missions and then locate the capital there. Three or 
perhaps four w^ere interested in this plan, the acting Gov., the afore- 
said judge, and a Mr. Gilmore. Judge Green was to ostensibly ac- 
company the corpse to S. C., but to go to New York when the di- 



verging point was reached and make the purchase. Judge Green had 
told me that he would give $26,000 in gold for it, saying he did not 
wish me to think he was rich, but he could command the money in 
gold. I had asked fifty thousand for the reserve. He went to N. Y. 
and agreed with the Hon. Walter Lowrie to give the fifty thousand, 
but asked sixty days to consider. He was to telegraph at the end of 
that time. He did not telegraph as agreed, and Mr. Gilmbre, who 
was then living in Omaha, told me it was at his advice that he did 
not telegraph, saying it was the pressure, the 'pressure meaning they 
could not borrow the money. The next move was to get bids, not 
from Bellevue alone, but from the different towns that wanted the 
capital. The Bellevue Land Claim Association promised liberally, 
but none had as yet titles to what they promised, only claims. Judge 
Ferguson then came to me and said everything was now arranged 
to secure the capital at Bellevue, except one thing. The L. C. A. had 
promised liberally, but acting Gov. Gumming asked one hundred acres 
of the mission reserve, and he assured me that if that was given, the 
capital would be placed at Bellevue. I replied without hesitation, 
not one foot to the man, but was willing to recommend the giving of 
it to the county or territory. This, I suppose, decided the matter. 
Some years after, when conversing with Judge Briggs about the amount 
Omaha was taxed for the capitol and R. E,., I said, all of Bellevue 
could have been purchased for a trifle of what they had paid out to 
secure these things for Omaha, and then they would have been inde- 
pendent. He admitted the fact, and added, we are not done yet.'' 
I have never regretted my refusal, though some of the citizens blamed 
me, but our Board never blamed me. 

Though Bellevue is, I think, the most beautiful town site on the 
Missouri river that 1 have seen, and I have seen many, it is a very 
small place yet, though for years Omaha seemed to fear it ; they 
have now grown beyond the fear of it, and, I think, are now^ taking 
a lively interest in the Synodical College located there. That, if suc- 
cessful, will be of far more advantage than the capital. It has lost 
none of its beauty or natural advantages, and if Omaha goes on ac- 
cording to expectations, it may soon be a part of Omaha. One wiser 
than mere man has ordered all things well. But I need not dwell on 
what is recorded elsewhere. This fall will complete fifty years since 
I graduated, and a great change has taken place in our country since 


then. When a boy the mail was carried on horseback between Wil- 
liamsport, twenty miles east, and Bellefonte, thirty miles west; now 
there is a railroad on each side of the river, and also a canal on one 
side, It was a winter's job to tramp out the grain with horses, tak- 
ing: a week to thresh and clean from 80 to 100 bushels of wheat. 
The first thresher in that country was built by one of the best farmers, 
and by hard work they could thresh 90 bushels in a day, and clean it 
the next day. Harvests were cut by the old-fashioned cradle, and 
mowing done with the scythe; often the old-fashioned Dutch scythe, 
which was sharpened by hammering instead of on a grindstone. Per- 
haps I should except the machinery of the whisky bottle, without which 
it was thought the harvest could not be cut. The first harvest of my 
father's cut without whisky, my brother and I told him if he would 
not have any whisky we would cut the harvest. We did it, and the 
bottle was never necessary after that. I need not speak of how these 
things are now done. Our school books were Webster's Spelling 
Book, the New Testament next, and at times the Old Testament, then 
Scotch Lessons, and afterwards Murray's English Reader. I think 
as good scholars were then made as they make now with all the change 
of books. We could not buy ruled paper, but ruled our paper with 
a hammered lead pencil. I never attended Sabbath school except as 
a teacher, as there were none in that part of the country. But if I 
may return to the early history of the Indians, near fifty years ago, 
the contrast is almost as great. I then saw a man riding a horseback, 
and his wife walking and carrying a load, and the little girls also 
carrying something, and boys, if there were any, carrying a bow and 
arrows. Before I left the lowas, I saw the wife on the horse, and 
the man walking. The same aiay be said of the Omahas. Now it is 
quite common to see the man and his wife riding together in a wagon. 
Then, the women packed their wood, often three miles, on their backs 
- — that was in summer ; now it is hauled in wagons, the men generally 
doing the work when able. Then, when not on the hunt, they were, 
when sober, either playing ball or cards, or some other games ; now 
they are engaged in farming. True, they keep up their dances, i. e. 
the heathen part, but generally take the Sabbath for them, as they 
pretend they work on other days, but they also work on the Sabbath. 
The members of the church attend meeting, and often others ; and I 
have often gone from Decatur to the Mission through storm, when most 



of the whites thought it too stormy to attend church, and found a house 
full of attentive listeners. The Omahas are on their farms, and a large 
portion of the potatoes and corn brought in to Decatur comes from 
the Reserve. They raise a good deal of wheat, many of them break- 
ing each year about five acres of fresh prairie to add to their farms. 
The prairie breaking that I have seen I think is far ahead of what 
the whites do. One Indian told me that a white man olFered him a 
half dollar an acre more tiian he was willing to give a white man, be- 
cause he did it so much better. Some of them have built houses, 
purchasing the pine lumber and hiring Indian carpenters to do the 
work. And I must say that the houses put up by the Indians are 
better and more substantial than those put up for them by Agent 
Painter. The Omahas are also increasing in numbers, and are a 
sober people. I have seen but one drunken Omaha in over fifteen 
years, and he could talk English. Although a large part of them 
keep up their old superstitious habits, they always listen to me when 
I visit them at their homes, and seem often to be interested. Occa- 
sionally, some one may make some objections, but a few kind words 
overcome their objections, and they listen to the truth. Last Sab- 
bath I stopped at White Horse's, and found the door shut and no 
answer to my knocking. I passed on a couple of hundred yards, and 
was talking to some Winnebagos, who were stopping there, when his 
wife came and inquired what I wanted, and when I told her I was 
teaching the Indians, she said her husband wanted me to go back and 
teach them. They were in another part of the house. There are 
over sixty members in the church now, besides a number have died 
and some in triumph of faith. It is over thirty years since I left 
the lowas, and they have greatly diminished, as have the Otoes and 
Sacs. Whisky has been their ruin. The Pawnees, too, have greatly 
diminished, less than one-third what they were fifty years ago, per- 
haps not a fourth or even a fifth of their number. So have the Pon- 
cas. According to their history, when they first came to the Nio- 
brara they encamped in three circles instead of one, on account of one 
circle requiring so much space — numbering not less than three thou- 
sand souls. The Omahas encamped in two circles. The Poucas were 
hunters while the Omahas cultivated some patches. The tradition is 
that the Omahas, Poncas, lowas, and Otoes came from the south-east, 
from below St. Louis, and crossed the Mississippi near that ; while 



the Quapaw, tradition is, that they were also with them, but sepa- 
rated there, they going south or below (their way of expressing south)^ 
while the others went up or north — up signifying north, as the streams 
flowed from that direction. They traveled on till they reached the 
Vermillion. There they made a village, and after a time kept on 
north on the other side of the Missouri river, till they went some dis- 
tance up that stream, and then crossed it and came down on this side^ 
the Otoes and lowas going before. When they reached the Ne-o-bra- 
ra (the correct way of spelling it), the Poncas staid there, and the others 
came on down, and the others eventually went still further down, 
while the Omahas stayed at Omaha creek, and, at times, on the Elk- 
horn or at the Blackbird Hills, and eventually at Bellevue. They 
think it must have been as much as 300 years ago. When they first 
came to this country there were some other Indians roaming over it, 
but not Sioux. They did not hear of the Sioux for a long time. There 
were some battles among them; and the Omahas raised some veg- 
etables, as corn and beans, and the Poncas traded meat for corn, etc.^ 
with the Omahas. 

There is no doubt that the Osages, Kansas or Kaws, Quapaws, 
Omahas, Poncas, Otoes, lowas, Winnebagoes, and the diiferent bands 
of Sioux were formerly one people, and to these might be added the 
Mandans and Hedatse, and perhaps others, as their language shows, 
the Osage being the most guttural and the others as named less so, 
yet they need an interpreter to talk together, except the lowas and 
Otoes, and Omahas and Poncas, and Osages and Kaws. The Chip- 
pewas, Pottawattomies, Kickapoos, Sauks (Sacs) and Foxes, Weas, 
Peorias, Peankeshaws, Kaskaskias, and, I think, Shawnees, show a 
common origin. No resemblance between the languages of this lat- 
ter class and the former. The Pawnee is again different ; but a moun- 
tain tribe, I think the Crees, show a resemblance ; and a tribe far 
in the north, above the Yellowstone, in language resemble the Sacs. 
The MissDurians were slaves to the Osages, but ran off and came to 
the Otoes, and became mingled with them, and have nearly lost their 
Dwn language, only a few old people speaking it; but while they 
5peak the Otoe, it is with a peculiar manner, showing it is not their 
native tongue, speaking very slowly, as if they were not yet familiar 
vith it to speak it as the Otoes. The Pawnees seem to have come 
)riginally from the south-west, near Mexico. 



The Indians do not worship idols as many heathen, that is carved 
idols or images, but are idolaters in the true sense of the word, but 
the idol is more in the mind and they apply the name of God to many 
things or ideas — different gods for different things. Wakanda in 
Omaha, Ponca, etc. Wakanta in Iowa, Otoe, and so forth. Wa- 
ka-tangka in Sioux, which really is the great or war god, Tangka, 
Sioux, tangga, Omaha, tanra, Iowa, signifying great. Waka is snake 
in Iowa and Otoe, and uda is good in Omaha, perhaps good snake, as 
pe is good in Iowa, and peskunya is bad, or not good, while uda is 
good in Omaha, but pe-azhe in Omaha is not good, showing the pe 
retained in the negative. Great Spirit is introduced, I have no doubt 
by the whites, as the only idea of spirit is the spirit of a person. 
Moleto or moneto is the name of God in the Sac and kindred Ian- . 
guages, and a Sac interpreter told me it meant big snake. Is there I 
in this something handed down from the fall? I have discovered I 
think traces of the creation and flood among the lowas. It is quite a 
long story. The Chippeways invented a system of writing and taught 
some Kickapoos, and a few Sacs learned it from them, but it must \ 
have been formed from the English, as the letters resemble the Eng- 
lish considerably though the sounds are different, using sixteen letters, 
four of which are vowels. The Sac language is as musical as the j| 
Greek. The Winnebagoes use a term for God signfying the maker I 
of the earth, but also the same nearly as the lowas. There is a tra- 
dition that a part of the lowas left the tribe and went off to hunt 
sinews and never returned, and lost their language, and that the lost ' 
ones are the Winnebagoes, But perhaps I have given you enough, ' 
or too much. If in any thing I have not been full enough, if you * < 
will ask questions I will try to answer them. I have printed down • ^ 
just such things as came into my mind, and as you will see not in ^ 
very regular order, but you may get some ideas from this hasty sketch ^ 
that will suit you. I do not write a plain hand unless I write slowly, ^ 
and in the caligraph I sometimes get in a hurry. I often think of 
you and remember your kindness. Remember me kindly to your 
family. Yours truly, D 



I wrote without referring to the circular, and since looking at it 
find there are some things I can answer, as sources of streams, but may )e 



Dot be able for a week or so. Though poor and often without a cent 
I would be ashamed to ask pay of you for contributing what I can. 

Yours truly, 

May 26th, 1884. WM. HAMILTON, 


The following interesting paper concerning Indian names and their 
significance was furnished for this report by " Father Hamilton/' long 
a missionary and teacher among our Western Indians. 


The name of the Kansas river is doubtless derived from the Kan- 
sas Indians, who lived on that stream. They were often called Kaws, 
and the river in an early day was called the Kaw river. The lowas 
called the Indians Kantha, which means swift. Their own (the Kan- 
sas Indians) mode of pronouncing that word would be Ka-za, and this 
they called themselves, but whether they had another name I am un- 
able to say. Most Indians speak of themselves by a different name 
ifrom that by which they are known by the surrounding tribes. It 
lis sometimes said that Kansas means a good place to dig potatoes. 
This is a mistake. The lowas called the river To-pe-o-kse, which 
(Signifies a good place to dig potatoes, from to, pota toe, pe good, and 
o-kse to dig. The name is preserved in the town Topeka, as near as 
the whites get in pronouncing Indian names. Wolf river is simply 
a translation of the Iowa name for that stream, Shun-ta-Nesh-nang-a. 
Musquito creek took its name from the quantity of musquitoes that 
troubled some who encamped on it. Its Indian name, eneshae, sig- 
aifies a ripple. The Platte, is as you are aware, a French word sig- 
aifying broad, and is a translation of the Indian name signifying the 
same thing, Ne-brath-kse or Ne-prath-kse in Iowa and Ne-brath-kse 
n Omaha, or as some speak it, Ne-bras-ka. I formerly thought that 
IS the government interpreter could not sound th, but used s where it 
occurred, we were indebted to that fact for calling our state Nebraska, 
J ,nd think so still, though' if it was derived from the Omaha, it would 
^ ne Nebrathka or Nebraska according to some of their own people. The 

I * ^ as a in fate; a as a in far. 



Ne-ma-ha keeps its true pronunciation, better than any of the others, 
signifying muddy water. The Tarkeo is from the Iowa, signifying 
full of walnuts, but the true pronunciation would be Ta-kse-o-yu, from 
takge walnut, and o-yu full. Neshnebottany signifies a stream oa 
which a canoe or boat may pass : J^esh-na, stream ; pachse, a boat, 
o-wse ne to make a way or passage, I^Tesh-na-pa-chse-o-wae ne, (or nyse). 
Nodaway is Ne-a-ta-wse, Iowa, a stream that can be jumped over, or it 
might mean jumping water, Chariton is from the Iowa, signifying 
an abundance of some thing of which there was an abundance there, 
in that stream or near its mouth. I never saw the English word 
but once and that was more than fifty years ago, or during the Flor- 
ida war. It is a root that grows in wet places, and is as large as 
a cucumber and larger, and much resembles those cucumbers that 
have two or three holes running horizontally through them, the top 
bears a seed like a small acorn. It was said that the Seminoles when 
hardly pressed retired to the swamps and lived on these roots. The 
Indians gather them and boil them for food. Sha-ra is the Iowa 
name of the root, and to, plenty. It sounds like a French name, but 
it is Indian. Ne~o bra-ra is a Ponca word and signifies broad or 
shallow water, the same as Nebrathka. I may here remark that in giv 
ing names the French nation always give to i the sound of e and to e 
the sound of a, hence the common mode of spelling it Niobrara. Ne, 
is water. The Missouri I think derives its name from the Sioux 
language in which w^ater is Me-ne; smoky or roily is suchss in Iowa, 
zheda in Omaha, and something like it in Sioux, as all speak of it 
under a term signifying smoky or roily or foggy as the word often sig- 
nifies. The spelling is after the European pronunciation of ias Min- 
nehaha, Minnesota, etc. It is thus that the true pronunciation of 
many names is lost by not attending to the signification. Mississippi 
is almost pure Sac, signifying, not Father of waters, but gr^eat or 
large ivater. Ma-sha, great, and se-po, a stream. The lowas call it 
Ne hon-ya, signifying the same thing ; the Omahas Ne-tang-ga, great 
water. I do not think of others just now. 

The tradition of the lowas is that a long time ago the lowas, Otoes, 
Missourians, and Omahas were traveling together, and the lowas en- 
camped on a sand bar and the wind blew the dust on their faces, and 
hence Pa-hu-che, dusty nose, or dusty face; as pa is not only the 
nose but the head of an animal, and is so applied at times to persons. 



Long', in his expedition, translates it gray snow, as the difference be- 
tween pa snow and pa nose is hardly perceptible. Ho-chte, dirty, gray, 

The Oraahas encamped above on the stream, Eromaha signifying 
up or above on a stream; hence Omaha, called Mahas formerly. 

The Missourians encamped at the mouth of the stream, JSTe-u-chseta, 
at the mouth of the stream, hence Ne-u-tach, the name they go by. 
But this seems to contradict the saying that they were escaped pris- 
oners within the recollection of the older ones, unless it refers to pre- 
vious history. 

The Otoes derive their name from a transaction or love scrape be- 
tween an Otoe chief's son and an Iowa chief's daughter, Watota. 
They call themselves Che-wse-rse. 

The Omahas have a similar tradition about the Missourians, ex- 
cept that instead of encamping at the mouth of the stream, there 
were two persons drowned in the stream, and hence the name ne, 
water, and u-chse, to die in, i. e., to drown ta, at a place, as Ne-u- 
chse-ta, to be drowned at. 

The meaning of compound words cannot always be known from 
the several parts, and is only known from tradition, and many of 
their names have lost their original signification. 

Though many of these tribes cannot converse with one another 
their language shows a common origin, as Osages, Kansas, Quapas, 
Omahas, Poncas, lowas, Otoes, Missourians, Mandans, Hedatse, etc.; 
and various bands of Sioux. So of the Chippeways, Ottawas, Pot- 
towattomies, Kickapoos, Sacs, Foxes, Peorias, Peankeshaws, Kas- 
kaskias, or Miami tribes, and many others, as I think I mentioned to 
you in a former letter. 

I wrote to you in the former letter in much haste, and forget 
whether I told you of my second marriage. We have three children, 
the oldest in her fourteenth year. Many thanks for what you en- 
closed. It may interest you to know what was done with it. We paid 
for some paper for our room and study, so we will think of your 
kindness when we see it. With kind regards, 

Yours truly, 


P. S. — Mr. Fontenelle has been on the Logan Thomas claims for 
near two months. 

W. H. 



The following Indian names of streams and localities, is furnished 
by Henry Fontenelle : 

Nebraska — Name of the Platte river, meaning flat river. 

Nemaha — Name of the Nemaha river, meaning Omaha's river. 

Neobrara — Niobrara or Lean qui court river, meaning wide river. 
Lean qui court is the French name of the running or Niobrara river, 
meaning the water that runs.'' 

The letter O was always annexed or prefixed to Mahas, Omahas is 
proper. The early voyagers, the French, abbreviated the word or 
name by leaving off the O and calling them '^de Maha," instead of 
des Omaha. 

Ohio — Although not in this state is an Omaha word, meaning 
come along. Ohie, or Ohahe, came by. 

I cannot just now think of any more Indian names of streams or 


At request of the editor of this report the following traditional his- 
tory of the Omaha Indians is furnished by Henry Fontenelle, a reli- 
able, intelligent, educated half-blood of that tribe: 

Decatur, Neb., Aug. 18th, 1884. 

Robert W. Furnas, Brownville, Neb.: 

Dear Sir — I send you a brief tradition or history of the Omahas^ 
as you requested, but I fear it is not all you want. Like other persons 
of limited means I have hut little leisure to study or write, and have 
been away from home most of the time since last spring, and have 
had to improve what little time I could catch while at home to write 
it out, as you know my education is limited, and have not as fluent 
use of the English language as I would wish, and consequently I 
make a poor out at writing history or anything else. Had I plenty 
of time to study and write, and make researches I might have made 
it longer and go more into details, and it might have been more inter- 
esting and entertaining. 

I once wrote a biography of Logan for the Burtonian (our county 
paper), which you vv^ill find in the last and largest history of Ne- 
braska published in Chicago, which should you want you can find.* 



I send you the slip of paper containing the death of my aunt, etc. If 
you need it, or should you not, or at any rate, please send back to 
me when done with. I had the pleasure of seeing her while in 
Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1873, also two of her daughters, one of whom a 
widow lady living now in Chicago. 

Mr. Henry Allis will be at the State fair with the original manu- 
scripts written by his father, to let you see, and hope to be there my- 
self, if possible. I am 

Very respectfully, etc., 


The tradition of the Omahas handed down to this date is, that they 
were living at the mouth of the Missouri river in a destitute condition 
(no date is given), when by accident some one of them found an ear 
of corn in a mole hill, the kernels of which were divided among the 
different bands or families. From that time hence corn has been cul- 
tivated by them. The Quapaws, now of the Indian territory, go far- 
ther back. Tradition tells them that they and the Omahas were one 
tribe; that they emigrated down the Ohio river from its sources 
down to the mouth of it, where a controversy took place as to the di- 
rection thgy should take, when finally a part of them went down the 
Mississippi and called themselves Ogoh pse,'^ meaning descending or 
going down. They settled on the west side of the Mississippi on that 
part of the territory now the state of Arkansas, and were there until 
they ceded the country to the United States, and moved westward. 
The other part of the tribe moved up the river and called themselves 
Omaha," derived from the word " Kemoha," meaning against the 
current, against the wind. The Omahas, as stated, tradition takes 
them back only to the mouth of the Missouri river. In their migra- 
tions up the river nothing of importance is mentioned until they 
reached a point on the Big Sioux river, where they located their vil- 
lage, and lived many years in confederation with the lowas, Otoes, and 
Winnebagos. In dissensions among the Omahas a part of them sepa- 
rated and went southward, and became independent tribes of the 
Kaws and Osages. After many years residence on the Sioux river? 
at or near the red pipe stone quarry, they went on up the Missouri 
with the other tribes mentioned, until they reached a point opposite 
the mouth of White Earth river where they crossed the Missouri to 
the west side and explored the country west of that point. The coun- 



tiy being barren and soil poor they could not successfully raise corn. 
They lived there but a short time and moved down the west side of 
the Missouri river (still with the other tribes that started with them 
from the Sioux river), until they arrived at a place opposite the mouth 
of James river of Dakota, and lived there many years. The lov/as 
located at the mouth of Iowa creek, near the present site of Ponca, 
Nebraska. The Otoes went on south until they came to the mouth 
of the Elkhorn river where they settled on the east side of the river. 
No account is given of the Wionebagos after they left the Sioux river- 
How long the Omahas remained at their village opposite the James 
river we know not. When tradition tells us they moved on down 
the river to a place where the Omaha creek disembogues out the blufPs 
at the present site of Homer, Nebraska^ and established a village there 
many years before a white man was known to them. It was at that 
place the Omahas first saw the white people. Some of the Indians 
were on the bank of the Missouri, and espied some strange beings on 
the opposite side building a boat, preparing to cross the river. The 
white people came over loaded with blankets, cloths, trinkets, and 
guns. It was then, and at that time, they first knew the use of fire- 
arms. A year or two afterwards five different traders established 
trading posts at the cross timbers'^ (a belt of cottonwood timber 
stretching across the Missouri bottom about half way between Deca- 
tur and Tekama, Nebraska), where the Omahas and traders made 
their rendezvous semi-annually to trade. 

Up to this no mention is made of any great chief until Blackbird 
comes into prominence with Ta-ha-zhouka, the father of " Big Elk 
the First." Blackbird was the first great chief known to white people, 
and his memory is held sacred by the Omahas for his rare intelligence 
and good traits. He held supreme command over his people. His 
words were law and obeyed as such. At the same time he is remem- 
bered as a good and gentle disposition, and loved by his subjects- 
Blackbird and Ta-ha-zhouka were the first Omaha chiefs that made 
a treaty of friendship and peace with the governor of the territory of 
Louisiana at St. Louis, where a recognition of his being chief of the 
Omahas was given him by the governor on paper, the date of which 
we forget. It is still kept by his descendants as a sacred relic. And 
at this time a portrait of Blackbird was painted, which at the present 
time hangs in the Palace of the Louvre," at Paris, France. Not 



many years after that time lie returned from a visit to the Pawnees -it 
their village on the south side of the Phitte river opposite the present 
site of Schuyler, Nebraska. The Pawnees at the time were visited 
by that terrible scourge, the small-pox. He took the disease as soon 
as he arrived home, and died in a few days. His last request was, 
that he should be buried on a higli bluff overlooking the Missouri, so 
that he could see the white people in their travels up and down the 
river, as he was very fond of them. 

On account of their enemies, the Sioux, who made incessant wars 
upon them, and outnumbered them, they moved out to the Elkhorn 
river (named after Ta-ha-zhouka, meaning elk's horn), where they 
lived until the year 1832 or '33 when the small-pox broke out 
among them. In their consternation they scattered in every direction 
over the prairies. After a great many of them died the disease left 
them. They collected again, but abandoned that village and went 
back again to their former home on the Omaha creek, and lived there 
until A.D. 1845. Again, on account of their inveterate foes, the Sioux? 
making continual wars upon them, they moved down the river to 
a place four miles west of Bellevue. They lived there one year when 
their next great chief. Big Elk the First, died, and was given a Chris- 
tian burial by the missionary at Bellevue, the Rev. Mr. McKinney, 
who preached the funeral sermon over the remains, and interpreted 
by Logan Fontenelle, U. S. interpreter. He was buried on the spot 
where now stands the Presbyterian College. In excavating the 
grounds preparatory to building the institution, no doubt the spot 
held sacred by the Omahas was desecrated by digging away his bones. 
What was done with them we know not. The memory of Big Elk 
is dear to the Omahas for his good traits, and is conspicuous for his 
executive abilities. He commanded respect among all the white peo- 
ple that knew him. His son and successor, "Big Elk the Second," 
was a man of natural abilities, but took to dissipating, and died 
from the effects of prolonged debauch at the foot of Blackbird hill, 
and was buried by the grave of Blackbird in 1852. 

Contemporary with the last Big Elk was a conspicuous character 
by the name of White Buffalo, sometimes erroneously called "White 
Cow," a natural and gifted orator. For several years before he died 
the writer of this was U. S. interpreter, and it was with much regret 
I could not well enough use the English language to interpret and 



convey the utterances of strong emotion in his eloquent speeches made 
before U. S. authorities, and upon particular occasions before assem- 
blies. He was noted for his quaint, humorous pleasantries. It may 
not be amiss in this narrative to cite an incident when White Buffalo 
with other chiefs was in Washington in a.d. 1851, in council with the 
commissioner of Indian affairs. The year previous to that time the In- 
dians of the plains had committed depredations upon emigrants trav- 
eling across the plains to California. The Omahas of course had to 
take the blame as well as other Indians west of the Missouri. The 
commissioner had occasion to speak of the depredations, and said to the 
Omahas that if they did not quit molesting the emigrants he would 
send out soldiers and big guns among them and kill them all off with 
one puff of his big guns. White Buffalo got up and straightened 
himself before the commissioner and said: *^My Great Father, I fear 
not death. I have fought my enemies in many battles. I have 
courted death in the din of hot strife of battle with deadly foes, but 
death has thus far disdained me. Send out your soldiers, send out 
your big guns, and to prove to you, should I be your prisoner, I will 
crawl into your big gun and tell you to fire away!" The speech 
created some sensation among the white bystanders, but his colleagues 
took it as a good joke, as White Buffalo never merited the name of a 
"brave warrior" in any meritorious act in battle. During the win- 
ter of 1855 and 1856 agent Geo. Hepner issued provisions to the 
Omahas at Omaha City, at that time but an embryo city. After the 
provisions were all given out, the agent held a council with the chiefs. 
During the council, a Mr. Wm. Brown brought an account against 
the Omahas for hogs killed and taken by them. Sufficient evidence 
was given to prove that no Omahas were seen ifi the vicinity of 
Omaha City or Council Bluffs for four months previous to the time 
Brown lost his hogs. White Buffalo stepped up to Mr. Brown and 
said: "My friend, why do you charge us with a theft we did not 
commit. Your hogs were frozen to death." And in mock solemnity he 
puts his hand on Mr. Brown and pointing upwards, tells him to send 
his account to the Lord Almighty "who caused the snow and cold 
weather that froze your hogs.'^ The jeers of the bystanders rather 
nonplussed Brown. He walked away and never mentioned hogs 
again to the agent or Omahas. White Buffalo was a great counselor 
to his people, and his counsels had effect by the argumentative and 



convincing manner of speech he gave it. While sick, a few days be- 
fore he died, he was visited by their agent in company with the U. S. 
interpreter, when White Bulfalo made a few sensible and pertinent 
remarks; he was buried on a high bluff overlooking the river just 
above Decatur, Neb. 

In September, 1853, the U. S. commissioner of Indian affairs visited 
the Omahas, and in council made overtures for the purchase of their 
country. The Omahas signified a willingness to acquiesce in the offers 
of the commissioner. In a council of deliberation on that occasion 
Logan Pontenelle by acclamation was created principal chief. All 
the chiefs of the Omahas were invited to Washington by the commis- 
sioner to make a treaty for their country, which was consummated and 
signed on the 16th day of March, a.d. 1854, the territory ceded by 
the Omahas embracing about one-fourth of the State of Nebraska, in 
the north-eastern part. The Omahas reserving for their home three 
hundred thousand acres where they now live, and are making rapid 
strides toward civilization. 

In June, 1855, Logan went with the tribe as usual on their sum- 
mer buffalo hunt, and as usual their enemies, the Sioux, laid in wait 
for the Omahas in vicinities of large herds of buffalo. The first sur- 
round they made on the buffalo the Sioux made a descent upon them 
in overwhelming numbers and turned the chase into battle. Four 
Omahas were killed and several wounded. In every attempt at get- 
ting buffalos tlie Sioux charged upon them. The Omahas concluded 
it was useless to try to get any buffalo and retreated toward home. 
They traveled three days and thinking they were out of danger, Lo- 
gan, one morning, in company with Louis Saunsoci and another In- 
dian, started on ahead of the moving village, and were about three 
miles away when they espied a herd of elk in the distance. Logan 
proposed chase, they started, that was the last seen of him alive. The 
same moment the village was surrounded by the Sioux. About ten 
o'clock in the morning a battle ensued and lasted until three o'clock, 
when they found out Logan was killed. His body was found and 
brought into Bellevue and buried by the side of his father. He had 
the advantage of a limited education and saw the advantage of it. He 
made it his study to promote the welfare of his people and to bring 
them out of their wretchedness, poverty, and ignorance. His first 
step to that end was to organize a parol of picked men and punish 



all that came home intoxicated with bad whisky. His effort to stop 
whisky drinking was successful. It was his intention as soon as the 
Omahas were settled in their new home to ask the government to es- 
tablish ample schools among them, to educate the children of the tribe 
by force if they would not send the children by reasonable persuasion. 
His calculations for the benefit of the tribe were many, but like many 
other human calculations his life suddenly ended in the prime, 
and just as he was ready to benefit his people and sacrifice a life's 
labor for helpless humanity. After Logan was killed the Omahas 
went to Bellevue instead of coming back to the reservation whence 
they started, and wintered along the Missouri river between Calhoun 
and the reservation, some of them at Bellevue. In the spring of 1856 
they again went back to their reservation, where they have been since. 
The first years of their residence here they went on their usual sum- 
mer and winter hunts and depended on the chase for subsistence. The 
game grew scarcer as the country settled up by the white people. 
When in the fall of 1870 they were obliged to go a long distance 
down on the Smokyhill river in Kansas, and found but few buffalo, 
they started homeward disheartened and in a destitute condition, and 
would have suffered was it not for the kindness of the commander of 
Fort Hayes, who liberally supplied them with bacon and flour. They 
arrived home satisfied that it was no longer any use to try and subsist 
upon the chase, as the buffalo and elk had disappeared from their 
usual haunts. They concluded to till the soil and emulate their 
neighbors, the white people, was their only alternative, from which 
time they have progressed rapidly, and have labored diligently in 
making themselves comfortable homes and take an interest in educat- 
ing children. They have two flourishing schools that accommodate 
on an average eighty to a hundred children every year. They also 
have now about forty of their children at Carlisle, Pa., and Hampton, 
Ya., schools supported by the United States government. Many of 
them have comfortable frame houses built by proceeds of their own 
earnings. They market surplus wheat and corn every fall. On the 
fourth of July, 1884, Ebohumbe, son of Chief Noise, died, after 
prolonged sickness, an exemplary and useful man for his emulative 
example in trying to live and labor like the white people and accumu- 
lating property. He owned at the time he died sixty head of cattle 
and forty or fifty head of hogs, three span of large horses, and 



took to market every fall large surplus of wheat, corn, and hogs. 
White Horse, a descendant of the great chief Blackbird, who is liv- 
ing, is another among the Omahas who sets good example, by trying 
to live like the white people in farming and dwelling in a comfort- 
able house, as well as by precepts given to his people at every oppor- 
tunity; in turning them from their old habits to civilized ways of 
living ; but these are only examples of m^ny that try to better their 
condition ; and should the Omahas progress as they have in the last 
ten years, another decade will see them competent citizens. 

Some months after the foregoing had been handed me, Mr. Fonte- 
nelle wrote me as follows : 

By invitation I was at the dedication of the Bellevue College, and 
the burial of the bones of the Omahas that were taken up in prepar- 
ing the grounds for the building. I was entirely ignorant of what 
was done with the bones at the time I wrote the history of the Omahas 
for you, and I regret very much of having written the sentence of cen- 
sure, in saying a desecration was committed in digging away the bones 
of " Big Elk.'' An apology was due Mr. Clark, the founder of the 
college, which I did offer. I now wish that that sentence in the His- 
tory be erased, and substitute the following : 

Much credit and praise is due Hon. H. T. Clark for the kind, 
Christian act in carefully taking up the bones of Big Elk and others 
that were buried there generations ago, and put them in boxes and 
stored them until the appropriate and fitting time of the dedication of 
the College to its noble use, when they were reburied immediately in 
front of the building — upon which occasion eloquent and fitting ex- 
pressions were given by the venerable missionary, the Rev. William 
Hamilton, and others.^' 


Note. — The editor of this report was, during the life-time of 
" White Cow," or ^' White Buffalo," agent for the Omaha Indians, 
and familiar with the peculiar characteristics referred to by Mr. Fon- 
tenelle. A reference to two instances may not be an unpleasant di- 



I was once sent for in great haste by " White Cow/^ on an exceeding 
bitter cold day in December^ the messenger stating the old Indian was 
about to die, and desired to make his will, appoint his successor, and 
such like. I went at once, and found the old man stretched out on a 
buffalo robe before a blazing fire, in his tepee. He quickly as possi- 
ble arose to a sitting position, greeted me, lighted his pipe and passed it 
around — a universal custom, and indicative of friendship and good 
will. He then proceeded to state his case. He was old, sick, and ex- 
pected never again to get up and around. He wished a twelve year 
old grandson, then in the mission school, to succeed him as chief. He 
wished to be buried or rather placed in a sitting position, on the high 
bluff of the Missouri river, back a mile or so from the tepee, his face 
to the river, that the spirit might continue to see the steamboats pass- 
ing up and down that stream. 

1 promised all his wishes should be complied with. 

The old man thanked me for the promise I made him, then, exhib- 
iting his tattered and not over cleanly, meagre wearing apparel, he 
said one of his standing ought not to be buried in such an outfit, and 
hoped I would see he had an entire new suit of clothes — blanket and 
breech-cloth. This too I promised him. He dropped his chin on his 
breast for a moment, in deep thought, then raising it, directed the in- 
terpreter to say to the Father — a name always given the agent by the 
Indians— that he was a very kind, good man to thus grant his requests; 
that he very much desired to thank in person the Father for the new 
suit of clothes he was to be buried in ; that after he, the chief, was dead 
and buried he could not do so ; therefore he thought it best he have 
the new clothes before he died, that he might have the pleasure of ex- 
tending thanks in person. The real object in view in sending for me 
was at once unveiled. The old man wanted a new suit of clothes, and 
adopted this circuitous mode of obtaining them. The joke was con- 
sidered so good that I complied with that request, as with others, and 
sent him next day a new suit. In about a week the old man came 
up to my office with it on, and thanked me very cordially. 

At another time " White Cow came bounding into my office with 
an interpreter, and in a very pompous manner threw back his blanket, 
lighted and passed his pipe, and at once proceeded to deliver himself 
after this style : 

" Tell the Father,'' said he to the interpreter, " that I am the oldest 



and most prominent chief in the tribe; I have traveled to see the 
Great Father at Washington ; I have always been the white man's 
friend. I am going to visit my friends and relatives, the Ponca In- 
dians, and must have presents to make them. I shall ask from him 
many things to this end, and expect to get them all.'' 

My knowledge of the old man led me to suspect an African some- 
where in the fuel pile, and I was disposed to humor the procedure. 
" Well," I said, "tell me what you want, and all you want." He 
said first, "he wanted tobacco, and plenty of it." "How much?" I 
enquired. " Ten kegs," he replied — that nothing less than that would 
suffice one of his rank. After talking the matter over for some time, 
I adopted a course always vexing to an Indian ; I commenced to plead 
poverty, and beg of him. I reminded him that he was very rich; 
owned hundreds and thousands of acres of land he was not using; and 
horses almost without number, for which he had no use; and that he 
should make me presents, and not me to him. The old man assumed 
his favorite position when in thought, of dropping his chin on his 
breast. After a few minutes he raised his head, and looking at me 
very seriously, said to the interpreter : " Tell the poor man that I am 
old enough to be his grand-father ; I have traveled much, and seen 
many thousand of men and women, white men and Indians, of all 
sizes," — then placing his outstretched hand, palm down, to about two 
inches from the floor, added — " but tell him I never saw a white 
man no higher than that before." 

All the old man wanted and came for was a single plug of tobacco, 
which, of course, he got. 

Some months after this " White Cow " sickened and died. I had 
him buried as he desired, by having an improvised chair provided, 
the body placed in a sitting position in it, and surrounded by a stone 
and wood structure. 




This lady, notice of whose death appeared in last week's Econo- 
mistj was a native of Louisiana, and a direct descendant of a power- 
ful family of the French nobility, a daughter, if we are informed 
correctly, of the Marquis de Fontenelle, a nobleman of great wealth 
and character, whose property was contiguous to the city of Marseilles, 
but who in all probability had sought, like many others, either health 
or increased fortune on the fertile shores of New France. 

The family was in every respect a remarkable one. A young and 
adventurous brother of Mrs. Lockett, who left Louisiana at the early 
age of sixteen to embark in the perilous fur trade in the far West, in 
his traffic with the red men was deeply smitten with the charms of a 
young Indian maiden of rank in the then powerful Omaha tribe. 
After a romantic wooing, like a great many others, he determined to 
make her his wife, and the twain were united by the renowned Father 
DeSmet, the courageous missionary and priest, whose name is a house- 
hold word in most homes west of the Missouri. The issue of that 
marriage was Logan Fontenelle, successively warrior, hunter, scout, 
and chief of his powerful tribe. No word of praise need be spoken 
of Logan Fontenelle to those who have ever heard his name. A 
large and thriving city in Eastern Nebraska is his monument and 
bears his name. Renowned for his courage, bravery, and kindness, 
and hospitality to the whites in their most critical time in the West, 
he was admired and loved by all from the Missouri to the Eockies. 
He was killed in battle about the year '54 on a high bluff overlooking 
the Missouri river — a spot where many pleasant hours have been 
spent by the writer of this — and a spot which neither he nor any 
one who has seen it will be likely to forget. 

Mrs. Lockett was a lady of striking appearance, and the merest 
novice in the science of faces would not have failed to detect in her 
countenance the traces of the great strength of character which she 
possessed to the last. She was a thorough gentlewoman of the old 
French type, and spoke very little English. She had long been in 
feeble health. 




While at New Orleans during the Exposition of 1884-5, a very 
intelligent, well preserved, elderly lady called at my office, Nebraska 
Headquarters, introducing herself as Mrs. Thompson, then of Chicago, 
and cousin of Henry Fontenelle. She was an exceedingly fluent 
and interesting conversationist. She entered into details as to the 
history of the old French Fontenelle families. Before she left my 
office, I begged her on returning to her home, and at leisure, to fur- 
nish me in writing what information she had given me verbally dur- 
ing the to me pleasant hour of her visit. In due time I received the 
following : 

Chicago, Ill=, March 12, 1885. 
Gov. Roht. W. Furnas, New Orleans, La.: 

Dear Sir — My daughter and self reached home safely. I regret 
we could not have remained longer in New Orleans. We enjoyed 
very much your pleasant company at Nebraska Headquarters. The 
souvenirs you were kind enough to give us will ever be cherished 
as pleasant remembrances of our visit to the Exposition. 

In compliance with the promise made you I herewith hand you a 
rough sketch of mother's and uncle's lives, as narrated to you when 
at your office. 

The records of the old St. Louis cathedral at New Orleans shows 
registered the baptism of Lucien Francois and Amelia Fontenelle, 
1803. They were the children of Francois and Marieonise Fonte- 
nelle, then residing at a point below New Orleans, called Burat, a set- 
tlement near Pointe a la Hoche. They were originally from Mar- 
seilles, France, and of royal descent. A few years after the date given, 
one of those terrible freshet hurricanes visited the section where this 
family resided, swept away and drowned the whole family, destroying 
all traces of the plantation. At that time Lucien and Amelia were at 
New Orleans in care of an aunt, Madame Merlier, for the purpose of 
being educated, and were thus saved. About the year 1816, Lucien 
was a clerk in a New Orleans banking house. His aunt, who had 
charge of the children, was a very haughty, austere, cruel woman. 
One day, for some cause, she struck Lucien. This so wounded him 



that the same night he packed up a small bundle of clothing and con- 
fiding his secret to the old colored nurse, Sophie, left for the wild 
West. Time rolled on and Lucien was not heard from. In the mean- 
time his sister Amelia married Henry Lockett, an eminent young 
lawyer of New Orleans, nephew of Judge Henry Carleton, for many 
years judge of the supreme court of New Orleans. Fortune favored 
him with wealth and a family of daughters, who in turn married and 
settled in New Orleans. 

Twenty years after Lucien left home, the servant of Mrs. Lockett 
informed her one day that a gentleman in the parlor desired to see 
her. On entering the gentleman clasped her in his arms and called 
her sister. She freed herself as soon as possible, denying any relation- 
ship, as her brother, she claimed, was a white man, and this one, to all 
appearance, was an Indian. He insisted he was Lucien Fontenelle, 
but the sister would not believe him. He then asked if the old ser- 
vant Sophie was alive. She was, and was called in to identify him- 
She failed to recognize him from appearances, but stated if it was 
really Lucien, a flesh mark on his right foot would identify him. He 
pulled off his boot and stocking, when 'Sophie, finding the mark, he 
was thus identified. 

He w^as a thorough Indian, to all appearances. He told his sister 
when he left home he went to St. Louis, there joined the American 
Fur Company, going all over the great North-west as far as Hudson 
bay, crossing the Rocky mountains and through what is now Oregon, 
Washington, and other western states and territories. He could speak 
ten or fifteen different dialects. He was intimate with the Chouteau 
family at St. Louis, and at one time expected to marry in that family. 
He was well supplied with means, and was lavish with his money. 
He said his home was where Bellevue, Nebraska, now is, and that he 
had married an Indian woman of the Omaha tribe, at which his sister 
became very indignant. He remained in New Orleans some six weeks 
when he left for his home among the Indians, promising to return 
some time again. On his way he was taken sick and died, as near as 
we could learn at a point which is now Alton, 111. Where he was 
buried was never known. A few months after he left New Orleans 
a Catholic priest calling himself Father De Smet called on Mrs. Lock- 
ett, in New Orleans, and stated he had been with Lucien in his last 
moments, administering to him, and that his last request was that 



he should see his sister and ask her to take his only daughter, and his 
fortune was at her command to care for and educate her, and the priest 
to educate the other children, three sons. 

At that time Mrs, Lockett was wealthy and moving in most aristo- 
cratic society, and had no need of her brother's money. She told 
Father De Smet she could not take the daughter, and he was welcome 
to the money for the use of the children. She then thought no fur- 
ther of the matter. 

In 1870 or 1871 a notice appeared in a St. Louis paper asking for 
heirs to some property in Bellevue, Nebraska. Remembering Lucien 
had resided there, inquiries were made as to what had become of his 
children. After corresponding with several persons it was learned 
from Father De Smet that he had performed a marriage ceremony be- 
tween Lucien and the Indian woman, and that there were three sons 
and one daughter, whom he had baptized in the Catholic faith. Logan, 
one of the boys, had been killed in battle, and the others, he thought, 
resided in Nebraska. After searching for the property and records 
of grants Lucien had mentioned when in New Orleans visiting his 
sister, nothing was found further than that a grant had been promised, 
but not consummated. 

In 1874 there was noticed in Chicago papers the arrival of a party 
of Indians from Washington in charge of Agent Gillingham and 
Henry Fontenelle, interpreter. A daughter of Mrs. Lockett, resid- 
ing in Chicago, called at the St. James hotel where the party was stop- 
ping expecting to find some of the old Fontenelle family, perhaps a 
grandson of Lucien. She was joyfully surprised to find the son of 
her long lost uncle, after a lapse of thirty-eight years. Since then 
they have corresponded regularly. 

Amelia Fontenelle died at Tallahassee, Florida, some two years 
since, at the ripe age of 81, still the same aristocratic French woman. 
While her fortune fled with the late rebellion she never accustomed 
herself to privations. She was connected to Hon. Pierre Soule, at one 
time member of congress. Also to Jules Caire, a prominent gentle- 
man of New Orleans, as well as Dr. Armand Merlier, a celebrated 
surgeon of New Orleans, her first cousin. There are but two daugh- 
ters remaining of the once large family of eleven children born to 
Amelia Fontenelle and Henry Lockett, one in New Orleans, the other 
in Chicago. 



There are now living in Havre, France, two granddaughters of 
Madame Merlier, and second cousins to Henry Fontenelle. Their 
mother died some years ago. They have splendid residences in Havre, 
and are of the nobility. 

Very truly your friend, 

Mes. a. L. THOMPSON. 


Gen'l John S. Bowen, Blair, Nebraska, sends the following clip- 
ping from the New York Times, of date Nov, 9th, 1854: 

The Death of Gov. Burt. — The Omaha (Nebraska) Arrow 
extra, of Oct. 18th, contains the following particulars of Gov. Burt^s 
death: Francis Burt, governor of Nebraska, died at the old Presby- 
terian Mission House, at Belleview, at about 3J o'clock this morning? 
retaining at the' last hour a realization of his situation, and surrounded 
by the friends who accompanied him from his Carolina home. Im- 
mediately upon his arrival in the territory he was confined to his bed 
by sickness, occasioned by the long and tedious journey hitherward, 
commencing, we are informed, upon reaching the limestone country 
of Tennessee in his overland journey to Louisville, Ky. Retaining, 
about an hour previous to his death, a consciousness of his situation, 
he called his friend, Mr. Doyle, who had accompanied him from 
South Carolina, to his bedside, and gave such directions concerning 
his private matters as the urgency of the case seemed to demand, 
then calling Rev. J. Hamilton to his bedside, after a brief conversa- 
tion, he passed into that sleep which knows no waking. He was a 
native of Pendleton, S. C, and was about 45 years of age. He 
leaves an affectionate wife, two sons, and four daughters to mourn 
their afflicting bereavement. One son attended him and was with 
him in his last moment of life, and will return to the paternal roof 
with the corpse of him who in the prime of life, with high hopes, 
left his native land but a short time ago to enter upon the discharge of 
the arduous duties to which he had been assigned. In Governor 
Burt the people of the territory have lost an intelligent, efficient, and 
generous officer, whose death is most truly lamented by the people of 
Nebraska and the adjacent towns in Iowa. 




The following biography of ex-governor Samuel W. Black was 
written and furnished the Nebraska State Historical Society by his 

Samuel W. Black, Colonel of the Sixty-second regiment, was born 
at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1818. He was the son of Rev. John 
Black, D.D., one of the earliest and most distinguished of the Cove- 
nanter clergymen of the state. He received a liberal education, and 
chose the law as his profession, in which he soon rose to a lucrative 
practice, and withal became prominent in political life, being especially 
effective upon the stump. He married, when very young, the daugh- 
ter of Judge Irvin, of Pittsburgh, by whom he had four children. In 
the Mexican War he served as Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Penn- 
sylvania regiment, and acquitted himself with great distinction. He 
was appointed United States Judge for Nebraska territory by Presi- 
dent Buchanan, in 1859. In the spring of 1861 he recruited the 
Sixty-second regiment, of which he was commissioned Col. and was 
assigned to duty in MonelFs brigade of Porter's division. He was 
engaged at Hanover Court House, where the enemy was put to flight 
and his camp and garrison equipage and many prisoners were taken. 
The enemy soon began to make himself felt on the left bank of the 
Chickahominy, and on the 26th of June, 1862, fought a stubborn bat- 
tle at Beaver Dam creek. The Pennsylvania Reserves were upon the 
front, but the brigade to which Col. Black belonged was soon ordered 
to their support. Col. Black led his men forward with that fervor 
and enthusiasm which always characterized him, anticipating severe 
fighting, but the Reserves were able to hold their position, and Col. 
Black, though under fire, was not engaged. In the night the Union 
forces retired to Gaines' Mill, where, on the following day, the battle 
was renewed with great fury. At the very outset of the battle the 
Sixty-second Pennsylvania and the Ninth Massachusetts were ordered 
to advance under a terrific infantry fire. They charged across a ra- 
vine in their front, and gained the woods on the opposite side, hand- 
somely driving the enemy. But while making the charge, and before 
the woods were reached. Col. Black, while the heroic effort which he 
inspired was in full tide, was killed. Few Pennsylvania soldiers, at 

'.vmr;i»0;v . ^ IjIo^raphiCal. 


the time of his death, had made a brighter j'ecord,aDd none could look 
forward with better hope of advancement. He died deeply lamented 
by the whole state and mourned by a wide circle of personal friends. 

Of his personal traits the following obituary from the pen of John 
W. Forney, conveys a vivid idea : Twenty-two years ago, more or 
less, a young man electrified the cities and towns of Western Pennsyl- 
vania by his peculiar and irresistible eloquence. He was more boy 
than man. His .fine face and laughing eye, his well-knit and hand- 
some figure,, his winning voice, and his mother-wit made ^'Sam. Black" 
the wonder of more than one exciting campaign. The son of a Pres- 
byterian clergyman who was an object of veneration and love in thou- 
sands of hearts, and whose life had been one prayer and sacrifice and 
thanksgiving to God, Sam. inherited a fervent religious sentiment, 
and frequently punctuated his political appeals and legal arguments 
with Bible points and periods, and how he loved that old gray -haired 
father! In his most impulsive moments, however surrounded or flat- 
tered or aroused, whether fired with indignation or reveling with 
merriment created by his exuberant humor, a mere allusion to his 
father called tears to his eyes and gratitude to his lips. To fall in 
the battle-field, and for his country, was to die as Samuel W. Black 
preferred to die. If there was one trait conspicuous in him it was 
courage, and courage of the purest chivalry. It called him to the 
fields of Mexico, where he plucked laurels almost from the cannon's 
mouth. It always made him the champion of the weak or the 
wronged. It made him irresistible at the bar, and in the exciting 
passages of public life it demanded the obedience of the bully and com- 
manded the highest respect of the true gentleman. 

His first great effort as a lawyer was in the celebrated trial of the 
notorious mail robber, Braddee, of Uniontown, in 1841. Upon that 
occasion he gave evidence of great genius and commanding eloquence. 
From that period until 1846 his rise in the profession was almost un- 
precedentedly rapid, when he abandoned the profession of the law for 
that of the soldier. As Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Pennsylvania 
Volunteers in Mexico he distinguished himself at Cerro Gordo and 
Pueblo. His career in Mexico was so brilliant as to induce the De- 
mocracy to nominate him for Congress, while he was still in the field. 
In the Democratic State Gubernatorial Convention, in 1857, he was a 
prominent candidate for nomination, receiving upon several ballots 
forty-seven votes. Shortly afterwards he went to Nebraska. 




She was born in New Hampshire, in 1836. Her maiden name was 
Mary I. Turner. She and Mr. Mason were married in Madison 
county. New York, 1854. They came to Nebraska in February, 
1856, locating at Nebraska City, Otoe county. She died at same place, 
May 15th, 1874, aged 38 years, leaving four children, aged at that 
time, Jessie, 14; Grace, 10; Alice, 5; Bessie, 3. June, 1882, Jessie 
Mason and F. L. Harris were married, and located at Ord, Valley 
county, Nebraska. 

Mrs. Mason was a devoted, working member of the Episcopal 
church. Her strength of character and nobility of life find expres- 
sion in her life work, and the children she left. In early life her ed- 
ucation had been conducted by her mother, who saw in her child the 
germ of the great mental powers that so enriched her maturer years. 
Finally her school career was finished, and her brilliant intellect 
coupled with kindly impulses of the heart won for her the love and 
respect of all her acquaintances, retaining them in after life as admir- 
ing friends. Loved, because lovable, of a disposition whose sweet- 
ness drew around her many warm and devoted friends. Her place 
may be filled at the social board she brightened and illuminated by 
her presence, but nothing can fill the aching void left in the hearts 
that cherished her, by her sudden recall to the angelic regions. 

A newspaper, speaking of her death at that time, said : 

It is a sorrowful task to speak to a bereaved household of the high 
order of mind that rendered their loved one a congenial companion to 
many gifted spirits ; to remind them of her strong practical sense, that 
created the unostentatious comfort of her own home. It is hard to 
tell them this now, in their hour of bitter longing ^' for the touch of a 
vanished hand," for the " sound of a voice that is still.'^ And yet we 
can speak comfort to all who loved her ; for with the hope of a Chris- 
tian faith we feel those traits are not lost in death. Stillness and dust 
may be our portion here, but from the outer gates of the invisible 
realm comes the blessed revelation that there is life for us somewhere. 

The fond husband seemed 

To have loved with a wild idolatry, 
A being formed of mortal dust, — 

One early doomed to die. 



Yea, devoted husband, she whom you so fondly cherished, whom 
you cared for with more than woman's tenderness, and upon whom the 
winds of heaven were not allowed to blow roughly, is sleeping in the 
icy arms of death. 

Loving relatives and friends, who so agonizingly prayed for the 
precious boon of her dear life, she is 

Sleeping, sweetly sleeping, 

With clasped hands of silent trust, 
Folded with a Christian meekness, 

O'er her treasured heart of dust. 

She was a member of the Otoe county Old Settlers' Association, 
and at the annual meeting preceding her death, read the folloAving 
poem, prefacing with this language: 

"Gentlemen, Ladies, and Little Ones; Fathers and Mothers, Sons and Daughters; 
what I have written is from the heart. Should it speak to the heart, my desire 
will have been granted." 

Oft the sun has risen in glory, 

Eun his course and sank to rest; 
Moon has told her wondrous story, 

As she sailed far down the west. 

Buds have opened — blossoms faded; 

Ice-chains bound the brooklet's tongue; 
Snow-wreaths Winter's hand had braided 

Over tree and shrub been hung. 

Oft has Spring smiled on dark Winter, 

Kissed away his icy breath ; 
Summer brought its warmth and shimmer; 

Autumn, hues that whisper "Death." 

Shifting scenes, like fleeting shadows, 

Flit along o'er mem'ry's page; 
Time and distance seem to narrow. 

Youth smooths out the lines of age. 

The present vanishes from sight. 

Pristine beauty fills the land ; 
.'^nd on the left and on the right, 

Unmarred works of nature stand. 

A pilgrim band o'erlooks the scene, 

Behind them lie friends and home. 
Before them glimmers Hope's young dream — 

Above them Heaven's blue dome. 


While underneath their wandering feet 
The grasses bend, the brooklets flow ; 

And from their steps the deer retreat, 
And hide themselves in covert low. 

The wild flowers open starry eyes, 
Wild birds carol soft and low, 

Trees fling green banners to the skies. 
As summer breezes come and go. 

The ancient block -house shelter gives, 
To hearts all brave — nerves all steel; 

In soldier's barracks ladies live, 
Learning lessons true and leal. 

One by one homes dot the landscape, 
Acres sown bring forth the grain; 

Industry, abroad at day-break, 
Wakes to busy life the plain. 

Wall by wall a city rises — 

Goodly sight and fair to see, 
Future hands will draw the prizes — 

Weave the laurels yet to be. 

Wagons yield their place to railroads, 
Moonlight pales before the gas ; 

Who can tell all the new modes. 
Years and science bring to pass. 

Pioneering has its hardships — 

Witness those who' re gathered here. 

Need had all of heartfelt worship, 
Bended knee and prayer sincere. 

Out of perils, out of sorrows. 
Out of dangers dark and drear, 

Out of many dread to-morrows, 
Safely out of dismal fear, 

His right hand has lead us onward, 
Through the paths we could not know; 

His great love has brought us forward — 
In his strength still may we go. 

Pioneering has its hardships — 

But it has its pleasures, too. 
Friendships true take root and flourish, 

Watered by the heart's rich dew. 

Joy and mirth made gladsome music 
In the pauses of our care, 


Dance and frolic, sonj^ and lan*^hter, 
Rippled through the evening air. 

Age looked on and smiled approval, 

Youth told o'er the story old, 
How love's darts denied removal, 

Cupid's cells would not unfold. 

Children laughed and sang and shouted. 
Tossed their curls and waved their hands 

Dog and cat and bird they routed — 
Those bright-eyed, mischievous bands. 

Then, at last, the twilight faded. 
Wood and plain wore sombre hue; 

Shadows, ere while faintly shaded. 
Into deeper blackness grew. 

Time's remorseless, restless finger. 
Marked those days so wild and free — 

Would not let them longer linger, 
In the way of yet to be. 

Tender mem 'ry took the treasures. 
Classed them with her rarest gems — 

Hung on high the pictur'd pleasures — 
Crowned the toils with diadems. 

The past is not unmarked by graves. 
Those graves we oft bedew with tears ; 

O'er many hearts the cypress waves — 
Hearts that throbbed with ours for years. 

Hands we've clasped in friendship true, 
Folded lie o'er breasts of snow, 

Dear faces, lost to loving view. 
Pillowed lie on earth-couch low. 

The old settler's chain has parted. 
Links are missing here and there, 

But, loved ones and true hearted. 
We shall find them bright and fair. 

Just beyond the sin and sorrow, 
Just beyond the worldly strife, 

Where there is no dread to-morrow. 
In a land of endless life. 

There we'll bind once more our love-chain, 
Make it lasting, make it strong — 

Wrenched, lost or riven ne'er again. 
While the ages roll along. 



To-day we've met, to-night we part, 
Who shall say when next we meet, 

What heart shall miss its kindred heart ? 
Whose quick pulse has ceased to beat ? 

God of love and God of mercy, 

Whoso'er it chance to be. 
Fold them in Thine arms so gently, 

Bear them safe o'er Death's cold sea. 

Bring them safe to homes of glory, 
Builded by our Father's hand. 

There to chant in loving story, 
Memories of this precious band. 

And, oh Father, hear, I pray Thee, 

Hear these words and grant this prayer, 

May each dear one now before me 
Spotless wedding garments wear. 


The biographies of these two old and prominent citizens were written 
by Mr. G. M. Hitchcock, grandson of Dr. Monell, and son of Mr. 

Dr. Gilbert C. Monell was born Oct. 20th, 1816, in Mont- 
gomery, Orange county, N. Y., and was his parents' second son. As 
his father could afford to do so in but one case, the elder brother was 
alone accorded a college education, and the subject of this sketch was 
thrown upon his own resources at an early age with a fair common 
school education. He, however, at once made the resolve to acquire 
himself what his parents were unable to give him. He took a salaried 
position in a country store, and began at the same time earnestly to 
prosecute the studies preparatory for a college course. He was enabled 
by strict economy and by a gift from his father, to raise a sufficient 
amount for a three years' course, and by self education while at work 
in the store, he fitted himself to enter Union College in the Sophomore 
year, abreast fully with those of his own age. He graduated at the 
age of nineteen years, and soon thereafter married Miss Lucinda Car- 
penter, in 1836, and then for a short time he continued his mercantile 
occupation, but only for the purpose of supporting himself while he 



studied medicine in New York city. Completing his course there, he, 
with his wife and little son returned to Orange county, N. Y., and 
located in JSlewburg. Here a large practice soon rewarded his early 
privations, and in the specialty he made of the diseases of women his 
success was so great as to bring patients from New York city and 
New England. 

After nearly twenty years of a hard working professional life the 
Dr., who had in the meanwhile acquired a competence, moved west 
in 1857, with his family, at that time consisting of his wife, one son, 
John J. Monell, and one daughter, Annie, and located in Omaha. 

His two objects had been to establish his son in the West, and to 
break oif the practice of his own profession. 

Here Dr. Monell identified himself with the new republican party, 
and as an outspoken abolitionist was for some time a chief owner of 
the leading republican paper of Nebraska. 

He was the founder of the Rochy Mountain Daily Neivs, the first 
newspaper of Colorado. 

He was one of the corporators of the U. P. R. R. and the chief 
local mover in that enterprise, and being also a confidant and friend 
of Mr. Ogden, of Chicago. 

He was active in the early political struggles which established re- 
publican control in Nebraska. 

He was a leading republican, supporting his creed by argument 
and money when it was neither popular nor politic. 

After the war Dr. Monell retired to the seclusion of private life, 
where he devoted himself to study, which with him was a passion, 
and to charitable and religious works which so endeared him to the 
community in which he lived and worked. 

He was the originator, incorporator, and director of the present state 
deaf and dumb asylum, the charter to which he surrendered to the 
state when the institution was well established. 

He w^as the founder of the Omaha City mission, whose headquarters 
are still on the property of his estate. 

The younger generation knew him only for his good deeds and 
quiet life; the older also for his political labors, and his friends in 
New York as a great physician. 

He was a ready, dramatic, and forcible speaker, a philosophical stu- 
dent, an enlightened citizen. 



He died Sept. 30th, 1881, aged 65. 

Mrs. Monell survives him and lives in Omaha with her married 
son, John J. Monell, while her daughter Annie, who married P. W. 
Hitchcock, died in 1877. 

Phineas W. Hitchcock was born at New Lebanon, New York, 
November 30th, 1831. His ancestors were English, who settled in 
New England in early colonial days, and his father, Gad Hitchcock, 
was a soldier through the war of 1812. 

He was the youngest of several children, and while never physically 
his father's equal he gave early indications of intellectual endowments 
and tastes which led his father to furnish the son with the additional 
advantage of an education, which for a plain farmer's son was a lib- 
eral one. 

From Williams College, Mass., Mr. Hitchcock graduated in 1855, 
at the age of twenty-four years. He then began the study of law, 
which he continued for two years, at the same time supporting him- 
self by journalistic labors on a daily paper of Rochester, New York. 
As a writer at this time, and in laters years in Nebraska, when he 
occasionally contributed articles to the Omaha Republican j he was 
terse, forcible, and incisive in style, while his thought was original 
and strong. 

In 1857 he moved west and located at Omaha. Here a new field 
opened before him and he soon entered it with all the energy and 
ambition a naturally active mind and nervous constitution would dis- 
play in a country rapidly developing and at a time of great political 

Engaging actively in the practice of his profession, which he sup- 
plemented with a real estate and insurance business, Mr. Hitchcock 
at the same time felt a great interest and took an active part in the 
solution of the social and political problems of the day. 

He became a leading abolitionist, assisted in the organization of 
the republican party, and aided in establishing the first republican 
paper in Nebraska. 

He was a member of the republican national convention, at 
Chicago in 1860, and had the honor of voting for Lincoln from first 
to last. He was appointed U. S. marshal by Lincoln in 1861, and 
held the position till 1864, when he was elected territorial delegate 
to the 39th congress. In that congress the territorial interests, in- 



eluding the legislation in respect to public lands, Indian affairs, and 
timber culture, received his active attention. 

When isTebraska was admitted as a state P. W. Hitchcock became 
surveyor general. 

He was elected U. S. senator in 1870, and during the six years of 
his term engaged himself quietly but earnestly in furthering the in- 
terests of Nebraska and of the undeveloped West. He did not take 
prominent place as a speaker in the senate, but did achieve some dis- 
tinction as a most successful advocate of the measures he introduced 
or supported. He was an untiring worker, and in his speeches, which 
were neither frequent nor lengthy, he displayed the ability to carry his 
point by the careful, candid, and forcible presentation of the facts 
with an emphatic and practical explanation of the requirements of 
the case. 

His measures were those which were calculated to develop the West, 
to improve the condition of emigrants and settlers, and advance the 
interests of their struggling communities. 

Mr. Hitchcock was defeated for renomination by a powerful coali- 
tion, which waged a bitter fight and expended much money. He 
thereupon devoted himself to repairing his fortune and possessions, 
which by the neglect of his later years of public life had been some- 
what wasted and impaired. During the remaining four years of his 
life he declined official honors tendered him by the administration of 
President Hayes, and devoted himself more to his own private in- 

Mr. Hitchcock had, shortly after his arrival in Omaha, in 1857, mar- 
ried Miss Annie Monell, daughter of Dr. G. C. Monell, and by her 
had three children, Gilbert M. Hitchcock, in 1859, Grace Hitchcock, 
m 1862, and John G. Hitchcock, in 1865. 

A very happy married life was suddenly interrupted in 1877 by 
the death of Mrs. Hitchcock, and to further add to the sorrows of 
Mr. Plitch cock's later years his favorite child, his daughter Grace, 
died in 1880. 

From this time to the period of his death in July, 1881, Mr. 
Hitchcock was a sorrowful and broken-hearted man, living more in 
the sweet memories of the past than in the hopes of the future. 

He died a few days after the assassination of President Garfield, 
with whom he had been a college mate at Williams and a friend in 




The following biography was prepared by his daughter, Mrs. L. 
G. Egbert: 

Joel T. Griffen was born in Otsego county, 'New York, May 
22d, 1817. His parents (Rachel Willson and Stephen Griffen) were 
of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, American born, his father 
being of Welsh descent. He carried on a small farm, beside running 
a grist mill, at which on mill days all the farmers congregated for a 
friendly chat and to procure their monthly flour and meal. It was 
proverbial of him that he was never heard to utter an oath or laugh 
out loud. Joel was the third son in his father's family, having two 
brothers and two sisters older, and a brother and sister younger. He 
was educated in the common or district schools of these times. He 
with his elder brother, Stephen, learned the trade of millwright, and 
spent several summers in building mills in the w^estern part of New 
York and Northern Ohio. In 1835 his father removed with his 
family to Washtenau county, Michigan, which was then considered 
the far West. There he performed great labors in felling the immense 
forest which encumbered this portion of the state. And here in this 
malarial district was sown the seed of the fatal disease which attacked 
him in his later years. Returning to New York he married Miss 
Juliette Cobb Griffin, June 11th, 1840, and for a year or two owned 
and run a boat on the Erie canal. Yielding at length to the entreaties 
of his mother, he returned to Michigan and engaged in farming. 
After the death of his mother, in 1852, he removed to Oakland 
county, where he turned his attention to fruit raising and nursery 
gardening, also farming in a small way. He resided here until 1856.^ 
In May of that year he came to Nebraska, and located on the highest 
hill in the county, about three miles from the city of Omaha, then a 
very insignificant village. He returned to his home in Michigan for 
his family, consisting of three sons and two daughters. On his way 
to his new home he made (in St. Louis) the purchase of a stock of 
provisions and a house already framed and ready to put up, so that 
when he arrived in Omaha with his family July 20, 1856, he also 
brought his house and provisions to stock it. This house built of 
pine was known the country round as the pine house. At that time 



the coiiutry was overrun with claim hunters, and as the inhabitants 
were few and far between night often overtook them, and any one 
who has traveled a prairie country after dark knows that with the 
most experienced it is an easy matter to lose the trail, and by his direc- 
tion a whole candle was placed in a safe position in a western window 
before the family retired, and often the belated traveler has found 
shelter, guided by the light from the pine liouse. In fact, often after 
the beds were taxed to their full capacity he would jocosely remark 
that they were welcome to the widest board in the floor, and the floor 
would oftentimes be well occupied. In the prime and vigor of life, 
confident of his success and of the future of Nebraska, he gave his 
best energies to opening a farm, which was soon second to none in the 
country. He began immediately to plant trees, and urged others to 
do so, recognizing the fact that what Nebraska most needed was 
wood. His example was of great value to those around him, espe- 
cially in this tree planting, which was attended with many drawbacks 
and much labor, and about the success of which everybody seemed in 
doubt. Now a grand tali forest covers sixty acres which in 1856 was 
bare prairie, innocent of tree or shrub. He was a staunch republican, 
and held a prominent place in the politics of his state. He was elected 
several times to the territorial legislature. He was elected to repre- 
sent Douglas county in the first state legislature in 1867 and again in 
1869. Omaha owes him a debt of gratitude for his efforts to secure 
the donation of Capitol Square for school purposes. He was post- 
master of Omaha during 1870 and 1871. He resigned this office and 
engaged for some years previous to his death in the stock business, in 
which he had great success. He was a man of great executive ability 
and indomitable will, and once started in an enterprise would never 
give up until his end was accomplished. He was generous to a fault. 
I do not think any one ever turned away empty handed who applied 
to him for aid. He was fond of his home and children, and though 
not demonstrative, was a man of deep feelings, aiid his domestic 
afflictions had a marked effect on him. The loss of a son seven years 
of age, in 1856, and his daughter Ettie (a very bright and promising 
girl of eighteen), in 1875, each in turn bowed him down with a bur- 
den of grief and years. His health failed entirely in the summer of 
1883, and he was persuaded to spend the winter in Southern Califor- 
nia. Accompanied by his daughter Mary, he reached^ Los Angeles 



November 1st; on November 30th he received the sad news of the 
death of. his son Jay, who was killed on the Utah Northern E,. R. 
This was the crowning sorrow of his life, and he never rallied from 
the shock. Weak as he was, he came immediately home, and slowly 
failed until, on March 10th, 1884, after much suffering, he passed 
away from this life to the life beyond. He is survived by only two 
members of his father's family, his younger brother and sister, who 
are at this time residents of Nebraska. He was buried under the 
auspices of the Masonic order, of which he was an honored member. 


The Rt. Rev. Robert H. Clarkson, Episcopal Bishop of Nebraska, 
died at his home on St. Mary's Avenue, Omaha, Monday, March 10, 

The following biography of Bishop Clarkson was an editorial in 
the Omaha Herald, written by Dr. Geo. L. Miller, editor. 

"This morning's sun looks down upon a stricken city, and its grief 
brings a whole state to the ground in woe. 

"At the hour of twelve-thirty of the clock yesterday morning, 
Bishop Clarkson breathed his last breath of mortal life. In the midst 
of this great calamity, could we be left to our own hearts we would 
sit with our personal grief in silence. But a few words must be writ- 
ten for the public record. 

" Robert Harper Clarkson, was born at Gettysburg, in Penn- 
sylvania, on the 19th of November, 1826. He was of an old and 
honored family. His grandfather, the Rev. Joseph Clarkson, D.D., 
was the first clergyman ordained by Bishop White. He was rector 
of St. James' church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, until he reached a 
great age, and he now lies in the church yard there. The Bishop's 
father was, during his son's boyhood, a man of extensive business 
and of great public esteem. Afterwards he lived in retirement. 
Many people in Omaha remember him, a genial, hearty, good old 
man. He died here several years ago. 

"The Bishj^p's academic education was received at Pennsylvania 
College in the town of his birth, where he was graduated B.A. in 



1844. Shortly afterwards he became tutor at the college of St. Janies, 
in Hagerstown, Maryland. The head of this interesting institution 
was the Eev. Dr. Kerfoot, afterwards bishop of Pittsburg. While 
there, young Clarkson studied theology under Dr. Kerfoot, and was 
ordained deacon, June, 1848. 

" In some of its circumstances his early life was most happy. Far 
beyond what falls to the lot of most young men, he enjoyed the ad- 
vantage of love and care and association of very rare men. While 
at the college of St. James, he learned to love, and was in turn greatly 
loved by the Rev. Dr. Mulenburg, whose memory still lives and will 
always live in St. Luke's hospital, New York, which he founded, and 
in the lines of the hymn, ^ I would not live alway,' which he wrote. 
He was the immediate successor of the elder Dr. Clarkson as rector of 
the church in Lancaster ; a tie which bound him to the young man, and 
in his long life of many labors our bishop was to him as a son. Dr. 
Bowen, also rector of the same church, and afterward Bishop of Penn- 
sylvania, was his uncle. For his piety, learning, and great labor, his 
name is a treasure in the Church to this day. He gave his kinsman his 
solicitous affection and assistance. Dr. Kerfoot lavished upon him 
the vast stores of his great learning, and made known to him not only 
the beauty of godliness, but the power and joy of exquisite literary 
graces. His cousins, the Passmores, were nearly of his age, and their 
poetic and highly spiritual natures quickened his own. And there 
were others who cannot here be named. And so it was that, by 
inheritance and education both, he was made for such a life as now on 
earth is ended. 

"While at Hagerstown, in 1849, he won the hand of a daughter of 
the house of McPherson — a great name in those parts — and ever since 
she has shed on his pathway the raidiance of wife^s affection and the 
help of wife's care. On the day of their marriage, before the sounds 
of festivity were over, the young couple took up their long and weary 
way to Chicago ; he to be the rector of St. James church, and both 
to be to their death the most cherished objects of the affection of 
the people there. It was a great venture. With little knowledge 
of men, and no experience in affairs, they came to the new, raw 
western city. Almost children, they were to be as leaders of the ag- 
gressive and vigorous manhood that was impatient of weakness and 
heedless of failures. But they proved themselves worthy son and 



daughter of their great inheritance. Hardly were they settled in 
their new home than the cholera came to mercilessly scourge the city. 
Others in the sacred office fled before the terrors of the plague ; they 
were steadfast through the whole period of its ravages. Day and 
night the young deacon held his way among the stricken, nursing 
the sick, helping the poor, holding up the hearts of the afflicted, hold- 
ing the cross before the eyes of the dying, and burying the forsaken 
dead. Stricken down himself, he conquered the disease by his in- 
domitable spirit, and weak and weary as he was, he went out again to 
the utter misery all about, never stopping to rest, never heeding the 
cries of fear. The record of Christian heroism tells no more affecting 
tale of devotion and self-sacrifice. He came out of the ordeal a con- 
querer, for he had conquered a city. Known of all for what he had 
been in the hour of agony, as ever afterwards he went in the streets 
and the houses there, all men paid him a loving, and almost worship- 
ful homage. 

''He was ordained priest January 5, 1851. Seventeen years he 
lived among that people. He built a great church, in its beauty sur- 
passing all others in that city. He gathered a great congregation 
from all conditions of men. He set on foot, and nursed, and made 
secure many charities. Every young man coming there, of whom he 
could hear, was sought out and helped, and encouraged, and put in 
the good way. Every poor, or sick, or afflicted, or friendless person 
found a hand stretched out, a heart open wide for him, and the more 
he needed of any sort of help, the more was pressed upon him. The 
whole was a life of arduous work; a joy and a blessing to everybody. 
The friendships then formed still live — their strength unrelaxed and 
the gratitude to-day all it was when the service was rendered. And 
now the city of his first love mourns, and mourns with the city where 
he rests forever. 

In 1857 he received his doctorate in Divinity from his alma mater 
and also from Racine College. And there, in that young school, he 
had his place. It was he who named the sainted DeKoven for its 
head, and by much persuasion, secured the appointment. And his 
unswerving devotion and unremitting service did much to make the 
college the great Rugby of America. In 1872 our own university 
honored itself by conferring upon him the very first of all the degrees 
of doctor of laws. 



Eighteen years ago the general convention of his church elected him 
missionary bishop of Nebraska and Dakota. On the 15th of Novem- 
ber, 1865, he was consecrated in his own church. The services of 
that occasion are a memory still. The Rt. Rev. John Henry Hop- 
kins, the presiding bishop of the church, was consecrator, assisted by 
Bishops Kemper, McCoskey, Lee, Whipple, and Talbot. In 1870 
Nebraska was erected into a diocese, and he was unanimously elected 
its first bishop. He retained jurisdiction in Dakota for some years? 
when the western part of that territory was detached and made a sep- 
arate district with a bishop of its own. Last fall he was, at his re- 
quest, relieved of his missionary jurisdiction, the work having out- 
grown his strength. And he now looked forward to years of labor 
to be given wholly to Nebraska. 

He repeated in his higher office of bishop his work as priest. He 
came again to a new, raw land, whose prairies stretched out a vast 
waste with a few little towns where little churches had been built, and 
a sparse and poor population. It was as untoward a prospect as a 
Christian bishop ever looked upon. But he was no more dismayed 
than when he first left the home of his fathers. With what heedless- 
ness of self; with what buoyancy of spirit; with what resolute pa- 
tience, despite great discouragement; with what abundant, trying, ex- 
hausting labors, he has gone on and carried on the work none know 
or ever will know^, who were not admitted to his inmost heart ! He 
has built fifty churches. He has carried to good success his two 
schools. He has been the head and moving spirit, and source of 
strength to all the work of bis Church. He has not kept himself to 
the places of ease, nor even to his own home, but has gone up and 
down all the country, preaching in school-houses as w^ell as churches 
to a few disciples wherever they could be gathered. No journey has 
been too long or too hard for him to travel in all seasons, so that he 
could reach and help and encourage any servant of the Lord. He 
has preached such sermons that men who cared little for such things 
have said they never heard him but they longed to be better, and he 
has taught multitudes the very rudiments of our divine religion. 

His work has been before our eyes, although we have not seen it 
all. The poor missionary has cried to him in his utter poverty ; the 
young man has craved his aid ; the afflicted and sorely sinning have 
sought his counsel and comfort. And so it is that his true work, his 



great work has been abundant and distressing where men could have 
no thought of it. And its fruits have been on every hand. They are 
that love that now makes so many, many men and women he has 
helped to a better life rise up and call him blessed. 

His last great works are in our midst. The child's hospital was 
his child, and he loved it with a father's love. That is one. But the 
joy of his last days was the cathedral. He toiled and was full of 
anxious fears for it. There was no detail of the work he did not 
know, and follow, and care for. And when the work, was completed 
and he looked upon its fair beauty, and he came to consecrate it on 
that lovely November day with his brethren of the episcopate about 
him, and his clergy around him, and his people of the goodly com- 
pany he rejoiced with a great joy. His last act there he entered into 
with his best delight — the marriage of the daughter of one he dearly 
loved. And now, after that, comes the end in the holy precincts. 
While yet in health he spoke again and again of his wish to be laid 
beneath the shadow of bis cathedral, and even pointed out the spot. 
And when he saw the time was coming fast, he repeated his request 
that there he should be laid. The solemn promise then was given 
him, and he rested on it. 

And so it is to be that two days hence he is to be carried from his 
home, which he filled full with the affection of his great heart and 
the light of his happy spirit, by the hands of his own clergy to his 
cathedral amidst a whole people weeping and mourning, and then, his 
dearest friends and the prelates coming from afar to honor him, he is 
to be laid in the place he had chosen for himself. And it shall be 
from generation to generation a holy shrine for men to come to pay 
homage to a sainted name. 


On Thursday morning at eleven o'clock the holy communion will 
be celebrated at the cathedral. 

At one o'clock in the afternoon the body of Bishop Clarkson will 
be carried by his clergy to the cathedral. 

At two o'clock the services at the cathedral will begin. The burial 
will be in the cathedral yard under the window of the south transept. 

It was the desire of the deceased prelate to be buried on Sunday 
afternoon, in order that laboring people of all classes might witness 



the services. This has been impracticable, but it is earnestly hoped 
that all classes of our citizens will be present^ if not within the cathe- 
dral, at least in the yard when he is laid at rest. Large numbers 
of his friends and of the clergy from abroad, among them several of 
the bishops, have signified their intention to be present. 


The biography of Dr. Lowe, following, was furnished by his son 
Col. W. W. Lowe : 

Dr. Enos Lowe was born at Guilford Court House, ^N'orth Caro- 
lina, May 5th, 1804. When he was about ten years of age his par- 
ents moved to the territory of Indiana, locating at the small settle- 
ment known as Bloomington, in Monroe county, the community 
being mostly composed of quakers, his parents being of that denom- 
ination. When a mere boy he began the study of medicine, and soon 
began the practice of the profession in the midst of the many vicis- 
situdes and privations incident to a new, wild, and sparsely settled 
country. Little by little, however, he accumulated enough from his 
practice to enable him to seek higher culture in the profession, and he 
entered the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, where, in due course, 
he graduated with honor and high standing. He now located as a 
practitioner at Greencastle, and some time after moved to Rockville, 
continuing in active practice there for some years, during which he 
was sent to the Indiana legislature. In 1836, the border country 
having gradually extended westward, he determined to spy out the 
new land, and accordingly made the journey on horseback to St. 
Louis; thence going up the Mississippi river to Flint Hills (now 
Burlington), then the home of Black-Hawk and his Sac and Fox 
Indians. Being favorably impressed with the new country, after a 
brief sojourn he returned to Indiana, and during the fall of 1837 
moved, by wagons, across the country to Burlington, where he con- 
tinued in active practice of his profession for the following ten years, 
his practice becoming so extended and laborious that the writer has 
known him to ride thirty and forty miles to visit the sick. During 
his residence in Burlington he was one of her most active and patri- 



otic citizens, and was one of the leading spirits in laying strong and 
deep the foundations of that now beautiful and prosperous city. 

Among his pioneer cotemporaries of that day were such men as 
Hons. A. C. Dodge, Chas. Mason, O. D. Browning, J. C. Hall, Eobt. 
Lucas, B. Henn, V. P. VanAntwerp, Jas. W. Grimes, Henry W. 
Starr, and others who became distinguished in the history of the state 
and nation. In 1847 he received, from President YanBuren, the 
appointment of receiver of public moneys at the land office in Iowa 
City, to which place he removed at once, and held the office for four 
years. He was a member of the Iowa legislature, and president of 
the senate. He was a member of both constitutional conventions of 
Iowa, and president of the second. About the close of his term 
as receiver, he was tendered the position of collector of customs at 
Puget Sound, which he declined. In 1853 he was appointed re- 
ceiver of public moneys at Kanesville (now Council Bluffs), w^hither 
he removed, held the office two years and resigned. In the mean- 
time, he and a few friends created the Council Bluff s and Nebraska 
Ferry Company, of which he became president, and he at once went 
to Alton, 111., and bought the steam ferryboat ^' General Marion,'' had 
a full cargo put on board, and brought her to Council Bluffs. From 
this small beginning, the ferry company, under his guidance, became 
a strong organization and a most important factor in settling the great 
trans-Missouri country. They built several fine steamers (some of 
which were destroyed by ice), and during all the period preceding the 
advent of railways and the building of bridges, maintained a most 
efficient and satisfactory means of communication. Prior to the 
establishment of this company, or about that time, he and some few 
other gentlemen made a treaty with the chief, Logan Fontenelle, and 
his tribe, the Omahas, by virtue of which they were permitted to 
occupy a certain area on the west side of the river. The laying out 
of the town site of Omaha followed immediately, the surveying, map- 
ping, and marking of the public highways and claim-lands being done 
by A. D. Jones, under Dr. Lowe's supervision as president of the 
ferry company. From this time he became identified with Omaha 
and Nebraska, and was ever active, energetic, and zealous in forward- 
ing the public interest. No one in the community devoted more 
labor or gave more time gratuitously to the public weal than Dr. 
Lowe, and when the safety and future of the community were in 



jeopardy he gave most liberally from his personal means and private 
property, besides devoting much of his time to the cause and making 
many journeys at his own expense and without reward. At this time 
he took a prominent and conspicuous part in the committees sent to 
New York and Boston to secure the building of the Union Pacific rail- 
way bridge at Omaha ; and it may be well to record the fact here in 
the history of this pioneer, that, but for the persistent labors of those 
committees, the Union Pacific bridge would not have been located at 
Omaha. The citation of this fact alone is sufficient to show how great 
a debt we owe to such men as Dr. Lowe — a debt that can never be 
paid, and is all too likely to be forgotten by those who step in to fill 
the places of the fallen pioneers. 

In 1866 the Old Settlers' Association was organized. Dr. I^owe 
was chosen president, and held the position until his death. 

At the outbreak of the war of the rebellion. Dr. Lowe, though 
somewhat advanced in years, felt that every able-bodied man should 
aid in stamping out the attempt to destroy the Nation's life, and at 
once entered the service as surgeon of the First Nebraska regiment, 
going into the field in the department of the Missouri, under General 
Curtis (another eminent western pioneer who has ceased from his 
labors), but at the solicitation, of his son, General W. W. Lowe, the 
Doctor was soon transferred to his command in the Army of the 
Cumberland, with whom he served as brigade and division surgeon 
until his health became so impaired that, upon recommendation of his 
son, his resignation was accepted, and he returned to his home in 
Omaha. The invigorating climate of Nebraska after a time restored 
him to health and comparative vigor, and he renewed his active labors 
in the community, only to cease when health and strength departed. 
Many important industries and enterprises owe their existence to his 
creative power, nerve, and courage, among which may be named : The 
Omaha Gas Manufacturing Company, of which he was president; 
the Omaha & Southwestern Railway Company, in which he was 
director ; the organization of the State Bank of Nebraska, of which 
he was vice-president ; the Grand Central Hotel Company, and many 
other enterprises of more or less note and significance, all going to 
show his faith in the future of Omaha and Nebraska, and his readi- 
ness to uphold his faith by his works. And still further back in the 
early days, long before the U. P. railway was thought of, he and 



other incorporators succeeded in getting an act through the territorial 
legislature, approved March 1st, 1855, to incorporate the "Platte 
Valley & Pacific Railway Company,'^ for the purpose of construct- 
ing and building a railroad, single or double track, from the Missouri 
river at Omaha City,, and also a telegraph line up the North Platte 
river and on the north side of the south fork. I have in my pos- 
session the original record book of proceedings of this organization, 
and from a memoir in the book, written by Dr. Lowe, I quote this 
remarkable sentence : Let it be remembered that this great work 
(a Pacific railway) was actually commenced within the corporate lim- 
its of Omaha, in February, 1860.'^ He made strenuous efforts to 
induce capitalists to put money into the enterprise, but they looked 
upon the idea of a trans-continental railway as visionary and imprac- 
ticable. A few years later, however, it bore fruit, but the original 
projectors of the work were not participants in its benefits. 

Dr. Lowe was also one of the incorporators of another pioneer 
railway, the Council Bluifs & St. Joseph P. P., in May, 1858. 

"The character of Dr. Lowe, like his noble and stately form, dig- 
nified and commanding, never tainted by infidelity to public or pri- 
vate duty; always generous in service to friends and the community; 
wise in counsel as a citizen, and singularly gifted as a physician, with 
insight into disease, and a pre-vision of the thousand forms of its 
malignity, and of the issues of life and death, which wait upon it^ 
is of right entitled to the veneration and perpetual remembrance of 
all who have made their homes in the city of Omaha, and among 
whose founders he was one of the first for twenty-five years of its 
history. After the full period allotted to man on earth, full of years 
and of honor, he laid himself down to rest in death.'^ 

On July 22d, 1828, Dr. Lowe was married to Kitty Ann Pead, a 
native of Mercer county, Kentucky, who died at Burlington, Iowa, 
February 19th, 1870. The Doctor died at Omaha, Nebraska, in the 
afternoon of February 12th, 1880, of paralysis resulting from ex- 
posure. The only child, a son, Gen. W. W. Lowe, the writer hereof, 
now resides at Omaha, Nebraska. 




Caroline Joy Morton was born on the 9th of August, 1833, at 
Hallowell, in Maine. Her father was Hiram Joy. He was of Irish 
descent. His ancestry, as far back as the family records in this 
country go, were seafaring people. They who go down to the sea in 
ships learn to cast out fear, and meet danger and toil and watching 
with steady nerve and toughened muscle. Their children have a her- 
itage of courage and resolution, and the breath of the salt sea air is 
their constant stimulant. Her mother was Caroline Hayden. She, 
too, was reared in the rugged hill country of Maine, and breathed 
the same strong air and dwelt among the same stern and vigorous 

Hiram Joy, when a boy, was apprenticed to the trade of a saddler 
and harness maker. Hard, steady, honest work was his lot, and he 
bent to it with a native fidelity and docility; and he had a strong de- 
sire to help himself. His education was such as the district school of 
those early days, in that new country, could give. It was not much, 
but what it was he made wholly his own. And so heritage and edu- 
cation and circumstance all contributed to make him a man — a 
strong, hard-working, practical, tenacious man. In 1834 he removed 
to Detroit, Michigan, and followed the trade to which he had been 
bred. He had early success in it, and kept to it with his natural 
force and tenacity. In the spring of 1835, after a violent illness of 
SL few weeks, his wife died, leaving the little girl, who was the only 
pledge of their married life. They only who have had the same ex- 
perience, or have seen close at hand others in like condition, can un- 
derstand what a calamity and what a risk were here. The desolate 
father and the unconscious child — what now should be their way in 
the world? He was of a temper and a training to find distraction in 
his work; but she, the little girl, not able to care for herself, nor 
•even know the nature of her loss, according as she should fall into 
good hands or ill, so was she to be and so was to be her life. Of all 
sweet charities, the care for little friendless children is the sweetest — 
in hospitals and orphanages, if more cannot be done — but a home for 
the tender soul, made its own by the love and pity of strangers, is 
I the best refuge. It is a sad thought of this world and the men and 



women in it, how many motherless children there are and how few 
such homes are open to them. 

But happily the little Caroline was one of these few, and she never 
ceased through all her years to bless her lot — and with good reason. 
Her mother had near neighbors whom she loved and trusted, and to 
whom had not come the gift of children, and with her dying breath 
she charged them with her baby, to rear in virtue and all godliness of 
living. Deacon David French and Cynthia Eldred French were fit 
to be so trusted; mild in their ways, loving in their natures, and 
Christian in their lives, they accepted the charge, and they kept it 
with fidelity. Afterward she bore the name of Caroline Joy French. 
Until her marriage their house was her home, and till her death they 
were to her father and mother, and she was to them a daughter. In 
1850 her father Joy removed from Detroit to Chicago. He met the 
usual vicissitudes of life, but accumulated an ample fortune, enjoyed 
general respect and confidence, and died in 1868. 

Caroline was first sent to an Episcopal school in Canada, opposite 
Detroit, where she remained until she was nearly fourteen years old. 
She was then removed to the Wesley an Seminary at Albion, Michi- 
gan, remaining there until nearly seventeen. She was then placed at 
the celebrated school for girls in Utica, New York, which was under 
the charge of the Misses Kelley, graduating in her twentieth year. 
Her school life was much the same as that of such girls generally. 
Tractable, diligent, conscientious in the prompt performance of all her 
duties, and at the same time genial, vivacious, generous, and happy, 
she was a favorite with teachers and scholars alike. To her alma 
mater she always bore a loving loyalty, and to the Misses Kelley a 
most affectionate respect and admiration. It always pleased her to 
speak of them and the school, and she did so as one appreciating what 
both had done for her. 

While she thoroughly mastered what are generally called the solid 
studies of such schools, she was an apt and delighted pupil in music, 
drawing, and painting. Her love of music was natural and very 
strong. She was well instructed upon the piano-forte. When she left 
school she was a very fine performer on that instrument, her years 
being considered; and in the other arts she showed taste, skill, and a 
desire to excel. So many young ladies do something in these ways 
and give promise of excellence, that it may seem superflous to men- 



tion them. The difference is, that generally when the serious cares of 
life press upon them they cease their practice, and soon lose the skill 
which they have gained, while all through her life she almost daily 
found time, in the midst of many duties and occupations, to study and 
improve herself in these accomplishments. 

Her best education was at home. Through her girlhood her fos- 
ter-parents loved her tenderly, as the best natural parent loves his 
own child. But their affection was judicious. She wa^ made to un- 
derstand that her business in her girlhood was to do everything and 
omit nothing that would improve her physical, mental, and moral 
nature. She was taught that health was to be cared for as well as 
books, and that kindness, charity, and regard and respect for others, 
were as necessary as any advantage personal to herself. Definite re- 
ligious training was imparted. The clear, decisive, positive teachings 
of religion were constantly impressed upon her mind, and she accepted 
them with docility and faith. She never forgot them, and when in 
her turn children were given to her, she seriously and rigidly imposed 
on them what she had received. But she was not only taught all 
sound religious knowledge, but she was trained to the conscientious 
performance of religious duties. She was not reared in a dark, austere, 
formal, ascetic system. Religion was to her the thankful enjoyment 
of all the good gifts of God, and her service to her divine Lord was 
willing, sweet, and sincere. 

There was also another line of instruction for her. Her mother 
carefully taught her the duties of good housewifery. The art of 
wholesome cooking, and the other work of the well-regulated kitchen, 
and the care and service of chamber, dining-room, and parlor, were 
familiar to her even as a child. And amidst it all was one lesson of 
prime value which she learned and never forgot ; it was the ethics of 
use, and the immorality of waste. She was generous, she Avas made 
on too large and liberal a mould to be penurious, or to deny herself or 
her children, or any others whose pleasure was in her care, any proper 
indulgence ; but she was taught that wastefulness, even in the little 
things about the house, as well as criminal extravagance, was wrong 
and led to other wrongs. 

At this time she was in person and mien a striking and handsome 
young woman ; tall, slender, vigorous, active, and graceful, with lux- 
uriant brown hair, hazel eyes, clear, dark complexion, always dressed 



with taste and a due regard to occasion and circumstancCj she was ob- 
served and admired by all who saw her. Her genial, cordial, gentle 
manners ; her direct, honest, vivacious conversation ; her pure, truth- 
ful, sincere nature drew to her the affections of all who knew her. 

Her circumstances were very happy. Her father lavished upon 
his only child all his affections, and they who stood to her as father 
and mother were very indulgent, giving her all that wealth can buy 
and the laro^est freedom consistent with their Christian convictions and 
teachings. And so it was that, inheriting from her ancestry, hard- 
ened by the sea, a strong, resolute, and vigorous nature, receiving from 
those who were charged with her care the nurture and training of lov- 
ing, Christian parents, and educated in the best methods of the best 
schools, she entered upon the duties and responsibilities of life an ad- 
mirable Christian woman. Everybody wished her God-speed. 

At the age of fourteen she was engaged to be married to him who 
became her husband. 'Nor in all her girlhood had she any experience 
incompatible with her promise, nor did her heart ever for a moment 
draw back from it. In fulfillment of that early betrothal, on the 
30th of October, 1854, at the residence of David French, corner of 
Congress and Brush streets, Detroit, she was married to J. Sterling 
Morton by the Rev. Joshua Cooke, minister of the Jefferson Avenue 
Presbyterian church of that city. The young husband was her senior 
about a year; he had been educated at the University of Michigan, 
and Union College. He inclined to adopt journalism as his profes- 
sion. On the day of their marriage the young pair bade adieu to the 
homes of their youth and turned their faces westward, to make for 
themselves a home in Nebraska. It was a new land. Six months 
had not passed since the Indians had ceded to the United States their 
title to this territory. Few pioneers had penetrated its borders. It 
was an absolutely unoccupied and vacant country. 

There was a certain romance in this adventure. They gave up 
homes that had been made for them and the ministries which had 
there waited on them, the culture and elegances to which they were 
wont, the indulgences and pleasures of cities and of competence, for a 
new land where even grain for food was yet to be sown, houses to be 
built, and the first foundations of society to be laid. They came in a 
spirit of adventure, to do for themselves what their fathers had done 
before them, to begin their lives with the life of a new community, to 



impress themselves on its iDstitutions, and become a part of that great 
moral and political establishment which should fill these regions with 
a consistent, organized, and beneficent society. It was the same large 
spirit which from the earliest history of men has driven them always 
westward from the homes of their childhood to new countries, where 
they should plant new seats and establish a new civilization. 

This young woman, vigorous with the nature which she inherited 
from a stalwart ancestry, brave, resolute, self-reliant, joined her young 
husband in this work, and bore her part in it with a heart never for 
a moment doubtful of the issue. The sequel shows that she was of 
the right stuff for the 'task, and that reward was equal to the effort 
and the sacrifice. 

How far their new home was from the place of their childhood may 
be seen by tracing their journey, and the modes of their travel. They 
went by rail from Chicago to Alton on the Mississippi river, thence to 
St. Louis on that river by steamer, from St. Louis up the Missouri to 
St. Joseph by steamboat, and from there to Council Bluffs by stage. 
The whole distance occupied seven full days and nights of hard, tedi- 
ous riding. 

Early in November, 1854, Mrs. Morton was settled with her hus- 
band in Bellevue. Bellevue was the initial point of settlement in the 
new territory. For many years before, Col. Peter A. Sarpy, repre- 
sentative of the American Fur Company, had there a trading post, 
at which many treaties between the government and the Indians were 
negotiated and executed. Here, too, was the extensive mission of the 
Presbyterian church to the Omahas, under the charge of the Rev. 
William Hamilton. The governor of the territory, Hon. Francis 
Burt, had established himself at Bellevue, and it was expected that 
it would be made the capital of the new territory. 

The home of the yoimg pioneer was a log cabin of two rooms; it 
was upon the bluff about a mile below where the depot of the Bur- 
lington and Missouri River Railroad Company now stands, and 
where the Missouri sweeps by in a wide and easy curve. In the 
mild, sunny fall of the year, the spot was one of beauty. The val- 
ley, dressed in the dull russet of the season, stretched many miles 
away, the view was met to the east by rugged bluffs far beyond the 
river on the Iowa side, and by gentle, soft hills on the west, while up 
and down the river — its current not turbid to the view, but silvered 



in the distance — ran on its quiet course through miles and miles of 
the sleepy valley. Below the bluff on which the cabin stood, all that 
remained of the tribe of the Omahas had their tepees, and were the 
nearest neighbors of the new comers. 

It was a strange experience for the young wife, she was almost 
alone. In the little hamlet the only other women were the wives of 
the Hon. Fenner Ferguson, the Rev. William Hamilton, Mr. Tozier, 
Mr. Israel Bennett, and perhaps one or two others whose names can- 
not be recalled. With her own hands she cooked such hard fare as 
could be had, and performed all the other offices of the little home. 
But there was no sigh for the good things left behind ; no contrasting 
the hard present with the pleasant past. She looked with careful and 
abiding hope and faith to the future, always seeing in it honor and 
abundance and happiness for her and for him to whom she had given 
herself. There came often to them others who had entered on the 
same life, to claim their hospitality and their cheer, and a hearty 
welcome and brave words were given out of a generous and sympa- 
thizing heart. Many of these guests are gone, but some remain who 
recall with peculiar pleasure the humble home, the young wife, the 
cheerful, merry words, the welcome, and the generous hospitality. 

In a few weeks after his arrival in the territory. Governor Burt 
died. The Hon. Thomas B. Gumming, the secretary, succeeded to 
the executive, and convened the first legislature at Omaha, where the 
capital was permanently fixed. 

This dampened the hopes of Bellevue, and in April, 1855, Mr. 
Morton and his wife removed to Nebraska Gity. He '^claimed'' the 
tract of land near that city where they were always afterward to 
live, and in June they began to build the home which is known as 
Arbor Lodge. 

Here now began in truth the real work of life, the making of a 
home in which should dwell not only herself, of whom she took the 
least account, but her husband and the children who should be given 
them — in which should dwell, besides, the undoubting affections of 
husband and wife, the kindly charities of generous souls, the woman's 
ministries for all within the household, and the reverend, constant, 
and faithful obedience of God's holy will and commandments. 

The place was the naked prairie, except where a little stream with 
wooded banks divided the field in two. The strong, heavy grass 



formed a tough sod which had never been broken. No sign of the 
white man's abode or steps was anywhere to be seen; it was an utter 
solitude, save as the bright sun shone through the clear, dry air down 
upon the green grass ever waving in the continual wind. The young 
people together marked the space for the house, a slight elevation, 
from which could be seen the wide valley and the distant hill on 
which Kearney was afterward built. The house was a long one- 
story building, with ample porch in front. Its rooms were, for the 
country and the time, large, and all its parts betokened comfort and 
hospitality. It was the good beginning of a home. The wife entered 
most heartily into the work of reclaiming from its wild nature the 
land about, joining to her husband's her own taste in laying off roads 
and lanes, and planting trees, and shrubs, and hedges. The tough 
sod was broken and sown; fences were built and avenues of trees 
were marked and planted. The work went on year by year; the soil 
became soft and tractable under abundant culture. The orchards of 
all fruits of this climate were planted, a few acres at first, more and 
more every year; barns, stables, sheds, and cribs for grain were built. 
The animals of the farm of the best blood were bought and bred and 
reared. Flowers and flowering shrubs, and vines and evergreens in 
great abundance, attested the woman's presence ; time lent its aid, and 
the whole, alon^ with the mistress and the family, trees of ornament and 
fruit, hedges and vines and flowers, under her nursing oversight, grew, 
until Arbor Lodge, with its more than seventy acres of orchard of 
every kind of fruit and all its other acres rich and mellow, and 
rejoicing in the good culture it had received, became a very bower, 
well described by the name it bore. 

It was not, of course, ail her work, but it w^as all work done under 
her inspiration. She knew every tree and shrub and vine, and of 
each had some sweet memory, and many were called by names given 
by her or her boys in token of some sweet association. There was 
the little conifer brought by her own hand from the mountains and 
guarded now by a stone, marked with an inscription none can read 
without a tear. There* was the apple tree of special favor, whose 
fruit she most enjoyed, and known as "Mother's Tree," and so it was 
all about. The place is now, to those who loved her most, all alive 
in every spot with memories of her — h'er spirit as it formed and 
guided and nourished seems now to dwell in every thing. 



A few years ago the house, which had shared the constant growth, 
room being added to room as there was need, was too straightened 
for the family, and was unequal to the taste and wishes of its mis- 
tress. The faithfulness and real poetry of the dwellers in it now 
showed themselves. The house was not abandoned or cast away and 
a new one built. The very timbers and frame and structure of the 
old one were sacred. Whatever greater elegance might be had in a 
new house, it could never have the far higher grace of association, 
and so it was kept, built upon and rebuilt, and there it stands to-day, 
an ample, handsome, delightful mansion, but still the house in which 
this gentleman and lady began their life and have reared their chil- 

It is within the renovated, enlarged, and rebuilt house that Mrs. 
Morton is most seen. Music of the best and highest order always 
sounded through this home, and there stands the piano which shall 
never more under her skilled fingers sing for us songs without words. 
Upon it is the cover those same fingers embroidered; and so clothed 
are table, chair, and sofa in every room. Paintings of decided merit, 
irrespective of the painter's name, are on the walls, some her own 
work and some her choice. Bric-a-brac, some collected, and much 
more decorated or made by her, are everywhere. The whole house 
seems written all over, in every place, with the sacred words, ''wife 
and mother," for all was done by her for her husband and for her 
sons. What a contrast was Arbor Lodge when her eyes closed on it 
forever and when first they saw it, and what a life to have wrought 
that work! 

Her first boy, Joy, was born in Detroit, on the 27th of September, 
1855. Then, on the 22d of May, 1857, came Paul, in the same 
place; Mark was born on the 22d of November, 1858, at the hotel 
in Omaha then known as the Herndon house, now occupied by the 
Union Pacific Railroad Company for its general offices; and Carl was 
born at Arbor Lodge, on the 18th of February, 1865. 

Arbor Lodge is Mrs. Morton's memorial, but she lives truly in 
these sons. As she in her youth had been trained and educated with 
care, affection, a discreet indulgence, and well tempered severity, so 
she reared her children. What most she taught them was truth, sin- 
cerity, fidelity, respect for men and reverence for God. Much she did 
by precept, but far more by constant and intimate companionship. 



She entered heartily into all that interested them. Together they 
often went out, with generous provision for the hunger which was 
sure to come, and spent the whole day in the fields and woods, gath- 
ering nuts, lichens, ferns, shrubs, and flowers, always carefully dis- 
posing of the treasures they brought home, so that they might after- 
ward be put to use. And often, too, they passed the whole day to- 
gether in the house enjoying music, games, reading, and the telling 
of tales full of humour and fun. In the midst of all she was the 
heedful mother, correcting faults and approving what was good, and 
also a sister, putting no restraint on any of them, and sharing every 
feeling, impulse, and emotion. The mother was in this woman. How 
her eyes were gladdened by what she saw! She held her early mar- 
riage to be the happy circumstance of her life, and she rejoiced that 
the same good fortune came to Joy and Paul ; and when they brought 
their wives to her she took them to her heart as daughters. Those 
were the radiant days of her life. 

She was too good a w^oman ever to forget that when she was a lit- 
tle motherless child a kind friend had taken her home and reared her 
with judicious care. She was always remembering this when she saw 
another such an one, and her heart went out to it with especial ten- 
derness and sympathy. Her friend, Mrs. Chandler, died very sud- 
denly, leaving behind a little one who needed a home and a mother's 
care. She took the little Dela to Arbor Lodge to rear and train and 
make a woman of, such as others had made her. With what love 
and tenderness and patience and judicious care she did her duty to 
the child, and with what anxiety she gave up the charge when she 
gave up all the rest of the world, they only know who saw it all. 

^In 1858 Mr. Morton was appointed secretary of the territory, and 
much of his term he was acting governor. The duties of his office 
called him to the capital, and he had his family with him. Omaha 
at that time was a town of perhaps 2,000 inhabitants. There were 
enough to make a pleasant society, but not so many but all could 
know one another. During her residence there Mrs. Morton entered 
very heartily into social life. She was genial, affable, charitable. She 
was at this time a handsome lady; perhaps she never appeared to 
better advantage than she did then. Many w^ho shared that early 
life remember her as she w^as then with especial pleasure. But it was 
in the society of her own home that she held the largest place. In 



the earliest days, when hospitality was a necessity, she learned, if ever 
she needed to learn, to exercise it generously and graciously. Her 
door was always open to all comers. The poor were never sent 
empty away, and her friends shared whatever she had with an un- 
limited freedom. Arbor Lodge was always a gay house. It was a 
place of dancing, and games, and jollity. The young especially resorted 
thither with an assurance of welcome and pleasure. 

And there was another charity wdiich this good lady exercised, the 
care and help of the poor. Those whom others did not care for she 
took as her own charge. There w^as a poor half-breed Indian boy 
who had been put out at the school near Nebraska City by his father, 
but who had been neglected by him; he drifted away from good in- 
fluences, and at last committed some trifling offense for which he was 
lodged in jail. The story accidentally came to Mrs. Morton's ears, and 
at once she set about securing his release and providing him with 
proper care. She asked no aid in the task but went about from man 
to man all over the town, getting their signatures to a petition for 
his discharge, and having gained that she collected money to send him 
to his father, seven hundred miles away. When a neighbor told her that 
her servant, a poor motherless girl, aspired to be a teacher, Mrs. Morton 
adopted the case as especially her own charge. She inspired the girl 
to educate herself and then to secure a place in the country to teach. 
When she was suffering excruciating pains in her last sickness she 
heard that there was a vacancy in the high school in Nebraska City 
which she thought the young teacher could fill. Dr. E. W. Whitten, 
her attending physician, w^as a member of the board of education, 
and she besought his aid ; he discouraged the effort because there 
were many other applicants who had friends of influence, but Mrs. 
Morton was not to be put off; indeed in the very fact that the girl 
was friendless she found reason for her appointment. The evening 
came on w^hich the election by the board was to be had ; the doctor 
was attending her, but suffering greatly as she was, she refused his 
services and charged him to hasten to the meeting and tell the mem- 
bers that this was a poor, friendless girl who had educated herself and 
was worthy of the place; that she would go to them in person and 
beg the appointment but she was too ill to do so ; and from her sick 
bed she asked this favor of them. When the doctor came the next 
morning, heedless of her own condition, her first question was, '^What 



did the board do?'' When told that they liad unanimously granted 
her request the expression of gratitude and haj)[)iness on her worn 
and emaciated features told of the self- forgetful, generous nature of 
the invalid. Her suffering only made her more heedful of others; 
her approach to the gates of Paradise made her spirit more than ever 
loving and charitable. 

Mrs. Morton was not a highly intellectual lady, she made no such 
pretensions. Her numerous occupations and her imperious, duties in 
so many directions did not leave her time or strength or inclination 
for studies and labors of a severe character; but she was thoroughly 
intelligent. She kept well up with current literature and with passing 
events. She was well informed upon the topics which occupied pub- 
lic attention, political, social, and religious, and she discussed them 
with discrimination and temperance. 

The relations of Mr. and Mrs. Morton were singularly happy. It 
was in their childhood that they plighted their affections, and in their 
early maturity that they were married. There was too much force 
and vigor in the wife for the man to outgrow or weary of her. With 
no separate wish or ambition, but with common purposes and com- 
mon views of life, its just modes and aims, they were each the com- 
plement of the other, and the two together were one. To her her 
husband was the admirable man; she shared his trials, his hopes, his 
disappointments, his ambitions, his growth, and rejoiced to be in all 
good and ill fortune his true helpmeet. To be his wife in all service 
and affection was her pride and joy. This was the peculiar felicity 
of a very happy life. And now, just as the hard work was done and 
the full reward was at hand, the end came. The beautiful house? 
the perfected homestead, rooms and decorations, trees, flowers, w^alks, 
and drives, animals, servants, and friends and sons and husband; 
memories, charities, friendships, affections, and the dear light of day, 
just when they were most cherished, were all to be given up. She 
looked back on all these blessings, not with repining but with 
devout gratitude to the Giver of all good gifts. She looked for- 
ward with the same courage and faith which she bore through 
life. She always had a perfect contentment with what was given 
h§r; she had realized all she aspired to. In her last illness she 
said : " My sons have never made my hair gray. Very few women 
have lived so long and so happily in a human home and she(J so few 



tears as I/' It was her habit during her husband's absence to keep 
a daily diary ; the last entry is dated February 2, 1882. She writes: 
"I am suffering great pain to-day, but perhaps when the trees blos- 
som again and the birds begin to sing I shall be better, but when I 
look around me and see how comfortable a home I have, I feel very 
thankful, and had almost as lief be sick as not." 

Mrs. Morton, by a fall on the third day of July, 1880, injured 
her knee. She gave it little attention, and shortly afterward had 
another misfortune with it. She suffered great pain. The best medi- 
cal attendance failed to relieve her and the disease progressed rapidly; 
during her illness prayers were read for her at every service in St. 
Mary's church, where she was a communicant, the knowledge of 
which was a great comfort and help to her. Her rector visited her 
frequently and prayed with her and for her, and administered the 
help and consolations of the church. A few days before her death 
she called her husband and her eldest son to her bedside and said : 
^^Let me read the prayer for the sick." She wished to read it her- 
self to express her prayer to her heavenly Father with more fervency. 
She read it with clear and decided but pathetic and pleading tones, 
and then committed to him the issue. 

The last day was the 29th day of June; she lay in the library, the 
windows of which open to the east and receive the first light of the 
coming day. The time was sunrise; the windows were open, and the 
first warm breath of the morning came in fresh and sweet from the 
fields and flowers ; her breath was drawn with the sound of a lullaby 
as though hushing a babe to sleep, the same note she had used when 
quieting her infant children. Joy said: "Paul and Mark cannot 
get here, they will never see you in life again ; won't you send them 
a kiss by me?" She kissed him twice distinctly and perfectly. It 
was the last conscious act to send a kiss to each absent son. She 
closed her eyes and the heart was still. The night was over and the 
day had come. 

The late afternoon of the second day following Mrs. Morton's 
death. Arbor Lodge was the scene of a striking event which was in 
harmony with her life. Hy common consent all business in Nebraska 
City was suspended and the pall of mourning was upon all the silent 
and empty streets. About four o'clock the people of the town, and 
multitudes from every part of the county, and representatives from 



all portions of the state took their way toward the desolate home. 
There were all classes in the company, but most to be observed was 
the throng of the poor and of those not largely blessed wilh wordly 
means. The number of them was very great, and the sorrow of face 
and tone and manner spoke of a personal bereavement. They to 
whose wants had for so many years been given kindly and untiring 
ministries, they whose misfortunes and sorrows had been cheered by 
words and acts of thoughtful sympathy, they who had seen this life o^ 
tender, vigilant, and unselfish service for others, all came to this 
mansion with their other fellow citizens and fellow mourners for the 
one common purpose. 

It was a June afternoon, and, save in the hearts of the throng of 
people, all was peaceful and sweet. Her own four sons, Joy, Paul, 
Mark, and Carl, carried her forth, assisted by four of the near friends 
of the family. With the setting of the sun she was laid to rest in the 
cemetery, Wyuka, and the grave was strewn with flowers by the hands 
of her own boys. 

The little field thus consecrated by the sacred dust now deposited 
in it has been fitly marked. A shaft, twenty feet high and three feet 
in diameter at the base, has been erected in the midst. It is in the 
form of a trunk of a forest tree, which has been riven and broken at 
the top. At its base fitly disposed emblems of the life now ended — a 
sheet with the music and words Rock of Ages,^^ the needles and ma- 
terials of embroidery, the painter's palette, pencils, and brushes, grace- 
ful ferns and large lichens, a vase upon its side with broken lilies, and 
ivy twining to the top. One branch hangs, symbolizing the broken 
life. Upon the opposite side is the cavity of a decayed knot, in which 
are three fledglings which have left the nest, while on the top of the 
trunk, looking down upon her little ones, is the anxious mother, and 
one other, the youngest of the brood under her wing. The little field 
is protected by a fence of stone, the base being a perfect resemblance 
of rows of stumps of trees cut to a uniform height, upon which are 
logs lying horizontally as they are laid in a log house. 

The whole is symbolic of a life in the new country, in familiar sym- 
pathy with nature in her tenderest moods. 

The inscription is : Caroline, wife of J. Sterling Morton. Died at 
Arbor Lodge, June 29, 1881, aged 47 years. She was the mother of 
Joy, Paul, Mark, and Carl Morton. 




MoSES Stocking, of Saunders county, Nebraska, died at his resi- 
dence, Friday, Sept. 30th, 1881, of paralysis. His wife, all his sons 
and daughters, except Mrs. White, Oregon, and Mrs. Bosworth, Col- 
orado, were at his bedside. 

The following autobiography was written by him, at the request of 
Geo. S. Harris, Land Commissioner B. & M. R. R.: 

To Geo. S. Harris, Esq., Land Agent of the B. & M. R, R. Neb.: 

Sir — In complying with your request to furnish you a short auto- 
biography of myself, I am aware that I shall lay myself open to the 
charge of vanity and a desire to become conspicuous on very small cap- 

I have no knowledge of the family name or history further back 
than my grandfather, who was a small farmer and also a tanner and 
shoemaker in Chatham, and later at Middletown, in the state of Con- 
necticut. His family consisted of three sons and a daughter — my 
father, born in Feb., 1775, being the youngest. The oldest sou, Moses, 
entered the marine service at the age of sixteen, in the war for inde- 
pendence and fought under the command of the heroic Paul Jones. 
Every member of the family, so far as I am able to learn, were whigs 
of the revolution, and gave their aid and sympathy to the party that 
defied the British throne. This was also true of my mother's family, 
the Ishams, of Colchester, Connecticut. 

In 1809, my father, Reuben Stocking, emigrated to the state of 
New York, and settled among the hemlocks of the town of New Ber- 
lin and county of Chenango, where I was born in April, 1813. After 
spending in that locality ten years of the very prime of his life, in 
Feb., 1819, a bankrupt in purse and with a family of ten living child- 
ren — the three oldest of which were girls, he moved to Monroe county 
and for three years was a renter. In the spring of 1822, he pushed 
on to the county of Genessee, and settled upon a tract of wet timbered 
land. Here commenced such a struggle for life as few families on 
these fertile and beautiful prairies will at the present day appreciate. 
In debt for 110 acres of wild land, one-third of which was swamp, 
no capital, wheat worth 25 cents per bushel, the Erie canal uufin- 



ished, merchandise to be hauled in wagons from Albany, everybody 
poor, few schools and those of a low order. Poor as they were I was 
only enabled to attend them a month or two, snatched from the labor 
of the woods during the snowiest portion of the winter — no public 
libraries or newspapers from which to glean knowledge, nor time to 
read except the sliort period between a hard day's labor and much 
needed sleep, nor other light than a tallow dip or the kitchen fire; it 
is no marvel that when in my 17th year and I had finished my last 
day's attendance upon a school, I had only acquired the plainest 
rudiments of an English education. 

At this age I was active and robust in constitution, possessed of a 
retentive memory, and ambitious to excel. 

At this time Dr. L. B. Coates, of Batavia, offered me a situation in 
his drug store with the privilege of studying medicine under his di- 
rection. This offer I appreciated and ardently desired to accept, but 
poverty's stern form interposed between me and my ambition. My 
father had become broken in constitution, his family was still large, a 
heavy debt hung over his farm and I was his main dependence in the 
labors of the field. The doctor's offer had to be declined. This I 
considered as the turning point in my life ; and changed it from a 
career of letters and scholarly attainments, to the rough realm of the 

Continuing with my father, except when working out as a hireling, 
until my 23d year, I then determined to push into the western coun- 
try and explore it for myself. Consequently the evening of the 3d of 
November, 1835, found me a passenger on the unlucky steamer I^orth 
America, Capt. Appleby, bound for Detroit. 

The day had been beautiful, but as we steamed out of the port of 
Buffalo a cloud black as Erebus lay beneath the fast declining sun. 
Before we could reach the bay of Erie, one of the most fearful storms 
of that stormy lake broke upon our staunch craft, in all its fury. Added 
to the other dangers was the hull of Commodore Perry's old war ship 
Superior, aground in the channel of the bay; in attempting to pass 
which the North America ran aground. We shipped her rudder, lost 
lier anchors and drifted against the piers, where we lay until the after- 
noon of the second day before we got off. 

From Erie I made my way to Ashtabula, Ohio, on foot ; thence by 
stage to Willsville, on the Ohio river; thence on foot to Wheeling, 



West Virginia, where I stopped three weeks with a brother there lo- 
cated and engaged in the jewelry business. Leaving Wheeling some- 
what sooner than 1 contemplated I fortunately avoided a little hand 
to hand encounter that had been planned (without consulting me) by 
a highway robber, who expiated his crimes upon the gallows the next 

With a heavy pack, pursuing my way on foot on the national pike 
to Dayton, Ohio; thence up the Miami valley to Fort Wayne ; thence 
down the the Wabash to Huntingdon; thence north by section lines 
much of the way, fording rivers and taking the chances of finding 
food or lodging, tracing ray way slowly through the dark forests? 
often marching to the tune of howling wolves, I reached, on the 8th 
day of Jan., 1836, in St. Joe county, Michigan, the home of an aunt^ 
a twin sister of my mother's, whom I had been especially charged to 
find. Resting for one week, I had arranged my pack for a start on 
the next day to continue my tramp to the Mississippi, when a sudden 
attack of inflammatory rheumatism put me under the doctor's care in- 
stead of on the road. I remained here about sixteen months. The 
financial crash of 1837 having stagnated all business rendered the 
sale of land impossible, and being dead on my feet with ague, I re- 
turned to New York in the fall of that year. The next summer I 
worked for an old neighbor, married in the fall of 1838, and with my 
wife and father's family returned to St. Joe county, Michigan, deter- 
mined if we could not sell our lands to make a living by improving 
them, but as events have proven, this was a mistake — we had better 
have given them away and searched for a healthier climate, for after 
fourteen years more of hard labor, sickness, and suffering, we were 
compelled to get away from that living graveyard, and sold a splendid 
farm of 186 acres for the paltry sum of $2,000, on seven years time. 

Leaving my family in Michigan, the 16th day of March, 1853, 
found me at Glenwood, Mills county, Iowa, with a span of horses 
and $700 in cash. Having long been accustomed to a level country 
the hills about Glenwood appeared mountains to me, which, with a 
wrong impression of the climate together with ignorance of a prairie 
country, combined to make an unfavorable impression upon my mind 
and I continued undecided till about May, when an offer from the 
late J. M. Cooledge, of Glenwood, induced me to start for California 
with a drove of cattle. Notifying my family of my intended move- 



ments, the 19th of May found us on the west side of the " Big Mud- 
dy " and our first camp in the Indian country was pitched on what 
is now Main street, in the city of Plattsmouth. On the 28th day of 
September, after four months of severest toil and never ceasing watch- 
fulness, we reached the banks of the far famed Sacramento river, worn 
out, exhausted, and alkalied. 

The following September I bade adieu to that wonderful land of 
sunshine and fruits, and took passage on an ocean steamer for my home 
in Michigan, via the Isthmus and New York. Looking around 
among old scenes and friends for a few days I determined to leave 
that sickly locality as soon as possible. Closing up all affairs, the 22d 
day of November found my family on board of a wagon and on the 
road for Glen wood, Iowa, where, after a cold, tedious journey, we ar- 
rived December 25th. 

Being more desirous of schooling my children than acquiring wealth 
induced me to locate near that sheltered town, but the experience of 
fifty -five years discovered to me that I had made a mistake on that 
point — that there was but little educational spirit in the place; fur- 
ther, that in a commercial point of view, I was on the wrong side of 
the ''Big Mudd}^" Consequently I crossed the river and located a 
claim on Four Mile creek, in Cass county, Neb., where I moved my 
family in the spring of 1856, rented ten acres of poor breaking for 
wheat and corn, upon which a good crop was raised. I erected a 
double cabin and broke about forty-five acres on my claim, upon 
which I raised about thirty acres of very good sod corn, but had the 
misfortune to lose it by a prairie fire. While attending the death- 
bed of a sister at Glen wood, the Pawnees stole my best ox and both 
of my cows. The death of my sister and her husband, within two 
weeks, left upon my hands their small children to provide for and 
educate, increasing my family to twelve persons at the commencement 
of the terrible winter of '56 and '57. Speculation being rife through 
the country, and town sites almost as numerous as the population, I 
was induced to take an interest in the Cedar Island town site, which, 
after much trouble, turned up a blank. 

The dry season of 1857 gave but an indifferent crop off my forty- 
five acres of but partially rotted sod, excepting in potatoes and pump- 
kins, the yield of which was truly astonishing, but the sudden change 
in the weather late in October, accompanied with high wind and snow, 



spoiled nearly all of the potatoes. In 1858 I put the same ground 
(which had now became well rotted) in wheat, oats, barley, corn, and 
potatoes, all of which presented a most promising appearance up to 
July. In fact, I had cut and shocked the barley, and cut one day on 
the wheat, when near sunset, a rain of twelve hours duration set in 
causing a most unprecedented flood on Four Mile creek. I barely 
saved enough of damaged barley for the next year's seed. The news 
of the discovery of gold on Cherry creek, in Colorado, reached the 
river in September. I with a party of a dozen from Plattsmouth, 
Pacific City, and Glen wood, on the 18th, started for the newly 
reported discovery, determined to prospect and discover if possible the 
existence of the precious metals in that then unknown land. Spend- 
ing some six weeks of the most beautiful weather in prospecting along 
Cherry creek, the Platte river, and several of its tributaries, also 
among the foot hills of the mountains, and finding float gold in almost 
every hole we dug, the conclusion was forced upon us that when the 
season should favor penetrating the recesses of those grave old moun- 
tains, we should be enabled to open the vast storehouses of their hid- 
den treasures. Therefore, when winter set in upon us, about the 1st 
of December, we turned our attention to the location and building of 
a town, as a base of future supplies. This idea gave to the world the 
present city of Denver. I had already seen enough of the country to 
be convinced that for stock growing it was second to California only 
in the greater severity of its winters; also that on trial a large por- 
tion would prove to be a fine agricultural region. At that time this 
idea was generally scouted. 

The above views determined me to return to the Missouri, dispose 
of my farm, and arrange affairs so as to return to Denver in early 
spring. About December 14th, a party of two Plattsmouth men and 
three Laramie men, three wagons, and half a dozen yokes of cattle, | 
took up our line of march for Plattsmouth, arriving home January j 
8th, 1859. At Plum Creek, on the trip, a lucky shot from my rifle i 
brought down a buffalo cow, which saved our party from starvation. 
On looking into the market after my arrival home, I found the 
whole community struck dumb with a commercial panic. To sell a 
farm was an impossibility, cattle suitable for the plains very high, 
and could be purchased only with gold. I could make no shift that 
would not bankrupt me, and again I turned my attention to farming, 


raised good crops, and extended the area of broken ground. In the 
spring of 1860, not having yet been able to make a desirable sliift so 
as to return to the mountains, I determined to push the farming to 
the extent of my ability, and put in fifty- five acres of wheat, thirty 
acres of corn, with some minor crops. I next hitched up a pair of 
cows, and some two-year old steers with my oxen, started a breaking 
plow and the planting of a crop of sod corn. Each day's work was 
leveled smoothly and dragged Avith brush and harrow. The corn 
came up finely. By the first week in June, some forty -acres had been 
broken and planted. The wheat was headed out beautifully, the 
thirty acres of corn had been plowed once and second plowing com- 
menced, and the ground clean and corn growing finely. A. better 
prospect for a good crop could not be desired, when, presto, a change 
came over the spirit of my dream. About 4 p.m., June 10th, a cloud 
dark as Erebus came wheeling up from the horizon with the speed of 
a locomotive — w^ind blowing by turns north-west, west, and south- 
west. Itistantly dropping chains, I started the teams towards their 
pasture, but before proceeding two hundred yards the storm burst 
upon us in all its fury. I tried to get off the yokes but found it 
impossible ; the cattle ran for shelter at the top of their speed. The 
only armor between my skin and the hail and rain was a cotton shirt. 
Thoroughly drenched in a moment, smarting from the driving hail, I 
siezed a grain sack, and drawing it across my shoulders as a partial 
protection, hurried towards Four Mile creek as fast as I was able, and 
on reaching it jumped in, and got under a bridge for shelter, standing 
in water knee deep until the storm was over, by which time I was 
pretty thoroughly chilled. A more complete wreck of bright pros- 
pects than my farm presented after the storm was over could scarcely 
be imagined. The corn field that looked so fine two hours before was 
now as bare as fresh-ploughed fallow ; not a hill not a plant was left 
to show that it had been occupied. The wheat field w-as no better, 
nothing left but pelted and broken fragments of what had been wheat 
plants. But, thanks to the recuperative vigor of the plants and fer- 
tility of Nebraska's soil, the corn pushed rapidly up in sight again 
and made a tolerable crop. The wheat stubble sprouted up and 
headed out with small heads, making about five bushels to the acre, 
and ripened but little later than the regular harvest. Having lost by 
fire, flood, and storm the greater portion of three out of five crops, 



which I had planted in Nebraska, and fallen short of reaching ex- 
penses of the farm about |700, I determined, in September of that 
year, to turn over my farm to the management of my wife and three 
sons, the youngest yet in his teens, and for myself endeavor to strike 
something that would enable me to pay off my debts. Notifying my 
creditors of my intended course, they each readily assented. Accord- 
ingly making a careful estimate of the quantity of wheat required for 
seed and one year's board, I soon had the small balance in HerseFs 
mill, and in due time removed therefrom forty-two sacks of flour. 
Putting forty of them in a wagon, and hitching thereto one pair of 
grown and two pairs of two-year old steers, the same cattle that had 
already plowed and harrowed seventy-five acres of prairie that sea- 
son, about noon of the 10th of October, set out for Denver. 

At Wahoo Ranche I overtook the train of C. L. Cooper, and trav- 
eled with it. At Plum Creek we were caught in a severe storm of 
rain, hail, and high wind, so cold that their work stock froze in the 

corrals. At creek met a snow storm that fell six inches 

deep ; very cold weather followed the storm. At other times on the 
trip had very pleasant weather. Arriving at Denver, found the 
market glutted, left a portion of our load to be sold on commission, 
with the balance we started for Faryal at the foot of the Snowy 
ran^e, arriving on the 14th of December, but was compelled to store 
our load for want of purchasers. Before reaching Faryal our cattle 
took the sore tongue disease, then prevalent, which reduced their flesh 
very much, so that when we reached winter quarters on the plains 
near Colorado City, they presented a so^-ry appearance. In Febru- 
ary took charge of Mr. Cooper's train of seven wagons at a salary of 
$400.00 a year, including the privilege of my own wagon in the train 
and also of looking after my farm when at the Missouri river. Under 
this arrangement performed the business of freighting till the close of 
1^63, traveling each year from 3,000 to 3,500 miles, and subsisting the 
stock exclusively upon the grass that grew on the routes traveled. In 
the meantime my family had made more than a living from the farm. 

In the spring of 1864 I sold my teams, and found myself in pos- 
session of $2,000, and out of debt. The Indian hostilities having 
rendered freighting a precarious business, I determined to try drov- 
ing. Accordingly, in company with Jacob Penny, I went to Kansas 
for a drove of cattle. Collecting about 300 head on the Verdigris, 



we made our way back to Nebraska, arriving at Wyoming about the 
first of July, where we sold the greater part of our herd to the Mor- 
mons, who were outfitting at that point for Salt Lake City. This 
venture paid us a fair profit. 

Having had some experience in wool growing, I now determined 
to procure a flock of sheep — a class of stock that would require less 
help to manage, and also allow me to stay at home. For this pur- 
pose, I started in October for Wisconsin ; but finding prices high and 
holders unwilling to sell, did not buy in Wisconsin. Returning via 
the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, heard of a flock of merinos at 
Marshalltown, Iowa, just arrived from N. Y. From this flock I 
purchased 100 ewes and 100 lambs, and in Story county, Iowa, I 
bought 90 coarse wooled sheep. In July, 1865, I started for Mich- 
igan for more sheep. Bought 500 head in Jackson county, mainly 
ewes and lambs. Started them on the 22d day of August, from the 
town of Concord; arrived at Plattsmouth the 22d day of November, 
after one of the most tedious journeys ever performed by sheep. 
Rain, rain, rain, and but two mud holes between Laporte, Indiana, 
and Chariton, Iowa; the Mississippi river making the division. 
Previous to leaving for Michigan, I had selected a location in Saun- 
ders county, and within the railroad land grant, for a sheep farm, 
and directing that a quantity of hay be put up for wintering. For 
this point, on Christmas day, I started with a flock of above 500 
sheep ; leaving the remainder — stock, farm, and family — in charge 
of our three sons. That farm of 240 acres we still own. My family 
moved from the Cass county farm in the spring of 1870, to our lands 
in Saunders county, being located on both Wahoo and Sand creeks, 
near where the waters of the two creeks unite. 

Here in Saunders county we have plodded along slowly, adding 
something each year to our improvements and steadily increasing 
our stock. Our sheep farm at this time consists of 1040 acres of 
deeded and homestead land, on which we have comfortable buildings, 
400 apple trees, 320 acres under cultivation, 400 acres enclosed in 
pasture with 1,200 rods of fence, 20 acres seeded to timothy, about 
five acres planted to forest timber. Besides which we occupy one 
section of railroad land of which 120 acres are under the plow, 400 
acres of meadow, 160 rods of hedge planted, and on the same land 
there are 400 feet of shedding 16 feet wide, 14 inclosures fenced with 



pine fencing, and three corn cribs made with pine lumber. Our stock 
consists of 1,500 sheep, four head of neat cattle, 25 head of horses 
and mules, and about 45 head of hogs. 


Mr. Stocking served Saunders county t\vo years as county commis- 
sioner, and a more faithful, intelligent officer Saunders county has 
never before or since had. He was the first man to introduce blooded 
cattle in the center of the county. His first purchase was from tlie 
celebrated Daniels herd, of Sarpy county, consisting of a cow and 
bull. The cow cost $225, and is still owned by his son George H., 
and the bull, a yearling, cost $150. From this small beginning there 
is now a large herd of line grade and pure blood cattle. 

Mr. Stocking was for years a prominent member of the State 
Board of Agriculture, and at the time of his death was one of three 
men in this state that were elected life members of the board. In 
1875 he delivered the address at the State Fair, in Omaha, which was 
a production worthy of the man and the occasion. He was always 
an active member of the board, and was also a prominent member of 
the State Horticultural Society. 

January 16th, 1878, he was elected president of the Wool and 
Sheep Grower's Association. He was an original member of the 
society and drafted the constitution and by-laws which were adopted. 
He was appointed a committee of one to draft additional by-lsiws, 
providing for the regular meetings of the same. 

He was an active member of the Fine Stock Breeder's Association, 
and was elected a vice president at its first organization. 

He was a member of the State Historical Society, and one of the 
charter members of the same. 

He was a member of a committee of awards on w^ool at the great 
Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876, and also received an 
award on fine wool there exhibited. 

He wrote an exhaustive history of Saunders county, which was 
published in pamphlet form in 1875. Being an early settler here, 
familiar with all prominent incidents connected with the early settle- 
ment of the county, and personally acquainted with all the early set- 
tlers, made him peculiarly qualified for the task. This little book in 
years yet to come, will often be referred to by the future historian of 
Nebraska, and particularly of Saunders county. 



lu the fall of 1871, he was employed by the B. & M. R. R. Co. in 

Nebraska to examine their lands. He made a personal examination 
of the entire belt, and made his report of the same whieh is now on 
file in the B. & M. land office at Lincoln. About this time he con- 
tracted a severe cold which settled on his lungs, and from that day to 
the end his lungs were never sound. He was subject to frequent 
hemorrhages of the lungs, often bleeding two quarts at a single time. 
These spells greatly prostrated him ; but he was possessed of a re- 
markably strong constitution, and his rapid recovery from his great 
prostrations was often remarked by those intimate with him. But 
the terrible disease was continually gnawing at his life and exhausting 
the great vitality with which he seemed to be invested. Though dis- 
eased in body, his mind was clear up to the last sickness. His mental 
faculties were always sound, and under his greatest prostration he 
was always cheerful and hopeful. 

He was no politician, though once, in the republican convention 
at Lincoln, his friends run him for the office of governor. He re- 
ceived a very handsome vote, biit failed to get the nomination. 

He spent much of his time and talent in the interest of the public. 
He labored hard to advance the farming interests of the country and 
at the same time left sufficient to provide for the few that were de- 
pendent upon him for support. He was a true lover of his country 
and her institutions. He delighted in the substantial progress of the 
state of Nebraska, where he lived for more than twenty-five years. 
A marble monument, erected on the first ground broken by him in 
Saunders county, in the burying ground of the Knights of Honor, 
points the spot where the mortal remains of our honored and much 
lamented citizen repose. 


I very much regret inability to obtain more full biographies of the 
following deceased early settlers. I made effi)rts by correspondence 
with friends and relatives, but without success. It is hoped hereafter 
they can yet be made more complete. 




Kev. Wm. McCandlish died at Omaha, Nebraska, August 5th, 
1884.1 tHe was born in Scotland; came to America when he was 
seven years old. He was educated for the ministry at Washington 
college, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and was ordained as a minister 
of the Presbyterian denomination in 1837, and has been actively 
engaged in that service knd in the bible cause from that date to 
the very hour of his death, having but returned from carrying a 
bible to a neighbor at 9:40 in the morning. He complained of cold- 
ness in the feet, lay down on his bed and passed away as quietly as a 
tired child would drop to sleep. He leaves a wife and three children, 
residents of Nebraska, in which state Mr. McCandlish had made his 
home almost continuously since 1858. 


Hev. William McCandlish was born September 12th, 1810, in Kirk- 
cudbrightshire, Scotland ; he came with his parents to Newville, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1817. At the age of 15 he commenced teaching school. 
He afterwards went to Canonsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 
1834; then went to Allegheny Theological Seminary, and in 1837 
he was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian church. He preached 
a few months in New York, then accepted a call to the church in 
Wooster, Ohio. He was married to Miss Maria Howells, in Alle- 
gheny City, September 10th, 1838. In 1849 he removed to the 
church in Lewiston, Illinois; in 1854, to a church in Quincy, Illinois. 

In 1858 he went to Fontenelle, Nebraska, with his wife, four sons, 
and one daughter. The two oldest sons entered the army in 1862; 
the second son, Theodore, died in the army November 26th, 1862. 

Mr. McCandlish acted as missionary in different places in Ne- 
braska and Iowa. In 1868 he removed with his family to Omaha, 
and accepted the position of agent for the American Bible Society for 
the states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and sometimes for Da- 
kota and Utah. Mr. McCandlish died at his home in Omaha, Au- 
gust 4, 1884. 



JOHN Mccormick. 

John McCormick died at Omaha, June 2d, 1884; he was born 
on the 12th of September, 1822, at Johnstown, Westmoreland county, 
Penn. At an early age he was taken with his family to Cadiz, Ohio, 
and in 1856 removed to this city, engaging in the land and banking 
business. During the panic of '57 his business was injured, and in 
'59 he became the head of the grocery house which for a long time 
bore his name. He remained in business till 1869, when he engaged 
in grain, with which he had been identified up to his death. He 
built the first elevator in the city, and in other ways was counted 
among the leading citizens of the town. 

For many years Mi\ McCormick was to a great extent at the head 
and front of affairs in the then young city of Omaha. Public-spir- 
ited, liberal, and progressive, he stood high in the councils of those 
who fought the battles of our early existence. He was a great believer 
in Omaha and its future, and by his example in making permanent 
investments did much to secure that stability which has been the 
secret of our success. As a business man he was safe and reliable ; 
as a friend always staunch and true, and in his family relations most 
devoted and kind. His removal from the scenes of his hardest com- 
mercial labor leaves a void that will be difficult to fill, as there are 
but few men who could exert the same influence and shape affairs so 
successfully as Mr. McCormick. The funeral will take place at 2 
o'clock Wednesday (to-morrow) afternoon, from the family residence, 
corner of Dodge and Eighteenth streets. Following are a few points 
in the life of the deceased, which will be read with mournful in- 
terest : 

John McCormick was born at Jamestown, Westmoreland county, 
Pa., September 12th, 1822, his father soon afterward moving with 
his family to Cadiz, Harrison county, Ohio. Mr. McCormick re- 
ceived his business training in a general country store, and about 1845 
embarked in the same line of business on his own account. This he 
carried on prosperously until about 1856, when he moved to Omaha, 
and engaged in banking and real estate operations with Wm. Hogg, 
style of firm John McCormick & Co. In March, 1859, in company 
with Mr. J. H. Lacey, still a resident of this city, he started the 



first exclusively wholesale grocery house, the firm being Lacey & 
McCormick. They did a large and lucrative business, and shortly 
afterward the partnership was extended, two of Mr. McCormick^s 
brothers taking equal interests in the concern, and the style being 
changed to John McCormick & Co. Mr. McCormick was married 
twice, his first wife being a Miss Miller, by whom he had a daughter. 
Miss Woodie McCormick. The second wife was Miss Elizabeth 
Miser, a sister of Mrs. J. H. Lacey, two sons, Charles and John, 
being the fruit of the union. 

In the business and social circles of Omaha the deceased was 
always a prominent character. When, in 1859, the present town site 
of Omaha was bought from the general government, John McCor- 
mick was selected as the man to hold it in trust, and the entire prop- 
erty was deeded to him. At the proper time he transferred the title 
to D. D. Belden, then mayor, and from this source all our real estate 
titles start. 

Mr. McCormick was also quite prominent in the political affairs of 
the early days. He represented this district in the senate during the 
close of the territorial time, and was a member of the first city coun- 
cils. He was largely of a speculative turn of mind, and took heavy 
ventures in government contracts for supplies and transportation, and 
also in city real estate, all of which resulted profitably. Omaha's 
first grain elevator, which stood near the spot now occupied by the 
B. & M. freight depot, was built by John McCormick. At the time 
of his death he was an active partner in the elevator company at the 
transfer, and the owner of valuable real estate on Farnam and other 
streets in the heart of the city, besides several tracts of land outside 
the city limits. 


Smith Samuel Caldwell died at Omaha, , 1884. 

He was the son of a farmer in Marion, Wayne county. New York, 
where he was born in 1834. He was a graduate of Union College, 
and came to Omaha in 1859. He was a lawyer by profession, and 
undertook its practice here, but soon afterwards engaged in the bank- 
ing business, which he successfully pursued with a high reputation as 
a financier for nearly a quarter of a century. He was at first in the 



Mrni of Barrens, Millard & Co.; then in the firm of Millard, Cald- 
well & Co.; then in that of Caldwell, Hamilton & Co.; and latterly 
in the U. S. National Bank, of which he was vice-president and the 
largest stockholder when he died. 

Mr. Caldwell was a broad-headed man, self-reliant and resolute, 
of high public spirit, and capable of large undertakings. The 
monuments of his enterprises will stand long after all that was 
mortal of him shall have returned to its kindred dust. The Cald- 
well block fitly bears his name, because, at the time it was built, with- 
out his energetic efforts it would not have been built at all. The 
Omaha & Southwestern railway, of which he was president, was, to 
a great extent, his own creation in a financial point of view. It was 
the parent of railways connecting Omaha with the south-western in- 
terior of the state. Mr. Caldwell was one of the leading spirits and 
chief organizer of the Grand Central hotel enterprise, which was re- 
garded as a great undertaking at the time it was erected. For many 
years he wielded a powerful influence upon Omaha affairs, and with 
his positive views and energy of purpose, whatever he undertook he 
was pretty certain to accomplish. He was a man of fine mind, strong 
character, commanding personal dignity, and refined and cultivated 
tastes. Under a somewhat forbidding, and somewhat curt manner, 
he carried a warm and gentle heart, whose sympathies were never in 
such full play as when he was in his own home surrounded by those 
whom he so dearly loved. 

Mr. Caldwell was married to Miss Henrietta M. Bush, of Tioga, 
Pennsylvania, in April, 1863, a lady who, as woman, wife, and mother, 
has occupied the highest position in our Omaha social life for twenty 


Hon. John Taffe died at North Platte, Nebraska, March 14, 
1884, aged 57 years. He was a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, where 
be was born Jan. 30, 1827. He received an academic education, and 
after a diligent study of the law was admitted to the bar in the city 
of his birth. ■ 

In the year 1856 he moved to this state and located in Dacotah 
■county, where he resided until his election to congress. In 1858-9 he 



served in the lower branch of the territorial legislature, and in 1860 
was elected to the council and made president at the organization of 
that body. He married the daughter of Col. John Ritchie, of Omaha. 

In 1862 he was commissioned as major of the Second Nebraska Cav- 
alry, and served for a period of about fifteen months. Shortly after 
this he ran for congress, and though twice defeated by Mr. Daily, was 
elected to the fortieth and forty-first and re-elected to the forty- 
second congress, by an overwhelming majority of nearly 5,000, the 
vote standing in his favor 12,375 and for his opponent 7,967. 

In his congressional course Mr. Taffe was a faithful worker in the 
interest of the state of his adoption, energy and zeal being the predom- 
inating features of his work in the halls of congress as well as at home. 
His work was successful without ostentation, and thorough with all 
the elements of a practical nature. 

In the forty-second congress he served as chairman of tjie house 
committee on territories, while, at the same time, holding important 
positions on two other committees. 

After leaving congress he became editor of The Republican, and 
filled the chair with considerable ability and success. He was a plain, 
practical, and earnest writer, and, on political issues, throughout the 
state, in those days, was considered almost infallible. An excellent 
proof of this is found in the fact that in a certain presidential election 
he not only forecast the vote of our own state to a nicety but also 
that of many of the states of the union. 

After his retirement from The Republican he returned to the prac- 
tice of his profession, taking some interest in mining operations. 

He was honest and honorable in all his dealings, and loyalty to 
friends was the ruling characteristic of his head and heart. 


Elder J. M. Young was really the founder of the city of Lincoln^ 
the capital of Nebraska. He was born in Genesee county, New York^ 
near Batavia, on the old Holland purchase, on November 25, 1806. 
In 1829 he married Alice Watson, at that time eighteen years of age^, 
and who now survives him at the age of seventy-four. The following 
year he moved to Ohio and from Ohio he went to Page county, lowa^ 



in 1859. In 1860 he came to Nebraska and settled at Nebraska City. 
In 1863, near the end of the year, he came to Salt Creek and selected 
as a site for a town, and what he predicted would be the capital of 
Nebraska, the present site of Lincoln. 

The following persons located here at the same time: Thomas 
Hudson, Edwin Warns, Dr. McKesson, T. S. Schamp, Uncle Jonathan 
Ball, Luke Lavender, Jacob Dawson, and John Giles. It was the 
original intention to make the settlement a church colony, but the 
idea was never realized as projected. 

On eighty acres owned by him Elder Young laid out the town of 
Lancaster, which was made the county seat. He gave the lots in the 
city away, half to the county and school district and half to Lancaster 
seminary, a school which he hoped to see established here for the pro- 
mulgation of his faith. He built from the proceeds of the sale of 
some lots a building which was called the seminary, and which was 
occupied by the district school and church. It was burned in 1867 
and was never rebuilt. 

A church was organized here, and Mr. Schamp was its first pastor. 
Elder Young was then president of the Iowa and Nebraska confer- 
ence. The next year after the capital w^as located the stone church 
was built. Elder Young's dream was to build up a strong church in 
the capital city. He worked assiduously for this object, and put into 
the work some seven or eight thousand dollars of his private means. 
When the church went down, and he saw that his labor in so far had 
been in vain — that his dream could not be realized — he was almost 
broken-hearted, and this was the chief cause of his departure from 
Lincoln, which took place in 1882, when he went to London, Nemaha 
county, the scene of his closing days, in the year 1884. 

Elder Young began his labors as a minister soon after he moved to 
Ohio in 1829. He was president of the Ohio annual conference for 
several years, and was president of the Nebraska and Iowa conference 
for about twenty years. He was a man of rare vigor and zeal for the 
cause to which he gave his life. 

Besides his wife the deceased leaves four sons to mourn his loss. 
John M. Young, of Lincoln ; James O. Young, of London, Nemaha 
county ; Levi YoiTug, of this county, near Raymond, and Geo. W, 
Young, of Taos City, New^ Mexico. 

The Elder had all the preparations for the funeral made under his 



directions before his death. In Wyuka cemetery, where his remains 
were laid, he had ah^eady erected a monument over the graves of his 
brother and his brother's wife, and bearing also the names of himself 
and his wife. He had a portion of his funeral clothes made under 
his directions. His request was that Elder Hudson should preach his 
funeral sermon, and that R. D. Silver, for whom he entertained a 
strong friendship, should be one of the pall bearers. 


Charles Powell died at Omaha, , 1884. He was born 

in Geneva, I^. Y., on May 13, 1811, and was therefore at the time of 
his demise 73 years of age. He was married in 1843 to Miss Catherine 
M. Bacon, a lady who was a native also of New York, the wedding 
taking place at Jonesville, Mich. Mr. Powell came to Nebraska in 
1858, and located at De Soto, to which point he transported an ex- 
tensive outfit of machinery with which he started a mill, one of the 
first and most valuable to settlers in this territory. Two years later 
Mr. Powell brought out his family, and after seven years residence 
at De Soto they removed to this city, where in the social, religious, 
and commercial life of the community they have been valued factors. 

Four years ago Mr. Powell, whose health had always been some- 
what delicate, retired from business life, and was elected by the people 
of his ward to the office of justice of the peace, which he has filled 
honorably and well. One of the oldest vestrymen of Trinity, having 
been chosen to the vestry in the days when the people worshiped in 
the' church at Ninth and Farnam streets, Mr. Powell has also been 
a member of the board of education, one of the Old Settlers' Associ- 
ation, and also a patriarch in the order of Odd Fellows. 

During the war he served Avith the Fifth Nebraska Cavalry. Each 
and every trust bestowed upon him he discharged with fidelity. 
Throughout his long and well rounded life he was eminently a good 
citizen, a modest man, and a true friend. He leaves a wife and two 
children, Mr. Archie C. Powell and Eloise B. Nichols, to whom the 
tenderest sympathies of the community go out. 

His son, Mr. A. C. Powell, is paymaster of the Kansas and Colo- 
rado lines of the Union Pacific Railway. 




Rev. Alvin G. White died at Liucoln, Nebraska, , 1884. 

He was born at Northfield, Massachusetts, June 18, 1833. He early 
in life moved to New Hampshire, and was called at that time into the 
ministry. He was licensed as a local preacher in 1853, while in the 
Wesleyan University. On account of failing health he was not able 
to finish the college course. He moved to Illinois in 1855, and taught 
school for two years. In 1857 he joined the Rock River conference, 
and during the year was married in 1843 to Miss Ella Thompson. In 
1858 he transferred to Nebraska, and served as a supply for one year 
on the Brownville charge. He entered the Nebraska conference in 
the spring of 1860, and was returned to Brownville. He then served 
the church at Pawnee City for one year. His next field was Fort Cal- 
houn, where he labored for two years. Then for three years he was 
chaplain in the United States army. He was then made presiding 
elder, and in this field he did the most important work of his life, and 
had his greatest usefulness. He served a full term on the Omaha 
district, when that district covered an area of 20,000 square miles. 
In this field his able ministrations, his untiring labors, his wise 
counsels, his care for the preachers and their families, and his urbane 
deportment greatly endeared him to all the people in that portion of 
the state. 

He then served the full term as presiding elder on the Kearney 
district. When he began that work there was not a church nor a 
parsonage in that district, which comprised a territory larger than 
the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. He was 
then appointed to Lincoln district. At the end of two years he was 
appointed to the South Bend charge, where he labored one year. 
Then his work for the next two years was on the Roca and Bennett 
charge. The last year of his ministerial life was spent at Wahoo. 








At Annual Meeiing January, 1S80, 

" The study of history deserves serious attention, if only for a 
knowledge of transactions, and inquiry into the eras when each of 
them happened. Yet it does not concern us so much to know that 
there was once such men as Alexander, Caesar, Aristides, or Cato, 
or that they lived in this or that period ; that the empire of the As- 
syrians made way for that of the Babylonians, and the latter for that 
of the Medes and Persians, who were themselves subjected by the 
Macedonians, as those were afterward by the Romans. But it is of 
high concern to know by what methods those empires were founded ; 
by what steps they rose to that exalted pitch of grandeur which we so 
much admire; what it was that constituted their true glory; and. 
what were the causes of their declension and fall. 

It is of equal importance to study attentively the manners of differ- 
ent people, their genius, laws, and customs, especially to acquaint our- 
selves with the character and disposition, the talent, virtues, and even* 
vices of those by whom th^y were governed, and whose good or bad; 
qualities contribute to the greatness or decay. Such are some of the 
advantages which history presents, causing to pass in review king- 
doms, empires, and men, thereby instructing us in the arts of govern- 
ment, the policy and maxims of civil society, and the conduct of life 
that best suits all ages and conditions. We acquire a knowledge 
of the manner in which arts and sciences were invented, cultivated, 
and improved. We discover and trace their origin and progress.'^* 

We make as well as study history. The general object of this 
organization, as presented in its constitution, is to encourage histor- 
ical research and inquiry, spread historical information, especially 
within the state of Nebraska, and to embrace alike, aboriginal and 
modern history. The more particular objects, however, are to collect 
into a safe and permanent depository manuscripts, documents, papers, 
and facts possessing historical value worthy of preservation. To en- 

*Rolliii's History. 



courage investigation of original reniains, and provide in due time a 
complete scientific exploration and survey of such as exist within the 
borders of our own state, as well as the establishment of a library of 
books and publications appropriate to such an institution, with con- 
venient works for reference, and also a cabinet of antiquities, relics, 
etc., etc., as ail other states have done. This, as many of you are 
aware, has been commenced at other times, by other men, and the 
undertaking permitted to die for want of means or interest — perhaps 
both. There are many good reasons why this organization should 
and can be made a success. First, for reasons already given, Ne- 
braska should make and preserve a historical record. For another 
equally and important reason the work should no longer be pro- 
crastinated. Many of the men and women, who first set foot on the 
soil now embraced within state limits, those who were present at Ne- 
braska's birth, and who have been continuously with it to the pres- 
ent, are still alive. They are possessed of valuable historical facts 
and data. From these living eye-witnesses only can they be obtained. 
In the inevitable course of nature, a few more setting suns at best, and 
they will be gathered to their fathers. Much that is valuable, and 
which can now be had, will be forever lost. For this particular rea- 
son all the earlier historical matter possible should be made of record 
without further delay. One of the first duties of this organization 
should be to devise means by which this can be accomplished. This 
I cannot too strongly urge upon the members. 

The secretary's report, which is the official record of this society, 
will inform you in detail what has thus far been accomplished. 

The want of means has impeded efforts the officers have felt should 
he made to accomplish the objects of the association. Few men who 
manifest an interest in such matters are so circumstanced that they 
can afford either the time or means to carry it forward at their indi- 
vidual expense. The membership is quite limited, and therefore rev- 
enue from that source meagre. As it is an enterprise in nowise per- 
sonal, but purely of a state character, there should be obtained from 
that source at least sufficient means to meet essential cash demands. 
A bill, making a small appropriation, passed the last legislature, but 
by some misfortune failed to become a law. 

Among other provisions made at the organization of the state was 
one looking to the formation and fostering of a historical society. A 



block of lots in the city of Ijiiu^oln was reserved and appro])riated for 
that purpose, known as "historical block." There was organized 
about that time the " Nebraska State Historical Library Associa- 
tion/' which was one of the organizations I have referred to. 
Through the efforts of those feeling an interest, and to hold the 
real estate named, this society was revived on the 20th of last month. 
Whether desirable or advisable to unite the two state historical organ- 
izations is a matter for consideration on the part of both. 


January, 1880. 

It is fit that in this year of grace, 1880, and in this month of Janu- 
ary, we should, by public exercises now held for the first time, mark 
a period in the history of the state. 

It was in March, 1854, that the Indians, by treaty, ceded these re- 
gions to the United States, and in May, that a system of government 
was framed for them. In October, Francis Burt, the first governor 
landed on these shores. In a few weeks he died, and the work of 
organization devolved on Thomas B. Cuming, the secretary. On the 
21st day of October he ordered a census of the new population. On 
the 23d of November he divided the territory into counties and pre- 
cincts, and apportioned the members of the Council and House of 
Kepresentatives among them. On the 12th of December an elec- 
tion of members of the legislature was held. On the 20th of that 
month Gov. Cuming constituted the judicial districts, assigned the 
judges to them, and appointed the terms of court; and on the 16th of 
January, 1855, he convened the legislative assembly at Omaha. 

The work of organization was complete. The three essential branches 
of a political machinery, framed after the pattern which the long ex- 
perience and^ best wit of man has contrived, now went into operation, 
never afterward, in all the course of time, to stand still. 

From 1855 to 1880, in twenty-five years — a fraction of a century 
ago — one of those awful periods of time by which men measure the 
age of the world. These periods — centennial, semi-centennial, quar- 



ter-centennial — seem to the imaginations of men peculiar and sacred. 
In the lives of men and of peoples they are points of pause, rest, and 
reflection ; for their little while they are consecrated to memory and 
anticipation. It is fortunate for the Society that in this twenty-fifth 
year after the organization of regulated government, here at one of 
these sacred points in the existence of political society, it should enter 
upon its more public career, and manifest to the people of this common- 
wealth the beneficence of its object — that, namely, of gathering, 
cherishing, hallowing, and illustrating the names and events which, 
otherwise, must soon survive only in tradition and legend. 

My general purpose in this address is an inquiry into the causes 
which impel men to plant new seats in unoccupied regions of country. 

And I first remark, that this movement is not accidental, local, or 
temporary. On the other hand, it embraces all enlightened peoples, 
and beginning with the first dawn of intelligence, it has been going 
forward unchecked to this day. 

From the cradle of the race the face of man has been toward the 
setting sun. Behind him have been the scenes of his childhood, the 
affections of his father's house, the altar at which he has been taught 
to worship God; before him have been new regions, in whose recesses 
his imagination has pictured better homes and freer life. Behind him 
have been what his elders have achieved ; before him, visions of what 
he shall achieve. It is the order of nature ; as the shades of evening 
gather in the east, morning .breaks in the west. His march has always 
been from east to west, and is strewn with the relics of empires. 
From India, by way of Babylon, ISTinevah, Jerusalem, and Egypt to 
Greece, with her Thebes and Athens and Corinth ; to Carthage and 
.Rome and the cities of the Moor ; to beautiful France, mighty Ger- 
many, and glorious Britian ; enveloping this country of ours and 
stretching on to Australasia, New Zealand, and the islands of the sea, 
it has, through all recorded time, been from east to west, one steady, 
direct, continual, triumphal, desolating march — too long and steady, 
too direct and continuous to have been an accident; too triumphant 
to have been marshaled by human will, and leaving in its pathway 
ruins too mighty, solitudes too vast, and deserts, where once was 
beauty, too inhospitable, to have been the wish or the work of human 

Mark, too, another related fact, that in the work of colonization 



there is something whicli, in a singular way, has always engaged the 
imaginations of men. The early history of every people has been a 
field of tradition, legend, and romance, in which the national sensibil- 
ity has gathered delightsome sustenance, and to the men of those times 
characters are attributed so large, potential, and heroic that the national 
imagination imputes divine qualities to them. 

How in the Odyssey and the Iliad and the tales of Herodotus, re- 
cited in every Grecian city, in the picturesque pages of Livy, the tales 
of Scott, and the Idyls of Tennyson, and the records of the Pilgrims, 
of Washington and his generals, of A^dams and Jefferson and Hamil- 
ton, and their compeers, do the founders of the great nations glow and 
expand under the inspiration of patriotic pride ; and in the contem- 
plation of their work and character, with what a peculiar, profound, 
and responsive emotion does the national heart always overflow. Con- 
ditores imperiorum the Romans called them, and Virgil, with consum- 
mate tact, introduces his hero by the large phrase " Who planted seats 
in Latium." The reason for which is, that in this work of making 
the earliest settlements in new regions — in this work of laying the 
foundation and framing the structure of what becomes at last an 
orderly, stable, and embellished society, there is something so engag- 
ing, so beneficent, so adventurous, so far reaching, that the imagination 
of men, and the emotions of gratitude and ancestral pride, and a per- 
sonal sense of kinship with what is heroic and admirable are caught 
by the contemplation and carried away captive. 

The different forces have impelled, various motives have induced 
men to emigrate. The plethora of citizens who thronged the streets 
of Grecian cities ; the need of Rome to fortify the conquest of her 
army by the introduction of her laws ; the mercantile sagacity of the 
Netherlands extorting a thrifty trade ; the plunder of the natives, and 
the gold and silver of their mines, which freighted the Argosy of 
Spain ; the genuine passion for the national glory which has always 
inspired the Frenchman — these are the immediate motives .which have 
prompted those nations to settle new regions. But observe how all 
these diverse motives are derived from, and have relerence to the 
mother State. None of them center in the colony. That is the assist- 
ant, the contributor to the advancement and glory of the home gov- 
ernment. It is never the ultimate nor even an independent good. 
The structure of the colonists has been framed, as their purpose has 



been coDceived, at home. Hence they have been the repetition and 
continuance ; reproduction, hardly modified by new conditions, of the 
parent government. The civil polity which ruled, and the literature 
and arts which adorned Athens, rendered orderly and graceful the 
attic Amphipolis and Thurii. The Roman cities of Gaul, Hispania, 
and Africa displayed anew the forum, the commitia, and the temples 
of the immortal gods of the imperial city. Spanish, French, and 
Dutch colonies have known no theories of government, no forms of 
worship, no traditions, customs, modes, aspirations, but such as they 
have carried with them. There has not been the play of invention or 
variety of contrivance, or the vigor of a venturesome, independent, 
individual enterprise. The longing of the exile^s heart for the pleas- 
ant abodes of his fathers has been assuaged by their reproduction in 
the new land, but the man has not been made more manly by endur- 
ance; nor his fiber stiffened by struggle; nor his nerves steadied by 
resolution. He has always been an exile, sick for the old home — not 
a colonist bent on building a new and a better home. 

English colonization is of another character. The Englishman is 
singularly fitted for foreign enterprise. He is the Roman of modern 
times. He has the same arrogance without the least consciousness of 
the rights of others ; the same imperious temper that dominates every 
foreign sentiment and every alien force ; the same intense, aggressive, 
sublime egotism, which projects itself upon every people it is amongst, 
and compels a service, whether hearty or hateful, to the glory of Eng- 
land. Expedient, adventurous, self-seeking, self-reliant, persistent, 
he is the sort of man for the work of planting new seats m new regions. 

And so from that little island, with an area little larger than 
Nebraska, have gone out emigrants into all lands, until, with her col- 
onial possessions, Britain is an empire of universal dominion. As 
Webster said: ^^The morning drum-l)eat, following the sun and 
keeping company with the hours, circles the globe with the martial 
music of England.^' 

The colonial enterprises of Great Britain have, in their origin, spirit, 
and purpose, been in strong contrast to the other modern European 
nations. They have not been projected by the ministry, their structure 
has not been framed at home; they have never had the public assist- 
ance, often not the public observation. They have been private indi- 
vidual adventures sent out, upheld, and maintained by private funds 



and having the protection and support of the Imperial Government 
only when success has proved their right to be. If, as in the case of 
New Zealand, the form, structure, modes, customs of the new commu- 
nity have been prescribed at home in the infancy of the enterprise, the 
contrivance has soon shown its inaptness for the new conditions and 
circumstances, expedience and compliance have asserted themselves. 

With such a nature and such a career in colonization, it is easy to 
see what is in the Briton which impels him to seek new places for 
abode and conquest. He is, and always has been a politician — he is, 
by the education of centuries, steeped in politics. From Magna 
Charta, indeed from a time long before Magna Charta, he has been 
absorbed in questions of government and society ; he has been busy 
in complaining of mischief and contriving remedies by legislation. 
There never was a nation of such a vast, complex, varied, radical 
body of statutes as England, and each one of them is the ultimate 
formula to which long discussion, contention, and passionate struggle 
has at last been reduced. If that is a true saying, happy is the na- 
tion which has no annals,^^ then surely is Britain the most unhappy 
of all lands, for her annals are full. Thus educated, the passion of 
the Englishman is for social and public affairs, for whatever justifies 
a claim of right to share in the office and work of directing them. 
The young man coming from the public school or the university is 
full of the struggles of the Roman Forum or the English Commons, 
and he longs for the conflict. He has heard Roman laws and En- 
glish statutes called by their author's name, and he is inflamed by a 
desire for such immortality. Or the ambition may be more sub- 
dued — content w^ith a seat in the inferior magistracy or in the direc- 
tion of public charities, or the management of private enterprise, but 
it is an ambition, of whatever pretension, which is born in him, and 
demands gratification. 

The colony, the new conditions which obtain there, the plastic ele- 
ments of unsettled society, to be molded to new forms, landed estates 
easily acquired, with castle, hall, or lodge, and whatever contributes 
to dignity and conspicuous station, charities, associations, monied, so- 
cial, and political, house?, towns, roads, and whatever forms an em- 
bellished society, all these appealing to aspirations, natural to him 
and developed by education, invite him thither to the work of organ- 
ization, and of projecting himself upon and perpetuating himself in 



the formSj methods, traditions, cQstoms, institutions, and principles of 
the immature society, which one day shall become the stable, orderly, 
regulated, consolidated, immortal state. 

And so it is that the Englishman — expedient, venturesome, self-re- 
liant, political, and ambitious to direct affairs, turns from the old 
home to a new, distant, unsettled, and undeveloped land ; and so it is 
that British colonies planted in every land and by every sea under 
the whole heavens, have formed an empire, whose provinces are na- 
tions, whose subjects are of every race, whose dominion by weight of 
arms and sway of laws, and breadth of civilization, and supremacy of 
will exceeds that of imperial Rome. 

The colonization of our country is in its circumstances, motives, 
spirit, purpose, and polity, in striking contrast to all other like enter- 
prises. ^ It contributes largely to constitute the century an epoch in 

The early English settlers of our country possessed all those char- 
acteristics which we have enumerated — but they possessed them to a 
degree so much greater than their countrymen in general that they 
seem of another order and a higher quality. They were gentlemen 
by birth ; they belonged to the rank of the gentry of England or of 
the upper middle class. They had been educated in public schools 
and universities and to all good learning of their time. They added 
a wide observation and a profound acquaintance with the most pro- 
found truths, and most of them were men of property, well able to 
bear the expense of their enterprise and the risk of their adven- 
ture. In Virginia they were the cavaliers of the civil wars of 
England, to whom the disasters of the royal arms made removal 
from the commonwealth expedient; the ancestors of Washington, 
Jefferson, Monroe, and Madison. In New England they were the 
Puritans who sat in the Long Parliament, and filled the armies 
of Cromwell, and who bore such sons as the Adamses, the Winthrops, 
the Endicotts. Like the best of Englishmen, they were expedient, 
but so that they were wise in great affairs ; and venturesome, but so 
that they risked their all for a great cause ; and self-reliant, but so 
that their wills were iron ; and they were politicians, but of such sort 
that they not only founded commonwealths, but founded common- 
wealths on new doctrines and with a new construction. 

That you may duly appreciate this quality, pause here a moment to 



mark what was their training in politics. It was in the school of the 
Revolution. There, at the fireside, in the club, in the pulpit, in Par- 
liament, in every })lace of debate and conversation, and by every means 
by which men tell what they know, think, believe, hope for, even in 
the clang and carnage and awful dispute of battle, they had all tlieir 
lives heard high discussion of every principle of English government 
and every event in English constitutional history, every theory, and 
doctrine, and sentiment, and tradition of free institutions and regu- 
lated liberty. To all which the Puritans added profound convictions 
of religion, which, while it gave a somber hue to their lives, gave also 
an intensity, depth, and force to their character which made them fit 
to be founders of empires. 

And now mark a li^ippy circumstance in their enterprise — the neg- 
lect, the ignorance, and heedlessness on the part of the Crown of what 
they then essayed. Charters were granted of such extensive powers 
that, under their sanction, government Avas remitted to the hands of 
the colonists, or else, as in the case of Plymouth, the settlement planted 
without authority was organized, regulated, nourished, developed, ac- 
cording to the intelligence and will of the settlers alone. All which, 
as it began without the assistance, proceeded without the observation 
of the Crown. 

And thus happily left to themselves, observe what these men did. 
In 1819, in Virginia, a government was framed, with an executive 
of limited powers and a representative body of legislators, which was 
the first popular assembly in the western hemisphere, and two years 
afterward a written constitution was adopted by ordinance, in which 
the purpose of government was declared to be '^ihe greatest comfort 
and benefit to the people, and the prevention of injustice, grievances, 
and oppression.^^ Those maxims of liberty which form the bill of 
rights in the constitution of every state in the American Union to-day 
are there set forth almost in the very phrase which we now use — pro- 
vision against arbitrary taxation and in favor of freedom of trade, 
immunity from military impositions, and the independence of relig- 
ious societies, and reserving to the representatives of the people power 
to levy war, conclude peace, acquire territory, and enact laws, and to 
the people themselves, in their primary and sovereign capacity, the 
right to select their officers and rulers by universal suffrage. 

And so it was in New England. Her colonies were almost pure 



democracies. Thej were ^^governments of the people, by the people, 
for the people.'^ But they also led the way in another and a most 
beneficent direction. Independent of each other in structure, they 
were all involved together in warfare with the Indians in their midst 
and the French on their border. And they soon became involved in 
a common dispute with the mother country for those principles and 
institutions which, by the sanction either of her neglect or the grants 
of her charter, they had secured to themselves. And then they were 
driven to mutual counsel, assistance, and support. And so there came 
out of their fortuitous necessity, by their rare aptness for political 
affairs, the confederation of New England — that association which 
was the germ, invitation, example, prototype of that most consummate 
contrivance of political wisdom, the union and constitution of the 
United States. 

I pointed out to you how the emigrant Greek, Roman, Spanish, 
Dutch, French, and English carried with him the civil polity, the 
modes of life, and the religion in which he was reared, and how the 
misery of separation from the homes of his fathers and the institutions 
of his native country was assuaged by their faithful reproduction in 
the new land. But the colonies of America advanced beyond all the 
practices of English government and all the maxims of English free- 
dom, and by a prescient, a vigorous, a resolute intelligence, opened a 
new prospect, a new purpose, a new life, and a new destiny for the 

Coming now to the inquiry as to our country and times, we observe 
the march of the generations and of empire still steady, persistent, con- 
tinuous from east to west. Hardly was the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay well planted before the younger Winthrop led thence an adven- 
turous company to new settlements in the valley of the Connecticut, 
and the cavaliers of Virginia, to Kentucky and the valley of the Ohio, 
to found there new commonwealths as noble as their own. Each de- 
cennial census has shown the center of population steadily advancing 
from the Chesapeake and Massachusetts Bays to the Mississippi. And 
the question is, what force, embracing all sections of the country and 
operative always, compels this general movement of the populations? 

The attempt has been made to explain it by a desire of each indi- 
vidual to better his physical condition ; to make for himself a home ; 
to acquire wealth, money, possessions more quickly and easily than is 



possible in an old community. But this explanation does not take 
into account the breadth and duration of the movement of men from 
the East to the West ; it attempts to account for a universal phenom- 
enon by a circumstance and an accident. You cannot predicate indi- 
vidual motives of the masses of men. Each chivalrous knight who 
went to the rescue of the holy places, was inspired by a desire for 
personal glory, but that most picturesque procession of the Crusaders 
gathered out of every Christian people, was marshaled by no such ac- 
cident, but rather by an enthusiasm encompassing all Europe, to 
redeem the sanctities of their religion from the sacrilegious hands of 
the Saracen. 

A solution of our question which refers the general and perpetual 
act of emigration to the individual, is like attributing to the single 
drops of the water of the sea, the universal fact of the great tide, 
which, following the heavenly order and compassing all oceans, pours 
its mighty course from continent to continent. 

Nor may the fact be attributed to a natural love of adventure and 
change. Doubtless the charm of adventure is something ; the mere 
fact of removal is something. The exchange of familiar and there- 
fore tame scenes and companionship for other lands, other seas, other 
skies, and other air, strangely quickens, freshens, and stimulates the 
pulses, sensations, thoughts, emotions, and aspirations. This is a com- 
mon experience, and touching the universal fact is something, and yet 
it is inadequate to account for the sacrifice of so much that the heart 
loves, and for the endurance of so much that the heart revolts from. 

The American has certain qualities of the Roman of the ancient, 
and the Briton of modern times — tenacity of purpose, love of domin- 
ion, and an aggressive egotism. Like them, he is fitted by nature fbr 
foreign enterprise. And as these qualities with him are enlivened by 
vivacity, sensibility, emotion, he, far more than they, delights in 
adventure. The risks, the struggle, the promise, the freedom of col- 
onial life have for him even more than for others a charm and an at- 

But there is another quality which he has in common with the 
Roman and the Briton — he is passionately political — he is the citizen. 
The training of the schools arouses this passion ; his first lessons are 
of the contests of Roman freedom, and the great names and great 
events of Roman history live forever in his imagination. The story 



of English liberty, the field where arms have conquered it, and high 
disputes in which it has been vindicated, are familiar passages of his 
early reading. His mind has been developed, his memory stored, his 
reason disciplined, by the study of the politics of his own country — 
the grand contentions which preceded the Revolution and the Rebel- 
lion, the due measure of state and national jurisdiction, the modes and 
results of elections, the awful question of human slavery, its extinction 
and abolition, its sanctity under the constitution, and iniquity under 
a just morality, finance, reconstruction, wars, conquests, purchases of 
territory, and the achievements of peaceful, beneficent, wide-spreading 
commerce, and the arts, and literature, and invention. Our annals, 
too, have been full. To the solution of the problems they reveal, no 
people ever brought a profounder spirit, a more resolute inquiry, a 
more vigorous contention. 

When entering upon the field of daily action, the American citizen 
encounters the intense activity of our civil life. Our institutions are 
intensely social, and our society is intensely political. The ballot is 
in every hand, and every office is the potential inheritance of every 
citizen. Elections are of annual or more frequent occurrence, and 
measures nearly affecting the interests of every person are in constant 
agitation. Public assemblies, public speech, newspapers, periodicals 
and pamphlets, and the full publication of all deliberative and legisla- 
tive bodies, hold the public attention to public affairs and keep it ex- 
cited, curious, and in ferment. 

The conditions of the West offer to the young and adventurous 
opportunity for the most abundant gratification of the political passion. 
Ease in acquiring land, freedom from prescriptive rights, unsettled 
methods, immature institutions, lax social customs, and opportunity 
for adventure, a free field for struggle, invite with alluring promises. 
The young citizen, with all the world before him where to choose, 
bids adieu to the home of his father, its settled, prescribed, regular, 
inflexible modes, and its constrained, contracted promises and hopes, 
with a sense of relief, and tries the new life of unformed society, re- 
solved to be a man, to do a man's part in the ordering of the new 
community, to assert himself among its active forces, impress them 
with his personality, guide them by his intelligence, and have a part 
in the making and be a part of the product of the immortal state. 
This is the solution of the phenomenon of cultivated mind turning 



to uncultivated nature in the pioneer settlement.s of the West. It is 
not personal, although personal motives mingle with it; it is not in- 
dividual, but it stimulates and ennobles individuals; it is not local, 
but so general that it is assisted by the national policy, and in turn 
ministers to the national glory. And so it has happened that Indian 
country after Indian country is ceded to the government ; that terri- 
tory after territory is organized ; that men come, and plant, and 
sow, and reap, and ply commerce, and contrive institutions, and wage 
the awful strife of life ; that state after state is admitted into the Union 
on an equal footing with the original thirteen ; in order that men may 
live in peace and social rest, bear among them the various lots of life, 
perform the great social labors, and thrive and rejoice in the arts 
of usefulness and of beauty, and perfect the loftier arts of virtue and 
of empire, and share together the protection and the glory of the na- 
tion that is one formed of many — the Union of States, one and insep- 

And so it shall be — nor hardly may Ave anticipate its period — all 
this western country, from the British to the Mexican line, half the 
area of the continent, remains to be populated, fields to be tilled, 
mines developed, cities planted, arts nourished, and states formed, 
until they shall be as the stars of Heaven for multitude. Fear not 
for the mighty growth, it shall not crush, but rather illustrate these 
benign institutions of nation and of state — co-existing and related, the 
one the complement of the other — the two together ministering to the 
common peace, and wielding a different supremacy for the safety of 
all ; and form that very perfectness of political contrivance, which, as 
it was equal to the small beginnings of the nation, shall still be equal 
to the exigencies of the mighty empire ; under the beneficence of its 
jurisdiction, under the stable order of its judicious laws, under the 
stimulating instruction of its temperate agitation, and under the bless- 
ings of an intelligent, profound,*vital, religious faith, civilization shall 
be advanced beyond what the heart of man can now conceive. 




January, 1880. 

To discuss the events of 1866 and 1867 at this time has seemed to 
me presumptuous. Barely a dozen years have elapsed since Nebraska 
turned the sharp corner from territorial dependency to state sov- 
ereignty, and, as in all sharp historical turns, there was a blaze of ex- 
citement, a bitter political contest, accompanied by more than the 
usual amount of bumptiousness and belligerency, of heart-burnings 
and jealousy, over which fourteen years may have deposited a thin 
layer of forgetfulness, through which a foolhardy explorer might 
break, to the discomfiture of himself and the revival of volcanic mem- 
ories. But, pressed by your esteemed President for a paper upon the ^ 
admission of Nebraska to the Union, and unable, from present expe- 
rience and observation, to go back farther than that period, I have 
consented to take up this subject, and trust that I may handle it with 
sufficient discretion to obtain your pardon for the presumption in 
choosing a topic so nearly connected with the stage and actors of 
to-day. In 1860 the Nebraska legislature submitted to the people a 
proposition for holding a convention to adopt a constitution and knock 
at the doors of congress for admission to the Union. But the move- 
ment was premature. The people were too poor, the country was not 
being rapidly settled and improved, and the taxes were high enough 
without taking upon the handful of settlers then scattered up and 
down the Missouri valley the responsibility and expense of statehood, 
and the proposition for a convention was defeated. 

In 1864 congress passed an act to enable the people of Nebraska to 
form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of 
such state into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, 
in which the usual amount of lands were set apart for school purposes, 
embracing the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections of each township ; 
also, twenty sections to be appropriated for each of the public build- 
ings for legislative and judicial purposes, fifty sections for the erection 
of a penitentiary, seventy-two sections for the erection of a state uni- 
versity, twelve salt springs, with six sections to each, adjoining them 
or contiguous, as may be, " for the use of the state,'' and five per 


centum of the proceeds of all nales of lands within the boundaries of 
the territory previous to its admission as a state, for a common school 
fund. By otiier acts, 90,000 acres of land were. granted to the state 
upon admission, for the endowment of an agricultural college, and 
500,000 acres for internal improvements. No action was taken under 
this act until the meeting of the legislature of 1865 and 1866. Dur- 
ing its session, a committee was appointed to draft a constitution for 
submission to the people. The committee drew up the document. 
The legislature, by resolution, approved it, and passed an act calling 
an election to be held on the twenty-first day of June, at which elec- 
tion not only should the question of rejection or adoption of the instru- 
ment be voted upon, but candidates for the executive, judicial, and 
legislative offices authorized by the instrument, should be elected. 

The question of adopting the constitution was immediately made a 
political one. The reasons for its resolving itself into a political issue 
were sufficiently obvious. Under the administration of President 
Johnson, a considerable change was likely to be made in the boundary 
lines between the two great parties. The republican party was more 
or less divided, and the democrats were affiliating with the Johnson or 
liberal wing. The president was exercising the power of patronage for 
the success of the coalition, and the liveliest hope pervaded the ranks 
of the democracy and the Johnson republicans that another election or 
two would put congress and the government in their hands. Hence 
the republicans in Nebraska were exceedingly anxious to forestall such 
a change and assist in holding the national legislature for that party 
by the immediate admission of Nebraska, in which they seemed to 
have a good working majority, and sending two senators and one con- 
gressman of their faith to re-enforce the party in the national councils. 
With equal foresight, the democratic leaders saw that it was against 
their interests to permit this to be done ; that by delaying the matter 
until their expected accession of strength would give them control of 
the nation, and eventually of Nebraska — where the majority against 
them was comparatively small — they would assist their friends in 
Washington, and at the same time keep the coveted senatorship for 
themselves, to take possession of as soon as they acquired the expected 
predominance at the polls. For this reason, the canvass became ex- 
ceedingly lively, and was, in fact, the most thorough and bitterly con- 
tested of any that had thus far occurred. Each party, of course, 



nominated a full state and legislative ticket. The republican orators 
labored for the adoption of the constitution, and the democratic 
stumpers worked hard to defeat that instrument as they did to 
secure votes for their own candidates for governor, or judge, or mem- 
ber of the legislature. But, as is not seldom the case in these disputes 
of statesmen, the real motives of the patriots on each side were not 
publicly proclaimed, and the debates were ingeniously engineered so 
as to make it appear that purely economic and financial principles 
were at stake. The republicans drew rose-colored pictures of the fu- 
ture of the embryo state. They dotted the lone prairies of the Platte, 
the Salt, the Blue, the Eepublican, the Elkhorn, the Loup, and the 
Niobrara valleys with cities and towns, and drew a complex web of 
railroad lines on the school-house maps, and said: ''All these shall we 
have in the next ten or fifteen years, and a population of hundreds of 
thousands, if we show to the people of the East and Europe our ca- 
pacity of self-government, and secure the privilege of chartering and 
encouraging railroads/^ They pointed to the Rocky mountains and 
said : '' Here is the great mining region — at our back door is a great 
market that we need railroads to Colorado, to New Mexico, to Mon- 
tana, and Idaho to develop, and when these are built we can sell a 
great portion of our surplus corn, wheat, pork, and beef, at a price 
that will rival the markets of Illinois and Ohio/' They pointed to 
Galveston and said : '' There, only 700 miles from our border, is a 
seaport, and if we attain our sovereignty we shall have a line to the 
Gulf of Mexico, and need no longer ship our grain to Europe, to Chi- 
cago, and New York at rates of transportation that eat up all the profit.'^ 
Some of the most fervent- of these orators — among whom was, notably, 
a comparatively new man in politics, though an old settler, David But- 
ler, of Pawnee, the republican candidate for governor — were so carried 
away with these prophetic views of the future that they would cut the 
prairies in every direction with their paper railroads, and in their 
highest flights of oratory predicted a line to every county seat on the 

The democratic orators shook their heads and threw cold water upon 
these ardent prophecies. They took the chalk and figured upon the 
blackboard the enormous cost of railroad building, and called upon 
the honest farmers and mechanics to pause before they cast a ballot 
that would impose upon the new and sparsely settled community a 



horde of office-holders, with unlimited power to vote taxes upon the 
people for their own iiggrandizeuient. The republicans pointed to the 
low salaries fixed by the proposed constitution for executive and ju- 
dicial officers, and the limitations by which the legislative power to 
bleed the people were hedged and confined. The democrats contended 
that these were delusions and traps, that the irresistible inclinations of 
the radicals for the loaves and fishes of office, and their well-known 
ability as public plunderers, would make these constitutional limita- 
tions mere ropes of sand, and figured up the expenses of a state till 
they amounted to sums far above those set by the republicans as the 
utmost limit of expenditure. 

The event has shown that both sides had really a strong case. Even 
the sanguine soul of that red-hot optimist, Butler, fell short in its con- 
ception of the immense strides of the first decade of Nebraska's state- 
hood in the building of railroads, the development of the wealth and 
resources of the country, and the influx of immigration ; and the sar- 
castic tongue of the eloquent pessimist, J. Sterling Morton, his oppo- 
nent in the race for the gubernatorial chair, failed to state quite high 
enough the figures of the annual appropriations of the state legislature, 
for the carrying on of the machinery of the new commonwealth. Be- 
cause neither of the contestants dreamed of the mighty impulse of 
humanity that was about to beat across the western banks of the Mis- 
souri, the one could not mark high enough the future tide of w^ealth 
and improvements, and the other failed to estimate the necessities of 
large expenditures of money to meet the rapid growth and develop- 
ment of Nebraska. 

It was a stoutly fought campaign and an exceedingly close election. 
The majority for the adoption of the constitution was barely two hun- 
dred, and Butler was elected governor by a vote of 4,093 to 3,948 for 
Morton. So close was the election that the majority of Judge Crounse, 
one of the republican candidates for the supreme court, was only six, 
while William A. Little, one of the democratic candidates for chief 
justice, was elected. 

But the battle at the polls was merely a preliminary skirmish. The 
advocates of state had captured the outworks, but the citadel was yet 
to be stormed. The republicans had secured a majority of certificates 
of membership in each house, but there w^as a large number of con- 
tested seats. Cass county had given a large majority against the 



constitution, and, though the republican candidates for the senate and 
house from that county were declared elected, a bitter contest for their 
seats was opened up by their opponents, and it was considered doubt- 
ful if some republican delegates, if an issue was made squarely for or 
against an application to congress for admission, would not vote with 
the acknowledged sentiment of a majority of their constituents, against 

In consequence of this critical condition of affairs, when the legisla- 
ture met at Omaha in the old capitol, on the fourth day of July, 1866, 
excitement was exceedingly high. The party leaders were marshaled 
on both sides in full array, much bad blood was manifested, and it 
was even predicted that the session might be enlivened, after the old 
style, by a row, in which physical force should be more potent than 
oratory for the settlement of disputed points of parliamentary practice. 

The scenes and incidents of that session of the first state legislature 
of Nebraska were impressed upon the mind and memory of at least 
one of the participants in its councils with a boldness of light and 
shade, and a vigor of coloring, that no subsequent political contests 
have ever erased or caused to fade. In and around it was all the 
energy of a young commonwealth that had just begun to feel the 
emotions of early manhood. There was an intensity of life, an exag- 
geration of earnestness, an impatience of the ordinary obstacles in 
parliamentary progress, that betokened the profuse vitality of Ne- 
braska politics. The democrats had a phalanx of experienced leaders 
in each house, and the lobby was most ably commanded by men ac- 
customed to rule, and conversant with all the ins and outs of parlia- 
mentary maneuvering. In the house were Robertson, of Sarpy, and 
Joe Paddock, of Douglas, as good a pair to draw to in a parliament- 
ary game of poker as could be found, perhaps, in a dozen states. 
Able, vigilant, patient, and shrewd, they made their points with 
promptness, and were never caught tripping by their plucky but less 
^experienced opponents on the floor. Otoe county contributed two 
veteran stalwarts — Col. Tuxbury and Capt. Anderson — who had 
grown gray in the service, and were staunch and true representa- 
tives of old-fashioned democracy, while the younger and more supple 
" Jim Thorn made a good skirmisher around the legal rallying points 
in the battle, and contributed no little to the liveliness of the occasion. 
The somewhat sparsely settled district composed of Platte, Merrick, 



Hall, and Buffalo counties, sent up tliat solid gentleman and conscien- 
tious, honest democrat, James E. Boyd, now one of the leading business 
men of the state, who made few speeches but was always in the fight. 
The republicans were mostly young men, though Speaker Pollock, of 
Nemaha, and Maxwell and Chapin, of Cass, had seen service, and 
were duly armed and equipped for parliamentary business. Pollock, 
in personal appearance and natural temperament answering well the 
description of Martin I. Townsend, of New York — thrown off in the 
heat of debate by a southern member, perhaps Ben Hill — a snow- 
capped volcano'^; Maxwell, slow but sure, already developing the 
bud of dignity that should blossom into the future Chief Justice; 
and Chapin, wary, watchful, and conversant with the field tactics of 
legislative debate. There were Hathaway, of Cass, Fairbrother, of 
Nemaha, Blakely, of Gage, Hoile, of Richardson, and Arnold, of 
Platte — young in years, and beginners in political life, but firm in the 
confidence that they were competent to see the thing through and hold 
the fort for republicanism and reconstruction. The recentness of the 
close of the civil war was attested by the presence of Col. Tom 
Majors, of Nemaha — hardly out of his teens, just from the front, with 
his regimentals on, awaiting his final discharge from the volunteer ser- 
vice — as temporary clerk. In the senate, the whole-souled and court- 
eous Frank Welch, our late lamented congressman, presided, and on 
the floor the republicans marshaled Cadman, the wily veteran of Lan- 
caster, whose mysterious whisper has long been a familiar sound to 
thousands of Nebraska ears ; Hanna, of Cass, the solid merchant and 
banker, who was the unhappiest fish out of water in a political gather- 
ing that it has been the lot of any of us to encounter; Williams, of Platte, 
plethoric and short-winded, and carrying upon his shoulders, unaided, 
the political fortunes of the ponderous Judge Kellogg, and thus count- 
ing him in as a candidate for the United States senate ; while the 
rising generation of politicians was represented by Stewart, of Paw- 
nee, Porter, of Dixon, Rich, of Nemaha, and Tisdale, of Richardson. 

The democrats were led by Megeath, of Douglas, able, experienced, 
and of indomitable will ; Calhoun, of Otoe, a sound lawyer, an accom- 
plished gentleman, and most radical of democrats of the modern school. 
Leach, of Dodge, Wilber, of Douglas, and Stevenson, of Otoe, com- 
pleted the list. 

The third house, however, as is usual in a political emergency 



involving the election of United States senator, was the largest and 
most important body. The long-headed and cautious Dundy was the 
acknowledged tactician of the republican phalanx, while the prolific 
brain and heavy executive hand of Butler was everywhere efficiently 
employed. General Thayer, the embodiment of ITebraska's military 
glory ; Governor Saunders, the favorite of the solid men of Omaha,, 
conservative and peace compelling ; Irish, of Otoe, rotund and plaus- 
ible, with each joint in his corporeal, moral, and mental system lubri- 
cated to run like a noiseless machine ; Paddock, the secretary and 
ex-acting governor, jolly, hospitable, and popular with the boys; 
E. B. Taylor, of the Indian office, shrewd and fertile of expedients ; 
Marquett, of Cass, earnest, far-seeing, and confidence-inspiring ; John 
I. Eedick, of Omaha, the irrepressible commander of the Freedmen's 
Bureau, who kept his eye on Judge Kellogg; Tipton, the chaplain of 
the old Nebraska First, who had concluded to betake himself to his 
old love and abandon the pulpit for a seat in the senate ; Furnas, the 
future agricultural magnate, and second in the gubernatorial succes- 
sion ; Kennard, the secretary, whose voice had not yet resounded for 
railroad bonds and a new capitol ; and a host of others of lesser note, 
backed the republican boys in the legislature. 

Leading the democrats was J. Sterling Morton, most congenial of 
companions and bitterest of foes ; Dr. Miller, a veteran of scarcely 
less political experience, whose caustic pen was always ready for a 
bout with the rascally radicals; Poppleton, the ramrod of the legal 
profession, who didn't like politics, but whose patriotism compelled 
him to take a hand against the usurpers ; Woolworth, the suave 

chancellor," renowned in equity, his steel always sheathed in velvet, 
and whose familiars called him Jim " only behind his back ; Hans- 
comb, of fiery soul and corrugated tongue, who had been accustomed 
to adjourn legislatures by processes more noted for their promptness 
than their resemblance to parliamentary precedents; Dr. Graff and the 
Patricks, who made it a first duty to be in good odor with the statesmen 
of both sides ; with a following of the square-toed and copper-clad of 
Douglas and adjoining counties, that made them formidable as well 
in numbers as in political strategy. 

In law, possession is nine points ; in a legislature, experience has never 
yet demonstrated that there are any other points, and the contested seats 
were a foregone conclusion when it was ocularly demonstrated that the 



Hepublicans had the organization in both houses and could not keep 
it without counting in the Cass delegation, Rock Bluffs or no Rock 
Bluffs to the contrary notwithstanding. But the democrats had an 
arrow in their quiver that seemed likely to do fatal execution. It was 
an adjournment sine die immediately upon the organization of the legis- 
lature, which would leave the new state suspended between the heavens 
and the earth, like Mahomet's coffin, and overthrow the labor of months 
in the time it should take to call the roll of the two houses. The Cass 
county delegation was believed to be ready to unite with them in this 
•expedient, and that would give them one majority in the senate and 
two in the house. The Cass county delegates had a secret rtieeting 
late at night on the evening of the 5th, the organization of the two 
houses having been completed, and, it was understood, agreed to be 
bound by a vote thus taken, which resulted in the adoption of a 
motion to adjourn sine die. 

In the senate the next morning, a motion was made immediately 
■after roll-call that the senate do adjourn sine die, and it was carried 
by a majority of one. The news spread like wildfire, and in the midst 
of the reading of the journal in the house. Paddock arose, and, amid 
much turmoil, moved to dispense with its further reading. This was 
declared out of order by the speaker, and the journal was finished. Mr, 
Paddock immediately moved that the house do now adjourn sine dicy 
and declared that no further business could be done in any event, since 
the senate had formally ended its existence. The speaker properly ruled 
the motion out of order, because an adjournment sine die, according 
to legislative law, could only be had by a joint resolution. His deci- 
sion was immediately appealed from, and was reversed by a vote of 
of twenty-one to fifteen. The motion was then put, and in the midst 
of the most intense excitement and activity of party leaders running 
to and fro, the ayes and nays were slowly called. The votes, when 
the list had been completed, were nineteen for adjournment to eighteen 
against. The speaker took the tally of the clerk and paused, as if t(J 
-collect his thoughts. Maxwell, of the C^ass delegation, who was not 
in sympathy with the adjournment, had voted ^' no.'' The speaker 
paused just long enough for Hathaway, of the same delegation, whose 
sympathies were in the same direction, to conclude that, as the delega- 
tion was not a unit, as he had supposed, he would vote to suit himself, 
and he changed his aye to no. The vote was announced, and the anti- 
state arrow missed the bulFs-eye by a hair's breadth. 



As soon as this break in the programme was made, the senators op- 
posed to adjournment collected again in the hall, and, on motion of 
Cadman, took a recess till three o'clock p.m. At that hour a quorum 
presented itself, and quietly and unostentatiously proceeded to business 
as if nothing had happened, and the secretary as unobtrusively scored 
out with his ready pen all record of the matutinal hari-kari. 

The next day Governor Butler read his message to the joint con- 
vention, and the machinery of the quasi state was fairly under motion. 
In accordance with the maxim, probably, " Old heads for council^ 
young men for war/^ the most youthful member in each house had 
been made chairman of their republican committees on privileges and 
elections. They were both from Pawnee county, the center of Doctor 
Miller's once famous "hell-scorched district" — Stewart in the senate, 
and the writer of these memoirs in the house. For the next three or 
four days, these unfortunate youths were the storm centers of the 
virgin commonwealth. Their reports on the contested seats were in- 
genious, if not ingenuous, and were adopted under the spur of the 
previous question. All the republicans held their seats. In the mean- 
time, the senatorial candidates had been waging their individual 
warfare, and there were more of them ostensibly in the field than 
have been since noticed on a similar occasion. The military won the 
fight, Maj. Gen. Thayer and Chaplain Tipton, who both won their 
spurs in the First Nebraska, came out ahead, and the records of the 
joint convention that cast the ballot show that Tipton was elected 
the senator from the South Platte," and Thayer " the senator from 
the North Platte," — a proceeding somewhat extraordinary, the state 
of Nebraska being nominally nowhere in the bond. 

The seat of war was now transferred to Washington. Senators 
Thayer and Tipton, armed with proper credentials, as the representa- 
tives of the state organization, departed for the capital, and Hon. T. 
M. Marquett, who had been elected by the people as their first con- 
gressman, knocked at the door of the house. On the 18th of July, 
one week after the adjournment of the legislature, on the eve of the 
close of the long session, a bill was passed admitting Nebraska to the 
Union. President Johnson put it in his pocket, and congress ad- 
journed, leaving the embryo state out in the cold. Upon the re-assem- 
bling of congress in December, our representatives were on hand 
pressing their claims and urging the national legislature to perform 



its part of the implied contract in the enabling act of 1864. But the 
republicans had, in the progress of their political struggles, re-assured 
themselves of their solidity with the people, and were no longer anx- 
ious for accessions to their strength on the floor of the senate. There 
was also a growth of the stalwart feeling in favor of a franchise 
unlimited by a color line. The fifteenth amendment had not yet been 
proposed to the federal constitution, but strong efforts were being 
made to accomplish its object through the action of the states in sev- 
eralty. The conservative gentlemen who had framed the constitution 
of Nebraska, had inserted the word ''white.'^ This the republican 
congress now objected to. The representatives of the old states were 
now more solicitous of preserving their sectional and individual weight 
in congress against the swift encroachments of the growing Northwest 
than in reaching out after party accessions. It was exceedingly plain 
that no majority less than two- thirds in each house would avail, as the 
president was bitterly hostile to the proposition. A bill was intro- 
duced in the senate, however, and passed that body, admitting the state 
in accordance with the provisions of the act of 1864, upon the follow- 
ing conditions : 

Section 3. And be it further enacted, That this act shall not take effect except 
under the fundamental conditions, that within the state of Nebraska there shall 
be no denial of the elective franchise, or of any other right to any other person, 
by reason of race or color, excepting Indians not taxed, and upon the further fun- 
damental condition, that the legislature of said state, by a solemn public act, shall 
declare the assent of said state to these fundamental conditions, and shall transmit 
to the president of the United States an authentic copy of said act, upon receipt 
whereof the president, by proclamation, shall forthwith announce the fact, where- 
upon said fundamental conditions shall be held as part of the organic law of the 
state, and thereupon and without any further proceeding on the part of congress, 
the admission of said state into the Union shall be considered as complete. 

In the house for a time the fate of the bill seemed uncertain. Mr. 
Marquett enlisted the assistance of his old law instructor, Shellabar- 
ger, of Ohio, one of the most prominent gentlemen and eloquent 
speakers on the floor of the representative chamber, and he took the 
lead in championing the bill, and made a speech in its favor of great 
force and brilliancy, which was probably decisive. The bill passed 
the house on February 8, 1867, was vetoed by the president next day, 
and immediately passed over his head by the constitutional majority 
in both houses. 



A new state legislature bad been chosen by the people of the terri- 
tory at the territorial election in October previous, consisting for the 
most part of the same gentlemen elected to the territorial council and 
house. On the 14th of February, Gov. Saunders issued his proclama- 
tion calling the members of the legislature to meet at the capital on 
the 20th inst., to take action upon the conditions proposed by congress. 
The legislature assembled and passed the bill accepting the fundamental 
conditions on February 21. In the senate, those voting in favor of 
the bill were Jesse T. Davis, of Washington ; James E. Doom, of 
Cass; Isaac S. Hascall, of Douglas; Thomas J. Majors, of Nemaha; 
E. B. Presson, of Johnson, and E. H. Rogers, of Dodge. The ^' noes" 
were responded by F. K. Freeman, of Kearney; Mills S. Reeves and 
W. W. Wardell, of Otoe. Here we must pause to notice another es- 
cape of the ship of " state" from wreck, not only in sight of port, but 
just as she was about to cast off her line at the landing. Through the 
absence of a senator, detained by sickness, the republicans had but six 
senators, and seven was the constitutional majority. In this crisis 
they received an accession in the person of Hascall, of Douglas, a long- 
time democrat, who abandoned his fellows at the critical period. 
Among the pilgrims who used to go to Washington during the terms 
of our first senators, and claim some reward for having saved the 
state," Mr. Hascall never appeared, to the knowledge of the writer, 
but if anybody was legally entitled to salvage, he, as being the last 
rescuer of the vessel and emperiled cargo, had a first mortgage on the 
proceeds. The air was blue with democratic expletives at the time, 
but if the genius of that venerable organization haunted the chamber 
of the offender at the solemn midnight hour, and, fixing him with his 
glittering eye, said, like Othello to Cassio, "]^o more be officer of 
mine," ten to one the tough and wiry Isaac hung out no signal of dis- 
tress, and the ghost retired abashed. 

The bill passed the house by the votes of J. R. Butler, of Pawnee ; 
E. L. Clark, of Seward; D. Cole, W. T. Chapin, and Isaac Wiles of 
Cass; T. J. Collins and J. T. Hoile, of Richardson; George Crowe, 
C. J. Haywood, and Louis Walldter, of Nemaha ; E. H. Harden- 
burgh, of Lancaster ; J. E. Kelly, of Platte ; J. T. Griffin, George 
W. Frost, and Dan. Parmalee, of Douglas; Austin Rockwell, of 
Burt ; D. Slader and J. A. Unthauk, of Washington. The noes 
were George N. Crawford and A. W. Trumble, of Sarpy; Martin 



Dunliam, of Douglas ; J. G. Graves, A. F. Harvey, and D. P. Rolfe, 
of Otoe. A few moments later, Secretary of State T. P. Kennard 
appeared upon the floor of the senate and informed that body that His 
Excellency Gov. Butler had signed the bill, and the legislature met 
in joint convention to confer with the governor as to the topics for leg- 
islation that should be mentioned in his call for an extra session, after 
which it adjourned sme die on the second day of its existence. 

On the 1st of March, the president issued his proclamation announc- 
ing the admission of Nebraska into the Union, and on the 2d inst. Hon. 
T. M. Marquett presented his credentials in the house of representa- 
tives and consummated the bond. Mr. Marquett's promptness was 
not imitated by the two senators. The thirty-eighth congress was 
about to expire two days later, and by waiting that length of time, 
the commencement of their terms of office would be dated a couple of 
years later, it being the custom to fix the 4th of March, upon which 
congress commenced its official life, as the initial point of senatorial 
terms. By waiting two days, our first congressman's actual term of 
service would have been multiplied by 365, but he said he was tired 
of Washington, and as John TafPe had been elected his successor, 
though at a time unauthorized by the enabling act, he preferrred to 
cast his lot with the expiring congress and return to private life. He 
sat two days and nights, cast the decisive vote against the appropri- 
ation of $50,000 to fix up the White House according to the taste of 
the president, recorded his " aye on the famous reconstruction act, 
and was honorably mustered out of service. 

On the 4th of April, Gov. Butler issued his call for an extra ses- 
sion, and on the 18th of May the legislators came together and set in 
motion the machinery of the state. 





January 11th, 1881. 

There is no portion of the history of the past which is not largely 
obscured, distorted, or absolutely falsified through the omission of un- 
written portions. 

We are prone to forget or fail to realize how intense the interest of 
the future may be in the doings of to-day. Or if we feel the impor- 
tance of leaving a record we are apt to note only the fading and van- 
ishing items of the past. To make a record of transactions and hap- 
penings of to-day, of that which every one knows all about, seems 
uncalled for and useless labor. 

Through this neglect important springs of action and leading inci- 
dents to even revolutionary acts die out of memory, and are thus lost 
to the historian, who, for lack of the real causes, founds upon false: 
ones, if any. That truthful history, especially of partisan transactions,, 
cannot be written in present time, is most unquestionably true. Par- 
tisan feeling, more or less active, will unconsciously color and distort 
the views of the most impartial. Still a record of the facts of the 
present may save the future historian much labor and from great 

I do not flatter myself that I shall make you think that the episode 
in our history which I have to present to you this evening possesses 
much importance ; and yet the subject matter of it is one which holds 
no second place in its influence on mankind. 

My subject is the discovery of gold in what is now termed Colo- 
rado, or, in the language of that day, at " Pikers Peak,'' the rush from 
all parts of the country to share in it, and the subsequent stampede, 
and its consequences. 

The announcement of the discovery of a new gold, diamond, or 
silver mine is not usually slow in gathering a crowd, as California,^ 
Australia, Nevada, Pike's Peak, etc., have proved. 

A faint and far off sound was raised of gold found by a Cherokee 
cattle trader, at the mouth of Clear creek (near where Denver is now) 
in 1852. It was, however, too faint and uncertain to reach across the 
plains to the people. 



Again, in the spring of 1858, a wandering miner from Georgia, re- 
discovered the gold, verified the previous report of the cattle trader, 
and announced the auriferous character of the place. 

This time the country and the world heard the report, and although 
the nearest settlements were some 600 miles distant (on the Missouri 
river), the cry was forwarded, and spread over the country with such 
celerity and effect that by Nov. 1st, 1858, upwards of 400 men were 
gathered in the vicinity of the present Denver, with a hard winter, 
just commencing, upon them. This crowd was gathered largely from 
the nearest settlements in the Missouri valley. Western Iowa, Mis- 
souri, and Kansas. Some had consideration and forethought enough 
to look before they leaped. With teams and means, they had pro- 
vided food, clothing, etc., to winter upon. But the larger number, 
excited and crazed by the idea of unlimited gold, with loose and un- 
defined thoughts of finding it lying around, to be gathered up by the 
handful — and finding in that thought alone an all sufficient supply of 
all imaginable wants, rushed out and joined the passing crowd, with 
but little if any preparation whatever. 

The passage of this crowd over the plains was largely up the south 
side of the Platte river, along the divides of the Blues and the Repub- 
lican on the south, and of the Platte upon the north. This route for 
the first half of the journey, and the Platte bottoms for the remaining 
part, formed a natural highway with but few impediments. 

It was a motley crowd indeed, as it passed the wTiter^s residence in 
Cass county. There were the well appointed horse and mule teams, 
with all desirable tools, clothes, and provisions ; the single horse or 
mule with go-cart, or saddle and pack tied on behind ; the man with 
the hand cart, the man with a pack upon his back, the man with 
naught but the clothes upon his back, and — anything more? 

Yes, my friends, there was the eleven-year-old boy, with his little 
boy's wagon — made by himself — a piece of corn bread in it, and his 
ragged jacket thrown over it. And he " forgot to ask leave of his 
mother when he joined the company in Mills county, Iowa. His 
faith was really sublime. He had taken his wagon to haul his gold 
in on his return ! But faith was the order of the day. It led the 
hosts through the wilderness. Ill provided as they were* it bore them 
on to the promised land. 

But this crowd, entirely inexperienced in ways and methods of 



search^ and with winter's snows and frosts closing in upon them, 
of course found very little gold, and a large majority none. The 
larger portion, swayed and governed by little else than the impulse of 
the moment, as suddenly sickened and became disgusted, as they had 
previously become excited and carried away. Gold had not auto- 
matically fallen into their hands or pockets (patient and persevering 
toil for it had no place in their conceptions). Their faith died a sud- 
den and violent death. The fever heat of excitement as suddenly fell 
to arctic rigors. 

It is not difficult to imagine the trials and sufferings of these men, 
confined by the rigors of winter in a place entirely beyond the reach 
of subsistence, and with no present means to live upon. As a matter 
of course, those who had were obliged to divide with those who had 
not. Long before the opening of spring, the poles of the magnet were 
reversed, and repulsion instead of attraction was the ruling power, 
and at the earliest possible hour the back track became again a 
<3rowded thoroughfare. 

Meanwhile the cry of gold, started the previous season, had spread 
far and wide, and its magic power had continually increased throughout 
the country, and many thousands were awaiting seasonable weather 
to reorganize the advance, with perhaps equal impatience to that of 
those who would now organize retreat. The advancing and refluent 
waves met about midway between the Missouri river and Pike's Peak. 
As the advance skirmish waves met, the prevailing language on each 
side was of scorn and contempt. The advance saw in the retreat only 
an idle, lazy class of loafers and beggars, who preferred at least great 
hunger, if not starvation, to work. While the retreating party saw 
in the advance the same craze and folly which had driven themselves 
forward in their mad career. But, as the increasing size and depth of 
the opposing waves met, they began to force thought, doubt, and 
question. At the night camps, the meeting trains gathered in large 
numbers, and the nights were spent in denunciation, argument, and 
enquiry. At length the party in retreat began to prevail. The in- 
creasing numbers and general agreement in report so staggered the ad- 
vance, that doubt, hesitation, and conviction followed, and turning 
face to the east the advance began to augment the reflux tide. 

The avalanche from the mountain side, when once started, increases 
rapidly and fearfully. So, from a comparatively few scattered parties 



who left Pike's Peak, the movement had grown to a crowd of thou- 
sands, a disappointed, angry, and dangerous mass. Disgusted at their 
own folly in being so easily duped, it took but a short time to transfer 
their anger from themselves to and against those who had been 
instrumental in duping them. 

They soon arrived at the conviction that the reports and the whole 
matter had been devised and organized by the traders and speculators 
at the border or river towns, who, in it, proposed to reap a large har- 
vest from the sale of outfitting goods and merchandise which parties 
would be forced to purchase before entering the uninhabited country. 

That these parties, that is, the traders, had advertised largely was 
well known, and that they at the same time circulated all favorable 
gold reports was as well known. Nor was it probable that they sup- 
pressed florid reports on account of too high coloring. 

Time and facts have proved that these gold reports were founded 
on truths, although in many cases grossly exaggerated. 

Yet to this, in a measure, insane crowd, they were all all utterly 
false. And the more they talked and thought over the matter, the 
more bitter and vengeful their wrath became. 

I presume all border towns had more or less difficulty with their 
stampeders, but my personal knowledge was of Plattsmouth more par- 
ticularly, this being a prominent place of crossing the river in ad- 
vance and of course in retreat. 

It did a large business in the outfitting line for parties on their 
way to the supposed gold fields. This outfit embracing all tools^ 
clothes, food, etc., etc., which would be required for an indefinite so- 
journ in a country supplying none of these necessaries. 

The crowd now approaching Plattsmouth, breathing revenge and 
destruction on " all and every last shark there, was but a disorgan- 
ized mob. Some two or three thousand encamped about two miles 
west of Plattsmouth, and there tried to effect an organization to ob- 
tain redress for their wrongs. 

Some advocated sacking the town, repaying themselves for all losses, 
and then burning it. 

Others, more moderate, advocated compelling all the traders to re- 
fund all the money taken from them, and then they might have what 
was left of their outfits. 

Many other propositions were made and many pffered themselves as 



leaders to '^put the thing throus^h." But fortunately for Plattsmouth, 
lack of confidence in each other prevailed, and they only wrangled 
and came to no agreement. 

A disorganized company of some two hundred started out for town 
with great threats as to what they would do. Thus they approached 
the several business houses where they had previously procured their 
outfits and made their several and different demands. Meanwhile the 
larger dealers of the town, more or less (and generally more), alarmed 
by the approach of this threatening mob, seemed to feel that it would 
not be healthy to allow it to become too intimate with them, and 
were mostly " out of town." 

They left their business houses in charge of the most reliable men 
to be found, well armed and provided for fight if circumstances should 
authorize it, and discretionary orders in case of combined and organ- 
ized attack. In which case it was well known that all the force which 
could be raised would be but chaff before the wind. The individual 
method of attack emboldened the guards to meet them promptly and 
resolutely. Their momentum as individuals was not sufficient for 
success. They were bluffed off and retreated. 

Then they attempted to seize the steam ferry and cross themselves 
free. But here also, they were so determinedly met and repulsed that 
they again retired. Finally with much bluster and threatening of 
w^hat they would do in some future time, the host melted away, got 
themselves over the river as they could, and went on their way. 

Their lack of organization and leadership was probably all that 
saved Plattsmoulh. Well organized and led, they could have made 
their own terms and done as they pleased. And the spirit of ven- 
geance rampant among them would not have been satisfied short of the 
destruction of the town. 

Many stories are in circulation of heroism and daring by some of 
the citizens, but with one or two exceptions do not bear tracing back 
well. One which seems quite authentic ascribes much power and 
effect on the excited mob to the calm yet decided and resolute address 
of old Mr. Porter (father of Jas. K. and Wm. B.), then an aged and 
feeble man, many years since deceased. 

Another attributes much presence of mind and resolution to Wheatly 
Micklewait, who ran the ferry boat, which prevented the taking it 
from him and running it free. 



This mad rush to the mountains in the fall of 1858 and spring of 
1859, was the cause of not only much mental and physical suffering, 
but^f very great pecuniary loss. Time has proved thixt gold was there. 
But without experience, knowledge, or perseverance it was to the mass 
of seekers but an ig^iis fatuus which led only to disappointment and 

The South Platte road, by which large numbers of these people ad- 
vanced and retreated, followed for a large part of the way the earlier 
Mormon overland trail. Parties through Plattsmouth struck this 
trail about two miles east of the old Salt Creek ford, where Ashland 
has since been built. 

To those who were not eye witnesses of this great movement, it must 
be difficult to conceive the appearance of this crowd, as it moved on 
in its advance, not only for a day but for weeks. In passing the 
writer's residence in Cass county, the trail or road for about one and 
a half miles, as it followed the divide between the Weeping Water and 
the Platte, was in plain view. At times this entire length of a mile 
and. a half was so densely crowded by the moving throng as to entirely 
obscure all view of the beyond. Each team close up to its leader, 
and from two and three to five or six abreast, and then generally 
flanked on either side by bodies of footmen. It w^as a large river of 
animal life. 

In the retreat of the spring of 1859, not unlike the retreat of Buona- 
|3arte's poor soldiers from Moscow, vestiges and monuments of the 
folly were left along the road side, remaining for several years. 

As the stampede in retreat commenced its movements, it was largely 
with starved and hungry teams and men. As they started they 
gathered all that remained of their belongings. True this made up 
but light loads for able teams and men, but a short travel proved that 
they were too heavy for the remaining strength. This growing weak- 
ness compelled the gradual dropping of incumbrances by the road side. 
A horse or an ox would give out. To stop to rest or recruit where 
BO means for sustenance of man or beast existed w^as folly; hence a 
part of the load was thrown out. Perhaps the four-wheeled wagon 
reduced to two and the one remaining animal geared in and urged 
forward with the rest. This but delayed the general catastrophe. A 
few miles further and the remaining beast fell, and then with a small 
selection in shape of a pack, teams, wagons, and contents were 



Of the footmen, some of whom started with a fair, possibly a large 
sized pack, the most found themselves forced to drop article after 
article by the wayside as strength failed them. Six hundred milea is 
a long and weary road to travel under such conditions. 

Valuable property, horses, mules, oxen, wagons, chains, a great 
variety of mining tools, and even large quantities of provisions were 
thus abandoned and to the owner lost ; although subsequently portions 
were gathered up and used by hungry followers. But i r many years 
the entire track from the mountains to the Missouri was more or less 
lined with articles of a less perishable character. 

I had designed to append to this sketch some account of the im- 
mense freighting business which was carried on over these plains, first 
by the government to supply the military posts, and then at a later 
day by individuals and companies increased to huge proportions for 
the supply of mining camps and settlements in the mountains, till 
the U. P. railroad came into competition and in a few months almost 
annihilated the trade of the " bull whacker.'^ But ill health has pre- 
vented the effort necessary to obtain the statistics requisite to illustrate 
this peculiarly interesting and colossal business. 


Bead before the Nebraska Historical Society April 16^ 1880. 

We are apt to look upon Nebraska as a young state ; young in its 
geological formation, in its political existence, and in its historical 
records. For descriptions of its soil, its climate, its fruits, or its inhabi- 
tants, few have sought to look further back than the commencement 
of the present century, and the published memorials of its history 
prior to the advent of the French trappers and traders have been 
thought too meagre to serve as a basis for any exact account. But. 
hidden away in the lumber rooms of wealthy Spanish and French 
families, and piled on the shelves of national libraries in Paris, Mad- 
rid, and Mexico, are hosts of letters, journals, and reports which are 
gradually emerging from their seclusion and undergoing the scrutiny 
of acute and practiced eyes. The documents recently edited by M. 



Margiy, in Paris, and now in course of publication by the United 
States government, throw a flood of light upon early French discov- 
eries and explorations in the West. And when the vast libraries of 
all the nations which took part in those adventurous travels shall give 
up their dead treasures, we have reason to hope that we shall be able 
to add many years to the authentic history of our state. 

I purpose, a) collect and present, this evening, a few of the reasons 
we have for believing that four-score years before the Pilgrims landed 
on the venerable shores of Massachusetts ; sixty-eight years before 
Hudson discovered the ancient and beautiful river which still bears 
his name ; sixty-six years before John Smith, with his cockney colo- 
nists, sailed up a summer stream which they named after James the 
First of England, and commenced the settlement of what was after- 
wards to be Virginia; twenty-three years before Shakspeare was 
born ; when Queen Elizabeth was a little girl, and Charles the Fifth 
sat upon the united throne of Germany and Spain, Nebraska was dis- 
covered ; the peculiarities of her soil and climate noted, her fruits and 
productions described, and her inhabitants and animals depicted. If 
the arguments and citations in support of this theory shall prove 
more dull and prosaic than the custom of recent times requires the 
popular lecture to be, I shall still be able to indulge a hope that 
among those whose nativity or residence has caused them to entertain 
a peculiar affection for this state, and especially among those whose 
pursuits have led them to understand and appreciate the value of 
historical studies, the intrinsic interest and importance of my topic 
may prove some excuse for the bald narration of facts to which I shall 
be obliged to subject your patience. 

There is hardly any expedition of modern times, around which 
hangs so much of the glamour of romantic mystery, as that under- 
taken about the middle of the sixteenth century for the purpose of 
discovering the seven cities of the buffalo and the land of Qui vera. 
Although at least four contemporaneous narratives of this remark- 
able march have reached us, it is singular that hardly any two 
recent writers agree either in the location of the seven cities or the 
ultimate terminus of the journey. The cities of Cibola have been 
placed by different investigators at the ruins now called Zuni, in 
New Mexico, at a point about one hundred miles east of that spot, 
and on the Rio del Chaco, about an equal distance to the north. The 



<;oimtry called Quivera is still more rich in its variety of locations. 
The vicinity of Guaymas on the Gulf of California^ the ruins now 
called Gran Quivera in New Mexico, different points in Colorado, and 
the region of Baxter Springs in Kansas, are but a few of the spots 
suggested for this forgotten land. I shall endeavor to show that none 
of these answer the conditions of the narratives to which I have al- 
luded, and that the land of Quivera was situated in what is now the 
state of Nebraska. 

It is true that the only discovery of our state which can be re- 
garded in any sense as permanent, that which w^as followed by the 
usual horde of adventurers, traders, and explorers, dates from a long 
subsequent period. The city of St. Louis was established in the year 
1764, and in the preceding summer its founder, Laclede Liguest, 
visited the Missouri. Gradually the advancing w^ave of commerce 
crept up that river, until it reached the most powerful and mighty of 
the savage nations of that day, the proud, w'ealthy, populous, and 
pugnacious tribe of the Omahas, with their famous chief Wash-ing- 
guh-sah-ba, or the Blackbird, whose prowess Irving has celebrated, 
and whose lineal descendants' still exercise, on a little reservation, 
hereditary rule over the docile handful to which that great nation is 

We catch an earlier glimpse of this region from one who had en- 
listed in the service of God instead of the service of Mammon. There 
was found a few years since, in the archives of St. Mary's College in 
Montreal, the identical map v/hich Father Marquette prepared of his 
voyage down the Mississippi, executed by his own hand, and bearing 
.all the marks of authenticity. Upon this map, drawn in the year of 
our Lord 1673, appears the territory which now forms the state of 
Nebraska, delineated w^ith remarkable accuracy. The general course 
of the Missouri is given to a point far north of this latitude ; the 
Platte river is laid down in almost its exact position, and among the 
Indian tribes which he enumerates as scattered about this region, we 
find such names as Panas, Mahas, Otontantes, which it is not diffi- 
cult to translate into Pawnees, Omahas, and perhaps Otoes. It is 
not w^ithout a thrill of interest that a Nebraskan can look upon the 
frail and discolored parchment upon which, for the first time in the 
history of the world, these w^ords were written. 

So full and accurate is this new-found map that, had we not the 



word of Father Marquette to the contrary, it would not be difficult to 
believe that during his journey he personally visited the Platte river. 
It was a dream of his, which, had his young life been spared, would 
probably have been realized. But here we will let the good father 
speak for himself. He is describing his descent of the Mississippi. 
The Pekitanoui river, of which he speaks, is the Missouri. 

" We descend, following the course of the river towards the other 
called Pekitanoui, which empties into the Mississippi, coming from 
the north-west, of which I shall have something considerable to say 
after what I have remarked of this river. * * 

"As we were discoursing, sailing gently down a still, clear water, 
we heard the noise of a rapid, into which we were about to plunge. 
I have never seen anything more frightful : a mass of large trees, 
with roots and branches entire, real floating islands, came rushing 
from the mouth of the river Pekitanoui with such impetuosity that 
we could not venture across without serious risk. The agitation was 
so great that the water was all muddy, and could not get clear. 

"Pekitanoui is a considerable river, which, coming from very far 
in the north-west, empties into the Mississippi. Many Indian towns 
are ranged along this river, and I hope by its means to make the dis- 
covery of the Red or California sea. 

" We judged by the direction the Mississippi takes, that if it keeps 
on the same course, it has its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico ; it would 
be very advantageous to find that which leads to the south sea towards 
California ; and this, as I said, I hope to find by the Pekitanoui. 
Following the account which the Indians have given me, for from 
them I learn that, advancing up this river for five or six days, you 
come to a beautiful prairie, twenty or thirty leagues long, which you 
must cross to the north-west. It terminates at another little river, on 
which you can embark, it not being difficult to transport canoes over 
so beautiful a country as that prairie. This second river runs south- 
west for ten or fifteen leagues, after which it enters a small lake, which 
is the source of another deep river running to the west, where it 
empties into the sea. I have hardly any doubt that this is the Red 
sea, and I do not despair of one day making the discovery, if God 
does me this favor and grants me health, in order to be able to pub- 
lish the Gospel to all the nations of this New World, who have so 
long been plunged in heathen darkness. 



The brave and pious heart was not to be cheered by the discoveries 
he had hoped for ; the great highway to the California sea was to be 
traveled in far later days, and by another race than his; still, as his 
earnest voice comes down to us through the centuries, we can see that 
in spite of all the mistakes into which his untutored geographers led 
him, he made a shrewd guess at the future pathway of commerce. 

But now let us turn again from the humble and unpretending labors 
of this member of the Society of Jesus, and gaze upon a more gorgeous 
spectacle. Let us look back three centuries and a half to the province 
of Mexico, or, as it was then called. New Spain. For the bare prai- 
ries of Illinois and the rocky shores of the lakes we have the luxuri- 
ance of tropic vegetation ; for the holy vestments of a Catholic priest 
we have the burnished armor and the dancing plumes of a Spanish cava- 
lier ; for the low splash of the paddle and the ripple of a bark canoe 
we have the noisy clank of steel, the neighing of horses, the shouting 
of captains, and the heavy tread of mighty cavalcades. It is nineteen 
years after the conquest of Mexico by Cortes, that brilliant and heart- 
less commander, of whose ambition, avarice, treachery, and cruelty, 
says an old chronicler of the time, ^ God will have kept a better ac- 
count than we have.^^ Sometimes feared, sometimes hated, and always 
distrusted in his life-time and by his own countrymen, more than one 
Spanish officer was sent out while he still remained in Mexico to 
watch his career and check his unbridled extravagance. Of these, was 
one Nunez de Guzman, a rival and an enemy of Cortes, who governed 
the northern portion of Mexico, and who burned to excel the dethroned 
captain in the brilliancy of his discoveries and the magnitude of his 
conquests. '^The life of the Spanish discoverers," says Prescott, "was 
one long day-dream. Illusion after illusion chased one another like 
the bubbles which the child throws off from his pipe — as bright, as 
beautiful, and as empty. They lived in a world of enchantment." 

Among the slaves of this governor was a Texas Indian, who had, per- 
haps, cunning enough to perceive that his own success lay in ministering 
to his master's ambition, and ingenuity enough to concoct a tale, partly 
true, doubtless, which should excite his curiosity and inflame his lust 
for gold. Be that as it may, he came to his master one day with this 
strange and startling revelation. His father, he said, had been a mer- 
chant, and traded far to the north, carrying with him for barter the 

* Las Casas, 



rich plumage of tropic birds, and receiving in exchange vast quanti- 
ties of gold and silver. When a youth, he added, he had sometimes 
accompanied his father on these excursions, and they had visited seven 
cities which might compare in wealth, population, and magnificence 
with the city of Mexico itself ; that whole streets blazed with the 
shops of gold and silversmiths, and that those metals were so common 
as to be held in slight esteem ; that rare and precious stones abounded ; 
and that the inhabitants were gorgeously attired in rich stuffs, and lived 
in all the ease and luxury that wealth could bestow. 

Whether this Texan (the first of whom we have any record) had 
really a recollection of cities which seemed to his inexperienced child- 
hood as magnificent and grand as the dreams of the avaricious Spaniard • 
whether he sought to ingratiate himself with his taskmasters by stories 
which he knew they would seriously incline to hear, or whether thus 
early in the history of the country he had acquired the prevailing 
western habit of exaggeration, particularly where gold and silver 
mines are the subject of discourse, we can only guess; but the sequel 
will show that his gorgeous palaces and brilliant work-shops were but 
the fictitious creations of a lively imagination, or the dim remembrance 
of an old tradition. 

This was the origin of the story of the mysterious seven cities of 
Oibola,'' which, with their vague and visionary splendor, excited the 
curiosity and inflamed the avarice of the Spanish conquerors for so 
many years. Efforts were made to reach them, but the mountain 
ranges and the desert plains guarded their secret faithfully, and the 
cities for nearly a decade remained known only through the romantic 
exaggerations of the Texas serf. 

But Spanish interest in this fabulous region was revived by a story 
of hardship and toil which has rarely been equaled in the history of 
adventure. In the year 1536, four wayfarers, half naked, worn with 
toil, spent with hunger, thirst, heat, cold, shipwrecks, storms, battles, 
and disease, reached the city of Mexico from the sierras and sandy plains 
of the north. They were a Spaniard named Cabeza de Yaca and his 
three companions, one of them a Moor called Estevanico or Stephen. 
Eight years before, they had landed with some four hundred compan- 
ions on the peninsula of Florida for the purpose of exploring that un- 
known country. Hostile tribes, starvation, and toil had done their 
work so thoroughly that of the four hundred only this perishing 



sample remained. They had traversed the whole continent, had been 
the first of civilized beings to gaze upon a great river coming from 
the north/' which was afterwards to be called the Mississippi, had 
penetrated the north-west through parts of Kansas and Colorado, and 
thence turning southwardly had made their way through New Mexico 
and Arizona to friends and countrymen. 

They, too, had their marvelous tales of opulence and pomp to tell. 
During their wanderings west of the Mississippi they had heard of 
rich and populous cities, with lofty dwellings and shops glittering 
with gold and silver andjprecious stones, of a people living in af&uence, 
partially civilized, acquainted with the arts, and inhabiting a fertile 
and beautiful country. 

Straightway a small force under the leadership of Marcos de Niza, 
a Franciscan monk, and guided by Stephen the Moor, was sent out to 
discover and report upon these mysterious cities, and pave the way for 
Spanish colonization. Friar Marcos, the commander, was of a credu- 
lous and yielding disposition, and he allowed the Moor to push for- 
ward ahead of the main body, so that he reached the seven cities while 
the friar was hardly half way there. Stephen had forgotten the hard- 
ships and trials of his eight years of wandering, and the favors heaped 
upon him by the people whom he was now coming to despoil. But 
he remembered well their gentleness and their treasures. Presuming 
upon the former, he robbed them of the latter with an unsparing hand. 
The mild and pacific natives bore these indignities with a patience 
and forbearance well calculated to excite the scorn of a Christian peo- 
ple; but when the libidinous Moor, swollen with pride and power 
and success, attempted to lay his unhallowed hands upon their wives 
and daughters, they found it more difficult to excuse his irregularities. 
So they killed him, and sent his companions back upon the road they 
had come. These, flying from the scene of their atrocities, met Marcos 
de Niza about two hundred miles away, and communicated to him 
their doleful story. The holy father declares that, notwithstanding 
the consternation their tale produced, he pursued his course, and ap- 
proached so near the seven cities that from an eminence hard by he 
could look down upon their lofty roofs shining in the sun, and see the 
evidences of wealth upon every hand. But the private soldiers of the 
expedition strongly intimated that the fate of Stephen the Moor so far 
cooled his couraged and moderated his ambition, that he forthwith 



made his way with considerable precipitation back to the place whence 
he had started. All agreed, however, that the seven cities of Cibola 
did, in truth, exist, and that the tales told of their richness and grandeur 
were so far from being mere figments of the imagination that they fell 
short of the reality. Of course, another and more powerful expedi- 
tion was decided upon. For its command the viceroy of Mexico nom- 
inated Francisco Yasquez de Coronado, who had succeeded Nunez de 
Guzman in the government of the northern province. 

Coronado was a Spanish cavalier, born in the city of Salamanca, 
where he had received a good education, and had improved the advan- 
tages which wealth and gentle birth naturally confer. Intrepid, am- 
bitious, of pleasing and ingratiating manners, skilled in all manly 
and martial exercises, he would have come do<vn to us as a model of 
the brave, adventurous, avaricious, and cruel commanders of his age, 
but for a superstitious belief in evil omens and unlucky signs, w4iich 
sometimes prevented him from seizing hold of success even when it 
was fairly within his grasp. 

In his youthful days Coronado had made the acquaintance of an 
Arabian sage, who, after long study and travel in the East, where he 
had collected the knowledge and experience of ages, had taken up his 
abode in the classic and congenial city of Salamanca. This spare and 
wrinkled devotee of science possessed great skill in the kindred pur- 
suits of astrology and necromancy, to which he added the marvelous 
gift of divination. To him the young Spaniard applied, with a re- 
quest that the mystery of his future life might be revealed to him. 

After consulting his sacred parchments, and communing with the 
supernatural beings who had deigned to impart to him their wisdom, 
the astrologer at an appointed time received Coronado into his retreat, 
fragrant with incense and covered with mathematical diagrams and 
cabalistic characters. The stars in their courses, he said, and the 
mystic intelligences who reveal future events to mortals, had foretold 
that the fiery young student should one day become the omnipotent 
lord of a great and distant country ; but the portents thenceforward 
were gloomy and sinister — a fall from a horse would imperil his life. 
We shall see in the sequel what effect this prediction had upon the 
early settlement of our state. 

Coming to Mexico while still in the vigorous strength of early 
manhood, our hero was fortunate enough to win the affections of a 



daughter of one of the Spanish dignitaries who had been sent out to 
take part in the government of that province. Estrada had been the 
royal treasurer and in charge of the finances. For a time even, while 
the charges against Cortes were a subject of investigation, the reins of 
government had devolved upon him. He appears to have been a 
man of small mind, but arrogant and dictatorial, as small minds are 
apt to be ; and not averse to using his office as a source of wealth, as 
small minds have done before and since his time. This pompous old 
grandee had, like Polouious and Jepthah — 

' ' One fair daughter, and no more, 
The which he loved passing well." 

We catch but a glimpse here and there through these dry and 
musty old chronicles of the sweet face of Beatrix d'Estrada, but we 
see enough of her to know that she was beautiful and accomplished, 
graceful in person, refined in mind, and as different from her 
father as Jessica from Shylock. And so when she and Coronado met 
we behold again the picture which belongs to no age or time — 

" Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful always ; 
Love, immortal and young in the endless succession of lovers." 

Marriage did not cool the ardor of the'ambitious young warrior. He 
remained passionately fond of his handsome wife during the whole of 
his stirring and adventurous career ; and her wealth and station served 
to elevate him above the position in which his own good qualities 
would have placed him. 

Early in the spring of 1540 the expedition of Coronado, composed 
of three hundred Spaniards and some eight hundred natives, set forth 
from their rendezvous with bright anticipations and sanguine hopes. 
These were somewhat dimmed and dampened by the hardships of the 
way, for the country was rough, mountainous, and desert ; and now and 
then, notwithstanding the marvels of the seven cities which they expected 
to see at the end of their route, distrust and homesickness overmastered 
their curiosity. Once a soldier rushing in to Coronado, in a well- 
counterfeited agony of apprehension and terror, declared that while 
he was bathing in a mountain stream, the devil, in his proper shape 
(for in those days they had not lost belief in a personal devil), had 
tempted him, saying, Kill your general, and you shall marry donna 
Beatrix, his beautiful wife, and I will endow you with boundless 
wealth. This was touching the general in two tender points, his su- 



perstition and his uxoriousness ; so to prevent the fulfillment of the 
devil's desire, he ordered that the honest and sorely tempted soldiei- 
should remain at Caliacan, which was the precise object for which 
the cunning rogue had invented the story. 

But when at last, after a tedious and toilsome march, the long ex- 
pected seven cities of Cibola were reached, the whole army, as the old 
chronicler tells us, broke out into maledictions against Friar Marcos 
de Niza, who had so deceived them. ^' God grant," he charitably 
-adds, ^' that he may feel none of them." His highly colored tales 
had all proved false. There were farms in Mexico better than Cibo- 
la ; the seven cities were seven hamlets, the houses were small, gold 
was not found, the minerals were of little value, and in short, the pu- 
issant realms and populous cities which he had promised, the metals, 
the gems, and the rich stuffs of which he had boasted in all his dis- 
courses, had faded like an insubstantial pageant into thin air. 

But the fitting out of the expedition had cost too much money, and 
its starting had been heralded with too much boasting to allow it to 
come thus speedily to an ignoble end. • Were there not other cities? 
Coronado began to inquire, which it would be profitable to visit ? The 
natives, always ready to lend to the Spaniards a helping hand out of 
their country, were not slow to answer this question in the affirmative. 
Two hundred and fifty miles to the eastward, they said, was a rich, 
peaceful, and populous province, where their desires for wealth and 
their ambition for power might be gratified to the fullest extent. 
Thither Coronado led his little army, reaching a point which even to 
this day is readily identified by its natural characteristics and by its 
ruined cities and villages with the country which is now the eastern 
portion of the territory of New Mexico, watered by the Rio Grande 
and the Pecos, and not far south of the city of Santa Fe. 

The welcome which the gentle and kindly natives of this region 
gave to their invaders was so cordial and sincere that it seems some- 
times, to weak and sentimental humanitarians of the present day, al- 
most unfair and ungenerous for the Spaniards to plunder and kill 
them afterwards. But those old warriors were made of stern and un- 
relenting stuffi They were met by the inhabitants of the peaceful 
villages with warm demonstrations of friendship, great store of vict- 
uals, large quantities of stuffs, and the blue turquoise of the country ; 
they were serenaded with the quaint music of their drums and flutes. 



Sometimes/' says one of the historians of the march, " they sought to 
touch my garments and called me Hayota, which, in their language^ 
signifieth a man come from Heaven/' 

As a recompense for these hospitable attentions, the Spaniards, who 
had been instructed by the viceroy of Mexico to '^let these people un- 
derstand that there was a God in Heaven and an emperor on earth,'' 
first imprisoned several of their chief men on some frivolous pretext, 
and then by way of diversion burned one of their villages. These 
things, says the chronicler, caused some dissatisfaction, which was not 
diminished by a requisition of the general for cloth enough to furnish 
new suits for his entire army. Winter was just coming on, and the 
poor natives begged for a little time to comply with this demand, so 
that it might not bear too severely upon them, but they were pressed 
so hard that they were forced to give up their own scanty garments 
to complete the desired tale. If the soldiers who accompanied the 
collectors were not content with the clothing supplied to them, and 
saw an Indian who had something better, they forced an immediate 
exchange, without troubling themselves about the rank or condition 
of those whom they despoiled. Such conduct, it is gravely added, ir- 
ritated the natives exceedingly. 

But they bore these wrongs and indignities with submission, if not 
in silence, till the last and crowning insult was added to them. This 
ignorant and barbarous people had among their peculiarities a strong 
and exclusive love for their wives; and so jealous were they, after their 
experience with the dissolute Moor, of the rude eyes of the Spanish 
soldiery, that they carefully concealed their females, immuring them 
in such strict seclusion that Coronado complained, after a long resi- 
dence at Cibola, that of their females he had only been able to see two 
grey and withered old women. It chanced one day that an officer, 
whose name even the soldier who tells the story is ashamed to hand 
down to its deserved infamy, saw peeping from an upper window the 
bright and and curious eyes of a comely woman. Dismounting from 
his horse, he strode into the apartment, from which outcries and shrieks 
of agony were presently heard. The wronged husband and chiefs of 
the village waited upon Coronado, and with humbleness and in sad- 
ness presented their complaint. The troops and retainers of the camp 
were paraded, but the simple-minded Indian failed to recognize the 
assailant; probably, it is hinted, because he had changed his garments. 



The animal he rode, however, was pointed out and positively identi- 
fied, but its owner being called upon, boldly denied the charge. Per- 
haps," we are told, " the Indian was mistaken, but at any rate he was 
obliged to return without having obtained justice.'^ 

The next morning the natives of the village were in arms and re- 
bellion. Barricading their houses with logs, and secure behind their 
battlements of stone, the cowardly rascals kept their foes at bay with 
flights of arrows for two days; and it was not until the Spaniards had 
managed to dig under the walls and set fire to the town that they were 
obliged to surrender. Even then, smoked as they were, they would 
not submit until the Spanish officers had promised them quarter, 
whereupon they laid down their weapons. Being secured and guarded, 
it was concluded, notwithstanding their surrender, to burn them alive 
by way of setting an example to other refractory villages. But when 
the prisoners saw the preparations for their burning, they seized the 
billets of wood collected for the ante-mortem cremation, and made so 
stout a defense with them, that it became necessary for the Spanish 
cavalry to ride in among them sword in hand. As the slaughter took 
place in an open, level plain, not many of the natives escaped ; but 
the few who were fortunate enough to do so, did great injury to the 
Spaniards by reporting that they disregarded the usages of warfare 
and violated truces. 

As the winter was an uncommonly severe one, snow falling to a 
great depth, and ice sealing up the rivers, the Spaniards expressed a 
willingness to overlook all that had passed, and to grant a full pardon 
and safe conduct to all who would come in and submit to the inva- 
ders ; but the Indians responded that it would be useless to make 
treaties with people who did not keep faith, and unwise to surrender 
to an enemy which burned its prisoners of war. So siege was 'laid to 
another village. Here, however, the inhabitants were better prepared 
for defense, and for fifty days stubbornly resisted the most daring and 
gallant attacks. But deprived of water they suiFered untold and ter- 
rible agonies. The falls of snow within their courtyards were soon 
exhausted. They tried to dig a well, but its sides caved in and buried 
the workmen. So, with a forlorn courage, which, if they were not 
copper colored, might excite our sympathy, they built a great fire, into 
which they cast their mantles, feathers, turquoises, and all their little 
stores of finery, that strangers might not possess them; made a des- 



perate sortie with their women and children in the midst ; and not 
one escaped the edge of the sword, the hoofs of the horses, or the cold 
waves of the Rio Grande. Most of them the Spaniards mercifully 
slew, the wounded were spared to become slaves. 

Thus, this simple, loving, virtuous people, who had greeted Coro- 
nado with the perfume of flowers and the soft music of their flutes, 
came to understand that there was a God in heaven and an emperor 
on earth. 

Not unfrequently has it happened in the history of the world that 
when the need of a nation is the sorest a savior rises up among them ; 
and thus it was with the unhappy and oppressed natives of these val- 
leys. One of their number, willing to sacrifice his life for the salva- 
tion of the rest, suddenly appeared before Coronado with much mys- 
tery in his movements and a pretended hostility to the natives. His 
description of rich countries and large cities, remote from the secluded 
valley of the Pecos, surpassed all previous revelations. He came, he 
said from a land far to the north-east, where there was a river seven 
miles in width. Within its depths were fish as large as horses. Upon 
its broad bosom floated canoes which carried twenty oarsmen on each 
side; and huge vessels with sails, which bore upon their prow a 
golden eagle, and on the poop a sumptuous dais, whereupon their 
lords were wont to seat themselves beneath a canopy of cloth of 
gold. That every day the monarch of this favored region, named 
Tatarrax, long-bearded, gray-haired, and rich, took his noonday 
sleep in a garden of roses, under a huge-spreading tree, to the 
branches of which were suspended innumerable golden bells, which 
sounded in exquisite harmony when shaken by the wind ; that this 
king prayed by means of a string of beads, and worshiped a cross 
of gold and the image of a woman, the queen of heaven ; that through- 
out the land the commonest utensils were of wrought silver, and the 
bowls, plates, and porringers of beaten gold. This land of plenty, 
he said, was the great kingdom of Quivera, and thither he waited to 
conduct his white friends whenever they should be pleased to accom- 
pany him. He talked with so much assurance, and sustained their 
rude tests of cross-examination so well, that Coronado's oft-shaken 
faith was again established. It is true there were not wanting sus- 
picions of the integrity of this newfound friend. It was evident that 
he had some secret communication with the natives. One soldier, to 



whom ablution was probably a forgotten luxury, declared that he had 
seen him, with his face in a washbasin full of water, talking to the 
devil. Still his disclosures were so specific, and their truth so desir- 
able, that it was determined (all necessary precautions having been 
taken that he should not escape) to trust to his guidance. 

So, on the 5th day of May, in the year 1541, Coronado and his 
army quitted the valleys they had pacified and Christianized so thor- 
oughly, crossed the Pecos river, and soon entered upon the treeless 
and pathless prairies of what is now the Indian territory and the state 
of Kansas. Through mighty plains and sandy heaths, smooth and 
wearisome, and bare of wood, so that they made great heaps of buffalo 
dung to guide them on their return, and in spite of all their precau- 
tions, were constantly losing stragglers from the camp, they made their 
way for eight hundred miles northeastwardly to the banks of a con- 
siderable river, which could have been no other than the Arkansas. 

Each one, says Castaneda, a credulous, honest, sincere, and pious 
private soldier, who has, with others, told us the story of this march, 
was charged to measure the daily progress made by counting his steps. 
The picture which we can fancy to ourselves of this dusty band plod- 
ding its way through the long summer days over the Kansas prairies, 
grim, silent, and arithmetical, has something in it of the ludicrous as 
well as the pathetic. Still our adventurers were enabled to enliven 
their dreary computations by an occasional indulgence in their favorite 
pastime of robbery. Once finding a village with an enormous quan- 
tity of skins, they cleaned it out so completely that in a quarter of an 
hour there was not one to be found. The Indians, we are told, tried 
in vain to save them, and the women and children wept, for they had 
believed that the Spaniards would not take their skins, and that they 
would be content with blessing them as Cabeza de Yaca and his com- 
panions had done when they had passed that way. 

The suspicions, which had from the first attached to their guide, 
had been spreading and increasing in intensity. It was noticed that 
when they met with the wandering nomads of the plains, if the Turk, 
as they called him,* was the first to converse with them, they con- 
firmed all his stories, and pointed to the eastward as the true course ; 

* From a fancied resemblance to the people of that nation, some say, though it 
Seems more probable that it was a name given to him after the discovery of his 



while if communication was prevented, the tribes knew nothing of the 
riches and splendor of the land of Quivera, and insisted that that 
country lay to the north and not to the east. 

Coronado, therefore, seeing that the Turk had deceived him, that 
provisions began to fail, and that^ except the meat of the buffalo, there 
was no prospect of obtaining more in the country round about, con- 
voked his captains and lieutenants in a council of war, to determine 
upon their future course. It was there decided that the general, with 
thirty of his bravest and best mounted men, and six foot soldiers, 
should proceed northward in search of Quivera, while the main army 
should return to the vicinity of the Pecos river. The soldiers protested 
with many supplications against this separation, but Coronado was in- 
flexible, and he started north with guides which he had taken from 
the roving Indians of the plains, and the unhappy Turk securely 
bound ; while the army, after slaughtering great numbers of the buf- 
falo for their sustenance, set out upon their homeward route. 

Northward then, from the Arkansas river, for many weary and 
anxious hours, the little band which accompanied the adventurous 
general pursued its way over the Kansas plains. July had come, the 
days were long and hot, and the sultry nights crept over the primeval 
prairie, seeming to rise like a shadowy and threatening spectre out of 
the grass. But stout hearts and good horses brought them at last to 
the southern boundary of Nebraska. And here, along the Platte 
river, they found the long sought kingdom of Quivera ; here was 
Tatarrax, the hoary headed old ruler of the land. But alas for the 
vanity of human expectations ! the only precious metal they saw was 
a copper plate hanging to the old chief ^s breast, by which he set great 
store ; there were no musical bells, no gilded eagle, no silver dishes, 
no rosary, no image of the Virgin, no cross, no crown. In the midst 
of this disappointment, Coronado took a melancholy pleasure in hang- 
ing the Turk who had so egregiously misguided him; and that bar- 
baric Curtius, after boldly avowing that he knew of no gold, that he 
had brought the invaders into the wilderness to perish with hunger 
and hardship, and that he had done this to rid the peaceful dwellers 
in the Rio Grande and Pecos valleys of their hated presence, met his 
fate with a stoicism which the Spaniards called despair and remorse. 

Here, then, upon the southern boundary of this state, at a point 
not yet easily ascertainable, but doubtless between Gage county on the 



•east and Furnas on the west, Coronado set foot upon the soil of Ne- 
braska, and here, busied with observations and explorations, he remained 
for twenty-five days. 

I have already adverted to the fact that this location of the northern 
terminus of his march has not met with universal acceptation. The 
iirguments, however, in support of the theory seem to me unanswer- 
able.* Let us briefly examine them. 

It is unimportant for tlie purpose of our investigation whether we 
fix the site of the cities of Cibola at Zuni, with General Simpson, at 
Acoma, with Emory and Abert, or on the Chaco with Mr. Morgan. 
The last place visited by Coronado, before he emerged from the 
mountains to the plains, was Cicuye, which is described as a well 
fortified village, with houses of four stories, in a narrow valley be- 
tween pine-clad mountains, and near a stream well stocked with fish. 
These features point so unmistakably to what is now known as old 
Pecos, on the river of the same name, that no one can visit those des- 
olate and melancholy ruins and remain unconvinced. The four stories 
may even now be distinguished by the careful observer ; the place is 
still admirably fortified both by nature and art against any assault not 
aided by artillery ; it is apparently completely hemmed in by moun- 
tains, and among the stone hatchets, hammers, arrow-heads, and bits 
of turquoise, which the curious may still find there, are not unfre- 
quently to be seen the grooved stones which the Indians used as 
sinkers for their fishing nets. Some, however, have founded an ob- 
jection upon the statement of Castaneda that, after leaving that place, 
the army did not reach the Cicuye river,' which flowed near Cicuye, 
and took its name from that place, until the fourth day ; and General 
Simpson, though he thinks that no other place than Pecos in so 
many respects suits the conditions of the problem," is inclined to get 
over the difficulty by supposing that the river referred to was the 
Gallinas, which it might require four days to reach. AYith the utmost 
deference, however, to the opinion of so learned and skillful an ex- 
plorer, I venture to suggest that it is unnecessary to suppose that four 
•days were occupied in the march to the crossing. Supposing Coronado 

* The view I have taken of Coronado's march was suggested by Mr. Gallatin, 
and has been supported by General Simpson. See the latter's excellent paper on 
this subject in the Smithsonian Report for 1879. I think, however, that the Gen- 
eral has placed the northernmost point reached much too far to the eastward. 



to have left Pecos near the close of the first day (by no means an un- 
usual time for the commencement of a long expedition), and to have 
reached the crossing on the morning of the fourth, then but little 
more than two days would have been occupied on the way. Now,, 
although the Pecos river flows very near the Pecos village, it is, in 
fact, not visible from that place, and by the old Santa Fe trail it is 
twenty-two miles to the ford at San Miguel. The railroad crosses 
live or six miles below the trail, and there is still another crossing 
some ten miles beyond, at Anton Chico. Inasmuch as -to reach the 
nearest of these points through the difficult country about Pecos might 
well have consumed two days, it seems to me that the paragraph in 
question confirms instead of opposing his views. It must not be for- 
gotten, moreover, that as the evident object of the Turk was to lead 
the troops as far to the eastward as possible, he would, if practicable, 
take them to some lower point than San Miguel on the Santa Fe 
trail. There seem, therefore, to be conclusive grounds for believing 
that Cicuye and Pecos are identical. 

From Cicuye the main body marched about seven hundred miles 
north-easterly to a considerable river. As all the narratives of the 
expedition concur in bearing testimony to this fact, there is no escape 
from it except by the exercise of an unreasoning disbelief. After mak- 
ing all possible allowances for deviations from a direct line and the 
shortened steps of tired soldiers, it is impossible to believe that this 
stream could have been anything south of the Arkansas. The dis- 
tance by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway from Pecos to 
Newton, Kansas, is five hundred and ninety-three miles. By the 
Santa Fe trail it is probably about the same. That the main body of 
the army reached a spot as far north as that cannot certainly be a 
violent presumption. 

From the point where he left his army, Coronado must have pro- 
ceeded in a direction west of north. "They have diverged too much 
towards Florida," says Castaneda. The time occupied in the march 
by the detachment is uncertain ; Castaneda gives it as forty-eight days, 
while Coronada says in one place that it was forty, and in another forty- 
two days. Taking the lowest of these numbers, and conceding that it 
includes also the twenty-five days spent by the general in explorins^ 
Qui vera, and there was ample time to reach the Platte or the Repub- 
lican river. . , 



But again, we have the positive declaration of Coronado that he 
gained the sonthern boundary of this state. ^'I have reached/' says 
he in his report to the viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, the fortieth 
parallel of latitude." It is a fair rule for historical investigators to 
take as absolutely true the statements of eye witnesses of a transaction^ 
unless there should be something contradicting their testimony or im- 
peaching their veracity. In this instance not only is there nothing 
affecting the credibility of Coronado's assertion, but on the contrary 
it is sustained by numerous corroborating circumstances. Among the 
latter are the descriptions of the soil, the flora and the fauna of the land 
of Quivera, which might now serve for a report of the resources of 

The inhabitants/' says Coronado in his dispatch already alluded 
to, "are good hunters, cultivate corn, and exhibit a friendly disposi- 
tion. They said that two months would not suffice to visit them en- 
tirely. In the whole extent of the province, I have seen but twenty- 
five villages, and these are built of straw. The natives have recognized 
your majesty, and are submissive to the puissance of their veritable lord. 
The men are large and the women well formed. The soil is the best 
which it is possible to see for all kinds of Spanish fruits. Besides be- 
ing strong: and black, it is very well watered by creeks, fountains, and 
rivers. Here I found plums, such as I have seen in Spain, walnuts, 
and excellent ripe grapes.'^ 

Jarauiillo, one of his lieutenants, writing some years after the ex- 
pedition, says of it : " The country has a fine appearance, such as I have 
not seen excelled in France, Spain, Italy, or in any of the countries 
which I have visited in the service of his majesty. It is not a country 
of mountains,, there being but hillocks and plains, with streams of ex- 
cellent water. It afforded me entire satisfaction. I judge that it 
must be quite fertile and well suited to the cultivation of all sorts of 
fruits. For a grazing country experience proves that it is admirably 
adapted, when we consider that herds of bisons and other wild ani- 
mals, vast as the imagination can conceive, find sustenance there. I 
noticed a kind of plum of excellent flavor, something like those of 
Spain ; the stems and blue flowers of a sort of wild flax, sumach along 
the margin of the streams, like the sumach of Spain, and palatable 
wild grapes." 

Castaneda enumerates among the fruits, plums, grapes, walnuts, a 
kind of false wheat, pennyroyal, wild marjoram, and flax. 



Gomara, another chronicler, says, "Quiverais on the fortieth par- 
allel of latitude. It is a temperate country, and hath very good waters 
and much grass, plums, mulberries, nuts, melons, and grapes which 
ripen very well. There is no cotton and they apparel themselves with 
bison hides and deer skins." 

It is interesting to compare with these dry catalogues, some extracts 
from Prof. i\ ughey's recently printed Sketches of the Physical Geog- 
raphy and Geology of Nebraska." He says: "There are three type 
species of plums in the state, namely, Prunus Americana, P. chicasa, 
and P. pumila. Of these there is an almost endless number of vari- 
eties, the plums being common in almost every county, especially along 
he water courses, and bordering the belts of timber. These plum 
groves in spring time present a vast sea of flowers, whose fragrance is 
wafted for miles, and whose beauty attracts every eye. 

" Two species of grapes, with a great number of hybrids and va- 
rieties, abound in Nebraska. It is hard to realize without seeing it, 
with what luxuriance the vine grows in this state. Some of the 
timber belts are almost impassable from the number and length of the 
vines which form a network from tree to tree. Straggling vines are 
sometimes found far out on the prairie, where, deprived of any other 
support, they creep along the ground and over weeds and grass. 

" Along the bluffs of the Missouri and some of its tributaries, the 
red mulberry (Morus rubra) abounds. Sometimes it reaches the di- 
mensions of a small tree. 

" Though nuts are not always classed with fruits, it seems proper in 
this place to mention the few that abound in Nebraska. First in the 
list is the nut of the noble black walnut (Juglans nigra). 

" Nebraska is remarkable, among other things, for its wild grasses. 
They constitute everywhere the covering of the prairies. Even where 
old breaking is left untilled the grasses vie with the weeds for posses- 
sion, and often in a few years are victorious. Every close observer, 
passsing through the state in summer, must notice the great number 
of species and their vigorous growth. I have in my collection 149 
species of grass that are native to the state. 

"The smooth sumach {Rhus glabra) is common in Nebraska, and 
the dwarf sumach (P. Copallina) and the fragrant sumach (P. aro- 
matica) are sometimes found." 

Coincidences so remarkable as these certainly strongly support, if 
they do not firmly establish, the theory for which I contend. 



Upon this march, for the first time, civilized eyes looked upon those 
two familiar denizens of the plains, the prairie dog and the buffalo. 
The description of the latter is graphic and quaint. 

These oxen are of the bigness and color of our bulls, but their 
horps are not so great. They have a great bunch upon their fore- 
shoulders, and more hair on their fore part than on their hinder part, 
and it is like wool. They have, as it were, a horse mane upon their 
back bone, and much hair and very long from their knees downward. 
They have great tufts of hair hanging down from their foreheads, and 
it seemeth that they have beards because of the great store of hair 
hanging down at their chins and throats. The males have very long 
tails, and a great- knot or flock at the end, so that in some respects 
they resemble the lion, and in some other the camel. They push with 
their horns, they run, they overtake and kill a horse when they are 
in their rage and anger. Finally, it is a foul and fierce beast of coun- 
tenance and form of body. The horses fled from them, either because 
of their deformed shape or else because they had never seen them. 
Their masters have no other riches nor substance; of them they eat, 
they drink, they apparel, they shoe themselves ; and of their hides 
they make many things, as houses, shoes, apparel, and ropes; of their 
bones they make bodkins, of their sinews and hair, thread; of their 
horns, maws, and bladders, vessels; of their dung, fire, and of their 
calves' skins, budgets, wherein they draw and keep water. To be 
short, they make so many things of them so they have need of, or as 
many as suffice them in the use of this life.'' 

Here, too, is a description, the accuracy of which some of us may 
perhaps recognize. One evening there came up a terrible storm of 
wind and of hail, which left in the camp hailstones as large as por- 
ringers and even larger. They fell thick as rain drops, and in some 
spots the ground was covered with them to the depth of eight or ten 
inches. The storm caused, says one, many tears, weakness, and vows. 
The horses broke their reins, some were even blown, down the banks 
of the ravine, the tents were torn, and every dish in camp broken.'' 
The last was a great loss, for from the natives they could steal noth- 
ing, not even calabashes, the inhabitants living on half-cooked or raw 
meat which needed no plates. 

Our explorers heard of other countries and tribes further on, and 
especially of a great river to the eastward of them, which they con- 



jectured must be the river of the Holy Ghost, which De Soto discov- 
ered, and which was undoubtedly the Missouri ; but they had de- 
spaired of finding gold, and so, in August, Coronado, reaching as I 
think the Platte river, caused a cross to be erected, upon whose base 
was carved the inscription, ^' Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, general 
of an expedition reached this place/^ Thereupon he set his face 
southward, rejoined his army and went into winter quarters with the 
timid and submissive people who had learned from his sharp sword 
the doctrines of Christianity. He purposed, or at least he pretended 
that he purposed, to return in the spring and renew his explorations 
in Quivera, ^'but,^^ says the pious soldier Castaneda, '^that was not to 
take place. God has reserved these explorations £or others. To us 
he gives only the right to boast that we were the first to make the 
discovery. His will be done.^' When the spring opened, Coronado 
had a fall from his horse which caused severe injuries, and recalling 
the predictions of the astrologer of Salamanca, his superstitious fears 
were so wrought upon that his only desire was to breathe his last in 
the arms of his beloved wife. But the soldiers who hated to return 
and longed to settle on the fertile prairies of Quivera, loudly com- 
plained that his sickness was in great part counterfeited, and that it 
was in truth only the fair wife that drew him homeward from his 
duty. Fifty years afterward. Bacon, perhaps with Coronado^s failure 
in his mind, wrote, He that hath wife and children hath given hos- 
tages to Fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises 
whether of virtue or of mischief.^' But whatever the cause, Coronado 
returned to Mexico, was ill received by the viceroy, who had spent more 
than half a million of dollars on the expedition,"^ lost his reputation 
and his government, and so with Donna Beatrix, his beautiful wife, 
passes out of our sight forever. 

One of the discoverers of Quivera, however, lingers within our 
gaze for a short time longer. A Franciscan friar, John of Padilla, 
burned to teach jthese natives the doctrines of Christ in a more hu- 
mane fashion than they had hitherto been inculcated ; and earnest in 
his desire to save souls, announced his intention of returning to Qui- 
vera as a missionary. He had all the sincere faith, the dauntless 
courage, and the lively enthusiam of his class ; and he would have 
echoed the pious sentiments of one of his brethren in the new world, 

* Three-score thousand pesos of gold, says Gomara. 



whose devout aspirations, after a concealment of more than two hun- 
dred years, have just been brought to light. " America/^ says the 
good father,* " is a school where one learns perfectly to seek nothing 
but God, to desire nothing but God, to have his whole thoughts upon 
God, and to rely only upon the paternal providence of God. To live 
among the missions of the neAV world is to live in the bosom of the 
Almighty, and to breathe only the air of his divine conduct. How 
fragrant this atmosphere ! How fine the holy horrors of these for- 
ests ! What lights in the thick darkness of this barbarism ! The 
joy of having baptized one savage, who, dying soon after, may go 
straight to heaven, surpasses all which one can imagine of joy in this 
world. He who has once tasted the sweetness of Jesus Christ pre- 
fers it to all the empires of the earth, America is not without its 
sufferings. One is sometimes tortured by so many pains, wasted by 
such rude labors, environed by so great perils, and so abandoned by 
human aid, that he finds but God. alone. But to lose all to find God 
is a profitable loss, a holy usury. One never encounters the cross, 
the clouds, and the thorns, but he finds Jesus in the midst of them.'' 

Actuated by pious considerations like these, Padilla, with a few fol- 
lowers, returned to Nebraska, taking with him horses, mules, sheep, 
fowls, and the necessary dresses and ornaments for the celebration of 
the mass. He was not long in finding the reward he sought. Either 
to possess themselves of his humble chattels, or because 'they resented 
his determination to preach to a tribe with which they were at war, 
the natives soon bestowed upon him the crown of martyrdom ; his 
companions betook themselves to more civilized regions, and the dark- 
ness of barbarism again for more than two hundred years settled 
down over the land of Quivera. 

Near the margin of the Pecos river, in a little crevice between the 
rocks, and among bones knawed by the wolves, there were found, 
some ten or twelve years since, the helmet, gorget, and breastplate of 
a Spanish soldier. Straying perhaps from his companions, perhaps 
wounded in a skirmish, perhaps sick and forsaken, he had crawled to 
this rude refuge; and far from the fragrant gardens of Seville, and 
the gay vineyards of Malaga, had died alone. The camp fires of Quivera 
were consumed more than three centuries ago ; the bones of the pro- 
fane Moor and the self-devoted Turk have bleached in the sunshine 

* Pere Claude Allouez, * 



and decayed ; the seven cities of Cibola have vanished ; the cross of 
Coronado has mouldered into dust, and these rusted relics are all that 
remain of that march through the desert and the discovery of 

Note — The student of Spanish conquests in America will, of course, understand 
that the suggestion that this armor belonged to a soldier of Coronado's expedition 
is merely fanciful. It is, however, by no means, an impossible surmise; though it 
must be admitted that defensive armor was used in America against the rude mis- 
siles of the natives, long after the use of gunpowder had banished it from Euro- 
pean warfare. 

Since the delivery of this lecture, an antique stirrup, of the exact shape and char- 
acter of those used for centuries by Moorish horsemen, has been found near the 
Eepublican, at a spot about seven miles north of Eiverton, in Franklin county. 
It was buried so deep in the ground as to preclude the idea that it had been cov- 
ered by natural causes, and its presence there may afford a curious subject for 

It is worthy of note also, that the engineers of the new branch of the Union Pa- 
cific Eailway, now building northward along one of the forks of the Loup, report 
numerous ancient mounds along their route, and many evidences of once populous 
cities. Specimens of the ancient pottery, with the shards of which the ground is 
thickly strewn, are almost identical with those still to be found at Pecos and other 
cities in New Mexico. This fact is peculiarly interesting, in view of one of the 
statements of the Turk, just before his execution, to the exasperated Spaniards, 
that the cities to which he was conducting them, " were still beyond." 



The following is an abstract of an address delivered by Prof. 
Howard at the opening of the winter term of the Nebraska Uni- 
versity, at the time the Nebraska State Historical Society was in ses- 
sion, and by agreement before a joint session of the two organizations, 
to serve also as the annual address of the Historical Society : 

History is the youngest of the studies to claim a place in higher 
education, and as a disciplinary study it is still regarded by many 
as on trial — on probation. 

It is thought that it has, at most, no higher claim than as a culture 
study or means of general information. This opinion finds frequent 



and varied expression. One says : It is not necessary to study his- 
tory in college, since it may be mastered subsequently as a means of 
recreation or relaxation between the hours of business. Another says: 
History may be sutiiciently taught as an adjunct of some other branch, 
as Latin or Greek. A third : History is not a science, and therefore 
not entitled to a large space in the academic course. 

Now these statements are made in all sincerity by men of culture. 
May they not rest on a misapprehension of the character of modern 
history ? May they not possibly be based on the conception of history 
as it was and not as it is understood by scholars ? 

In short, what is its place in modern education ? 

It seems desirable as a starting point of this discussion to make two 
preliminary statements : First, as to the condition of historic study 
outside the schools. Second, as to its condition within the schools. 

If the familiar aphorism of Mr. Freeman, that history is past 
politics, and politics present history,^' be accepted, there will be little 
difficulty in perceiving that the thought of this generation is pretty 
liberally engaged in the actual making of history. 

On the other hand, equally patent is its astonishing productiveness 
in historic writings. 

There is scarcely a topic of general or special interest which is not 
treated by a formidable catalogue of authors. The bare enumeration 
of authorities which must be consulted on such a topic as the history 
of the German mark or Old English local government, requires 
many closely printed pages. It is no exaggeration to say that the 
past fifty years have produced a more splendid array of historic tal- 
ent than all the preceding generations combined. 

Our precocious scientific genius is the mark of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, and the most striking thing connected with modern science is its 
historic tendency. It is full of suggestion that the word historic is 
frequently used by writers in other departments of thought to charac- 
terize the trend or form of their investigations, notably in the nat- 
ural sciences, philology, and jurisprudence. In fact there is little 
practical difference between the terms comparative, inductive, and 
historic. Each is opposed to a priori or assumption, and each implies 
that the present must be viewed in the light of the past. 

To trace the persistence in type, note the transformation in variety 
in animal or vegetable forms, or mark the phonetic corruption of a 



word, differs little from observing the continuity in growth of an in- 

The phenomenal historic activity of our age, then, is the first state- 

What is the condition of historic study v/ithin the schools ? 

In Germany, history has long occupied an honorable position in the 
university as the peer of philology and science. And the recent ut- 
terances of Prof. Paulsen, of the university of Berlin, seem to indicate 
that a movement has begun pointing to a reconstruction of the gym- 
nasial course through a liberal substitution of history and other mod- 
ern studies for Latin and Greek. 

In England, until recently, the great universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge have contributed little to the encouragement of this study. 
Few of the throng of illustrious scholars whose names are the glory 
of English historical literature have been called to professorial 
chairs. The same is true of the leading scientists. Hallam, Kemble, 
and Palgrave, like Huxley, Darwin, and Spencer, owed nothing to 
the encouragement of these schools. 

But in England a new era has already dawned for history, shown 
by the presence of such scholars as Bryce and Stubbs at Oxford, and 
Seeley and Freeman at Cambridge; and by the new appreciation of 
the educational value of the study of English institutions, inspired 
largely by the publication under the wise patronage of the govern- 
ment, of those wonderful national records contained in the "Rolls 
Series and the "Calendars of State Papers.'^ 

In our own country the study of history in the schools is in a most 
peculiar condition : neglected by the many and exalted by the few. 
In the majority of the common schools either no provision is made, or 
else the subjects chosen and the methods adopted are so unfit that little » 
results save dislike for studies which should be as intensely fascinat- 
ing as they are essential to tjie duties of citizenship. 

Year after year is spent in ciphering through the dreary round of 
the rules of arithmetic, including the dark mysteries of "circulating 
decimals'^ and "alligation alternate,'^ and not an hour is devoted to 
he history and organization of the state, county, or city in which the 
pupil lives. 

The only wonder is that the youth passes the ordeal with enough 
judgment left to solve any practical problem of life without recourse 
to his customary machine, the " rule.^' 



The condition of things in the college is in happy unison with that 
of the common school. Few of the several hundred institutions of 
nominal college rank are conscious apparently of the mov^ement of the 
times. History still stands at the threshold asking in vain for 
worthy recognition. 

If the study is not entirely neglected, at most select morsels are 
doled out by the professor of Latin or Greek, without regard to pre- 
vious diet or the power to digest such strange viands. Occasionally 
some poor tutor, in addition to his usual double portion of work, is 
allowed, for a term or so, in order to swell the list of facilities in the 
annual announcement, to hear a class call off a catalogue of hard 
names usually denominated "General History.'^ 

Happy is the student who can now and then enjoy a lecture or 
course of lectures by some non-resident plebeian, who is suffered, like 
the old tribune of the plebs, to shout out the demands of the millions 
through the doors of the sacred edifice, instead of being invited to en- 
ter, put on the badge of office, and take a seat with the elders at the 
council board. 

But recently several of the leading and more liberal universities 
have set on foot a movement which is destined to effect an entire rev- 
olution in the college curriculum, and bids fair to place historic sci- 
ence in the front rank of studies for which academic honors are given. 

The leader in the new movement is the Johns Hopkins University 
at Baltimore ; not so much from the variety of instruction offered, as 
on account of originality of organization, scientific method, the em- 
phasis of American local institutions as the most fruitful field for 
academic work, and on account of her admirable system of co-opera- 
tion, which already embraces the most enterprising scholars through- 
out the country. This latter system is already stimulating produc- 
tion to a remarkable degree. The monographic serial published 
through this medium is the most important contribution to the study 
of our local institutions which has yet appeared ; especially as sug- 
gesting the direction which independent academic investigation may 
most readily take. In this university are three professors in the de- 
partment, offering an aggregate of twenty- three hours instruction a 
week, besides the work of the seminary. One of the seven under- 
graduate courses, is the course in history. For the completion of this 
course the degree of Bachelor of Arts is given, as it is also given for 
that in Latin and Greek and the other courses. 



[The speaker then gave at some length a detailed account of the 
^'School of Political Science'^ in the university of Michigan; of the 
^' Wharton School of Finance and Economy" in the university of 
Pennsylvania ; noticed the significant fact that Cornell University has 
established a separate chair for American history, a precedent recently 
followed by the university of Pennsylvania; stated that Harvard was 
now giving the degree of Bachelor of Arts for work, which, under the 
elective system, may consist almost wholly of history; showed that 
history had already taken a prominent place in Yale College, the uni- 
versities of Kansas, California, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Syracuse, and 
in Columbia and Iowa Colleges ; he then proceeded :] 

What is the evident interpretation of these facts? It is this: A 
number of the foremost institutions of the United States affirm that 
historic studies are worthy to form the substance of a liberal educa- 
tion which should be recognized by an academic degree ; and that de- 
gree, in the two leading instances, is the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 

They say that the subjects which more than any others are stir- 
ring the thoughts of men in this generation, should find a correspond- 
ing place in modern education. 

Are these schools justified in this position ? The remainder of this 
discussion will be an attempt to furnish the material for an answer by 
enquiring: First, What is history? Secondly, What are its advan- 
tages as a means of mental discipline ? 


and, first, what is its theme, its subject ? 

Briefly stated the beginning and the end of history is man. What- 
ever bears the impress of his thought is its sphere. Whatever will en- 
able the historian to get closer to the average common man of any age. 
is precious to him. 

Surely no more interesting nor useful study can be imagined than 
the intellectual history of our kind. 

The naturalist does not scorn the pettiest detail in the structure of 
the most rudimentary forms of animal or vegetable life, even in re- 
mote geological ages, and his science justly finds an honored place ia 
institutions of learning. 

Shall not the habits, the customs, the institutions, the achievements 



of man be equally respected? History is to the intellectual man what 
biology or physiology is to the physical. 

It is the recognition of its proper subject, the right point of view> 
which has suddenly filled the study with human interest; has made it 
practical, and therefore immensely productive, even in material ben- 
efits; and which, by leading to the scrutiny of every part of the vast 
field of human activity, has greatly widened its boundaries. 

Historians of the old or annalistic type were entirely too fond of 
fine society. They loved especially to frequent the palaces of princes 
and prelates, to prattle of pageants and progresses, of banquets and 
battles, of the virtues and vices of kings. Fortunate, indeed, if the 
arid waste of annals be occasionally enlivened by a glimpse of man in 
a Thucydides, a Gregory of Tours, a Philip de Comines, or a Pepys. 

But the scholar is no longer nice in his tastes. He is more eager to 
visit a Saxon town moot than the Field of the Cloth of Gold. He is 
much more interested in the chances for justice in the old hundred 
court than in the corruption of Lord Chancellor Bacon. More partial 
to a peasant's daughter than to a countess. Would give more for an 
hour with a villein of Edward First's day than for a week in the sa- 
loons of the Grand Monarch. It is infinitely more valuable to him 
to know the w^ages of a ploughman or the prices of beef, barley, or 
pork, in a by-gone age, than to know that Elizabeth left three thou- 
sand dresses in her w^ardrobe, or that a gentleman of her day, to use 
the quaint words of Harris, often put a thousand goats and a hun- 
dred oxen on his coat/' or carried a whole manor upon his back." 


In the second place history is a science — a comparative science. 

But I hasten to relieve you of the apprehension that I am about to 
inflict upon you a psychological thesis. For the present purpose it is 
perfectly indifferent whether Mr. Buckle's doctrines of general aver- 
ages or of the determining influence of physical environment are true 
or not. I shall not attempt to prove that man is or is not a free moral 
agent, and hence, that he is independent or not of physical causes. 
Whether the career of intellectual man can be predetermined with the 
same certainty as can that of physical man, is an interesting question 
but need not be answered to establish the scientific character of his- 



It is sufficient to say that human nature is steadfast, governed by- 
persistent natural laws, to which, doubtless, the will as well as the 
other mental faculties renders due obedience. But even if this pre- 
mise, which I think will not be disputed, were not true, yet, if the 
study of history, though not the relation of its facts, is subject to sci- 
entific method, still my use of the term science is justified, as in 
analogous cases it is justified, notably for linguistics and geology, each 
of which is still to some degree tentative, though the subject is capable 
of scientific method, and furnishes excellent mental discipline. And 
that the study of history is capable of scientific treatment and has an 
elaborate scientific apparatus, is well known, and their efficiency demon- ' 
strated by the experience of those leading schools already mentioned. 

Indeed the methods and the apparatus of the historian are strik- 
ingly similar to those of the naturalist. The library is his laboratory ; 
the institutions of his city or county are the analog of the geologist^s 
local formations ; the survival of a custom in a distorted and scarcely 
recognizable form, the analog of the fossil remains of a trilobite, 
each must be detached from its environment with care, properly classi- 
fied, and labeled for the cabinet. 

It was the clear recognition of history as a comparative science, 
which, a few years ago, gave such an impulse to investigation. It 
was a phase of the wonderful productivity produced by the advent of 
comparative philology — the perception of the fact, that the compara- 
tive or historic method is the vitalizing principle of all science. His- 
tory is a very comprehensive science. It is important to note this in 
determining whether it furnishes material for a liberal education. 
History means more than it once did. 

As already said, the recognition of man as its proper object suddenly 
enlarged its boundaries by ennobling, so to speak, whole groups of facts 
previously neglected, but since regarded as auxiliary sciences or spe- 
cial departments. 

In the first place, under history, in the usual or restricted sense, are 
embraced two great divisions: narrative history and institutional his- 
tory. The former includes the religious and political story of man in 
all countries, at all times, in all crises. The latter, itself amply suffi- 
cient for a special if not a liberal education, comprehends history of 
political constitutions, ancient and modern ; comparative politics, an- 
cient law, including the history of Roman law, comparative manners 



and customs, comparative mythology, ecclesiastical institutions. Sec- 
ondly, there is a congeries of sciences, scarcely to be distinguished 
from history, and often classed with it under the common head of po- 
litical science ; these are : political economy, finance, social science, 
administration, international law, political ethics, local government, 
constitutional law, etc. 

There is also a second congeries of correlated studies whose practi- 
cal results are indispensable to the historian. Ethnology and ethnog- 
raphy, geography, epigraphy, comparative philology, archseology, 
anthropology, the history of philosophy, literature, and the fine arts. 

So important are these complementary branches that the historian 
must often depend almost wholly upon one or the other of them for a 
right understanding of an epoch or a movement. 

For example, the age of the Antonines is unintelligible without the 
history of philosophy ; the Renaissance, without that of art ; the age 
of Chaucer or of Elizabeth, without that of literature; the age of Anne, 
without that of Grub street and the coffee-house. 

But no one of these subjects is more important and so little appreci- 
ated as ethnology and ethnography, the classification and characteristics 
of races. A concrete example will illustrate : Doubtless the most 
important crisis for civilization was that Titanic duel of a century 
and a quarter between Rome and Carthage. But who can accurately 
estimate the value of the stake, or sympathize with the great leaders 
without perceiving that it was the clash of opposing civilizations, the 
impact of diverse races ? On the one hand, Fabius and Scipio, best 
Roman examples of our Aryan stock. On the other, the great-souled 
Hamilcar and the chivalrous Hannibal, sons of the Tyrian citv of 
Dido, and descendants of those old Phoenician Canaanites whom the 
children of Israel were commanded to drive from the Promised Land ; 
that those Semitic worshipers of Moloch were the blood relatives of 
their deadly enemies, the followers of Jehovah; and that those two Car- 
thaginian heroes were racial first cousins of those doughty old war- 
riors, Gideon, David, and Judas Maccabeus. 

What I wish to enforce with special emphasis is the institutional 
character of history, the growing tendency to treat all history, even 
narrative, from an institutional point of view. It is this fact which 
enables us to see clearly that it is a science in matter as well as in 



An institution is an organic being instinct with life. It is as much 
a living thing as is a plant or an animal — nay, it is of a higher order. 
Its vitalizing principle is the mind of man itself, in response to whose 
desires it develops organs and performs functions. It is as much a 
part of man as is his body. Without institutions man, a social being, 
cannot exist. He does not consciously create them. They grow with 
his growth and decay with his decay. The organic and vital nature 
of institutions is embodied in the great modern doctrine of survival 
and continuity. Just as in the animal or vegetable world, persistence 
in type, perpetuity in genus and species is the rule ; so with an insti- 
tution, continuity is the rule in all essential features. But just as an 
animal organ which no longer has a function to perform, or is em- 
ployed for a different function becomes rudimentary or transformed, 
so an institution may survive as a meaningless custom or become dif 
ferentiated into a number of new and co-existent forms or varieties. 

Institutional history thus takes its place as a natural science. 

Before leaving this part of my subject I must point out two practi- 
cal advantages of institutional history of great importance in estimat- 
ing its educational value. The first is as a preparation for law and 
practical politics. This quality is expressly recognized in the annual 
announcement of the school of political science of Michigan university, 
and is formally set forth as the object of the endowment of the Whar 
ton school of finance in the university of Pennsylvania. 

Since the days of Bentham English and American jurisprudence 
has shown a healthy tendency to simplification. This tendency may b 
described as a gradual substitution of equitable for technical rules in 
every part of legal procedure by pruning off archaic and barbarous 
forms. This is a direct result of the study of comparative institutions. 
It is well known that the Norman lawyers employed the selfish craft 
of their profession to conceal the primitive and healthy kernel of Ger- 
manic legal custom in the factitious and cumbrous environment of 
forms and technicalities; but during the past few decades, guided by 
a new sense for the rational and organic nature of institutions, schol- 
ars have been unwinding this artificial covering and disclosing once 
more the original and healthy germ. 

No higher nor more necessary service can be rendered by education 
than to offer the best facilities for the formation of broad scholarly 
views of the organic character of institutions on the part of future 
lawyers, legislators, and statesmen. 



In this form of* education rests our hope finally to surmount three 
of the greatest dangers which threaten our republic: crude legislation, 
bad economy, and the defeat of justice in the courts of law. 

The second advantage is the opportunity for independent and orig- 
inal investigation. It is an advantage possessed over botany and 
other natural sciences, because comparatively little has yet been done 
in the local field of American history. Especially important is the 
fact that independent work may begin in the public school. The 
history and organization of the school district, town, or county in 
which the pupil lives is unwritten. The boy or girl can collect facts 
in regard to the city council or school board as easily as he can classify 
butterflies or flowers. Nay, he may begin still nearer home — with 
his father's family. Its history and organization are also unwritten. 
And let me say that this institution is too much slighted by educators. 

How few are prepared to give an intelligent analysis of its organi- 
zation? The system and mode of reckoning relationship, the simpler 
mutual property rights of parents and children, the nature of a will, 
why and when it should be made, what is an administrator, mutual 
moral obligations of the various members of the family, and the 
grdunds on which they rest, is the family a political body? etc. 

A few lessons devoted to this institution might prove a remedy for 
some very serious social evils arising in ignorance or heedlessness 
touching many of the fundamental duties of men and women. 


Passing now from the consideration of the aim and character of 
historic science, I invite your attention to the second inquiry: His- 
tory as a means of mental discipline, and first in its relation to the 
study of language. 

The first way in which history furnishes a discipline in language is 
in the study of historic etymology, or the history embodied in proper 
names. The terminology of institutional history is unique. Its class 
names are not artificial labels, manufactured from the stock of the dead 
languages, but natural products co-existent with the thing itself, and 
almost always containing an epitome of its history. The use made by 
writers of this source of history is very extensive. The first work 
published on the subject was Jacob Grimm's history of the German 



language, but since its appearance a formidable literature has arisert 
devoted to the study of proper and local names. I will only mention 
William Arnold ^s great work on the " Settlements and Wanderings of 
the German Races/^ and Isaac Taylor's Words and Places/' the last 
of v/hich every English student should read. As you are aware nearly 
all that is known of our Aryan ancestors is derived from the results 
of comparative philology. Witness the use made by Mommsen in 
the first chapters of his history of Rome of the etymology and mean- 
ing of words. Many of the gravest discussions of constitutional his- 
tory turn on the derivation of a word. For example the word "king.'' 
If the views of one party be accepted, it is derived either from the 
cognate of a Sanskrit root meaning father of a family, or from a cog- 
nate of the German koennen, to be able, to have power; hence the 
man of power, the able man, as Carlyle styles him. 

If the views of another party be accepted, it comes from the An- 
glo-Saxon cyn, meaning gens, race, or clan, and the patronymic ing 
meaning son of, born of, hence child of the race. In other words, in 
the first explanation, we behold either a patriarch with power of life 
and death over his family, or an absolute monarch in embryo, divine 
prerogrative, the justification of Charles I., and James II., and George 
III. In the second, we see a rudimentary constitutional king, the 
servant of his people, the justification of Cromwell and William of 
Orange and Washington. 

Thus the intelligent teacher of history constantly calls attention to 
a feature of language almost entirely neglected in education save by 
the professional philologist — the organic living nature of words; the 
fact that each is a little world with an eventful history all its own. 

But perhaps the most important discipline in respect to language, 
constantly required by the study of history, consists in the use of class 
names and general propositions. 

No department of logic is more important than that which treats 
of genus and species in the use of terms. The child thinks in con- 
crete details, the man in general forms; and no subject insists on this 
principle as an essential to comprehensive thought, more constantly 
than history. No task is more difficult than to lead the student to 
analyze his subject, to devise class-names for the genus, species, and 
variety of his argument. Institutional history is nothing if not ana- 


So iraportaut is this practical application of logic, that I would like 
to insist on the student\s depositing a mental brace synopsis of each, 
subject in the tablinimi of his memory. 

I am aware that this is trespassing on the l)enefits supposed to be 
peculiar to the study of language; but I am convinced that a science 
which is essentially analytic calls the attention more sharply to the 
importance of observing the connotation of words than an abstract 
subject with which no immediate practical use is necessarily connected.. 


In the second place what discipline has our science for the reason? 
and the judgment? 

I have termed history a science, but it is by no means an exact 
science. I am profoundly glad that it is not an exact science. 

It is remarkable how seldom in real life we can avail ourselves of 
the forms of mathematical reasoning. In trying to forecast the future 
in actual business, do our utmost, we can seldom arrive at more than 
a moral certainty — a probability. In planting a crop, choosing a 
course of study, training a child, deciding on the right or wrong, the 
justice or injustice of an action, estimating the probable demand or 
supply of a commodity, we cannot use square and compass, nor avail 
ourselves of the propositions of Euclid. 

We cannot be certain of our major premise. There are a thousand 
starting points, each of which may be the major premise. Would it 
not be fortunate for the student, if the college course should fortify 
his mind for the long and arduous struggle before it, which he can in 
no honorable way evade? 

History has for its subject these very problems. The historian re- 
gards the experience of all generations as so many experiments per- 
formed for his instruction. No other science has such a number and 
such a variety of recorded experiments, performed under such abso- 
Mtely perfect conditions. 

History is pre-eminently the study which produces breadth of view 
and comprehensiveness of judgment. It seeks ever for cause and effect. 
It requires the intellect to gather up in one firm grasp a multitude of 
interlacing threads, tangled and twisted, and stretching over vast spaces 
to the event or phenomenon to be explained. It stimulates the desire 



to grasp the utmost number of facts, in order to deepen and strengthen 
the resulting generalization. 

In this process the exercise of what has been called the '^historic 
sense/' costs a supreme effort on the part of the reason. This may be 
defined as the recognition in respect to any act or thing of the princi- 
ple of historic relativity. An act is great or ignoble, good or bad, 
according to the ethical standard of the age in question, and not ac- 
cording to our own notions of right or wrong. Indeed, an act which, 
if done by one of our own number, we should unhesitatingly con- 
demn, may be worthy of praise, if committed by a man of the middle 
ages. In history, one has little use for the terms good or great, except 
relatively. The student of man must ever obey the maxim, Put 
yourself in his place.'' He must try to strip olT his present environ- 
ment, his personal bias, his social, religious, pr political prejudice, and 
by a sort of mental self-translation, rehabilitate himself in the new 

In studying the men of other ages and conditions of life, as Sir Henry 
Maine has so often enjoined, we must never commit the blunder of as- 
cribing our emotions and sentiments to them. 


Rightly studied, the history of man is a first-rate teacher of ethics 
— a thousand fold better than the ordinary treatise on moral philos- 

What better training in principles of conduct can be imagined than 
familiarity with the lives and characters of great men ? To follow a 
soul through all its vicissitudes of pain and pleasure, failure and 
triumph, always viewing it as a factor in the movement of the age, 
cannot fail to teach the nature of moral conduct. 

What a supreme privilege to sympathize in the magnanimity, the 
unparalleled self-restraint, the sublime patience of Hamilcar ; to scru- 
tinize the insatiable ambition, the fatal self-conceit, the inchoate, noble 
instincts of Pompey ; to weigh the vanity and modesty, the learning 
and superficiality, the strength and weakness of Cicero ; to trace the 
devious windings and sinister motives of Sulla's precocious intellect ; 
to compare the mingled licentiousness, frank magnanimity, and pro- 
found wisdom of Julius with the cunning and artificial virtue of Au- 
gustus ; to admire the constancy of Washington ; and to witness that 



sublimest soul struggle of all — the mighty spirit of Cromwellj as with 
pain and prayer he bears the burden which human liberty had imposed 
upon him. 

Thus the student acquires a sense, an instinct for comparative ethics. 
Dogmatic ethics may be well enough, but the study of relative or his- 
toric ethics is indispensable to the highest moral development. 


There is a most interesting result of the constant habit of viewing 
all things in the light of historic relativity : the development of a sen- 
timent of generous toleration for all opinions and institutions — what 
the men of the Renaissance called humanism. 

Surely no one will say that this sentiment is not much needed in 
our seething modern life ; and surely a science which makes this sen- 
timent an essential to its successful study affords a vital element of 
liberal education in the best sense of the word. 

A whole college course does not always accomplish so much ! 

The spirit of that true son of the Renaissance, Pico of Mirandola, 
is worthy of admiration. Filled with a passionate love of men, he 
strove to reconcile all their great thoughts. The creation of the world 
as recorded in Genesis, seemed to him consistent with that of the Ti- 
maeus of Plato ; and he would fain defend 900 paradoxes against all 

The student should emulate the example of Coleridge, who, it is 
said, always approached reverently anything which he proposed to in- 
vestigate, charitably presuming that it had served some useful purpose , 
satisfied some human need, however useless it had now become. 

The wise student will learn to discriminate between men and 
movements. Even for Torquemada, the Scourge of the Inquisition, 
he will have sympathy ; for, in the self-abasement and agony of spirit 
which preceded even his severest judgments, he will recognize a con- 
science, performing faithfully, according to its light, the painful duty 
demanded of it. 

In Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Order of Jesus, he will recog- 
nize an honest man, . striving to use the great instrument of the 
Renaissance itself — education, to stem the current of new ideas, and 
sustain the tottering structure of the Mediaeval church. 

Before despising an institution, he will seek the reason of its 



being/' as the French say. For example, the doctrine of divine 
right of kings : At first blush, the pretensions of a Charles II. or a 
James II. to divine attributes, seem preposterous, ludicrous. The 
idea of the arch libertine, Charles II.'s curing the scrofula by the lay- 
ing on of hands, through the emission of virtue divine, is essentially 
absurd. One is apt to sympathize with William of Orange, when he 
petulantly dismissed the only unfortunate whom he ever " touched,'^ 
with the wish that God might give him better health and more 

Yet this superstition was once reverenced by the learned scholars 
and divines of Christendom, and oceans of blood were shed to sanc- 
tify it. Even Sam Johnson, in his childhood, drew upon the divine 
virtue of good Queen Anne to cure his distemper. 

But the philosophic student will not despise even this dogma, but 
will seek for the causes of its origin. Among the many far-reaching 
generalizations of Mr. Bryce, in his admirable book on the Holy 
Roman Empire, is that of the psychological immaturity or helpless- 
ness of the Christians of the early middle ages. They were unable to 
grasp the conception of a spiritual God, to be approached only in 
spirit. Hence they resorted to concrete intermediate forms as a ma- 
terial support for faith. On the one hand arose the adoration of 
images and saints and the whole system of Mariolotry. On the 
other, the Pope, who was invested with the divine attributes formerly 
possessed by the Roman emperor, and before him, by the Aryan hero- 
kings. The Pope became a world-priest, and vicegerent of God on 
earth. You know how this attribute was abused — how the Pope 
grasped at worldly wealth and temporal power ; how, at length, 
when men's patience was exhausted, the little monk of Wittenberg, 
as the good elector of Saxony saw in his dream, reached his pen out 
and out, and touched the triple crown of the Pope — and it fell. 

But though the Protestant world had thus destroyed the divine 
prerogative of popes, they were scarcely less psychologically helpless 
than the men of the middle ages. Luther's doctrine of ''justification 
by faith alone," was only half comprehended. They needed a new 
crutch for faith ; they found it in the king, who as earthly head of 
the church was again clothed in divinity ; and Sir John Filmer in his 
Patriarch ia" formulated the doctrine for Christendom. Again you 
remember how the new divine man abused his opportunity, to oppress 



and rob his subjects; and how finally Cromwell arose, and like 
Luther, reached out his sword and touched the head of Charles Stuart 
— and it was the crack of doom for the divinity of kings. Thus 
even the dogma of divine prerogative is seen to have satisfied the 
need of aryan, mediaeval, and modern man, even though that need 
originated in human infirmity. 

I might expand further on the discipline furnished by history for 
the imagination, or point out its advantages as a means of general 
culture, but I will not protract the discussion. 

Allow me simply to gather into one view the substance of this argu- 
ment : 

History deals with intellectual man. It is a comparative science 
and possesses a scientific method and apparatus. -It is comprehensive, 
largely institutional, treats of organic life, and thus takes rank as a 
natural science. 

Institutional history has two practical advantages: As a prepara- 
tion for law and politics, and as affording the readiest opportunity for 
independent investigation, and this investigation may begin in the 
common school. 

As a means of mental discipline, it affords a training in language 
in tw^o ways: in the history of words, thus emphasizing their living 
character, and in the use of generalization and class-terms, logic. 

It disciplines the reason in those questions which will occupy it 
during life. It gives breadth of view, teaches practical and compara- 
tive ethics, and, best of all, inculcates principles of humanism and gen- 
erous toleration. 

Whether this is sufficient to justify the exalted rank which history 
is taking in the order of studies, time will render a verdict. 

Fellow Students: In days of old Clio, the muse of history dwelt 
upon Olympus and communed only with gods and heroes. We are 
more favored than the Greeks. The muse has come down from the 
mountain and now dwells among men. Let us greet her, and she will 
reveal those living fountains of knowledge, which will give us power 
as useful citizens of this great commonwealth. 




An act to aid and encourage the " Nebraska State Historical Society." 

Be it enacted by the Legislaiwe of the State of Nebraska: 

Section 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an 
organization now in existence — Robt. W. Furnas, president; James 
M. Woolworth and Elmer S. Dundy, vice-presidents ; Samuel Aughey, 
secretary, and W. W. Wilson, treasurer, their associates and successors 
— be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Sec. 2. That it shall be the duty of the president and secretary 
of said institution to make annually reports to the gov^ernor, as re- 
quired by other state institutions. Said report to embrace the trans- 
actions and expenditures of the organization, together with all his- 
torical addresses, which have been or may hereafter be read before the 
society or furnished it as historical matter or data of the state or adja- 
cent western regions of country. 

Sec. 3. That said reports, addresses, and papers shall be published 
at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official re- 
ports, a reasonable number, to be decided by the state and society, to 
be furnished said society for its use and distribution. 

Sec. 4. That there be and is hereby appropriated annually the 
sum of five hundred dollars ($500) for the use and benefit of said 
" Nebjraska State Historical Society," to be used under the direction 
of its officers exclusively in defraying expenses, collecting and pre- 
serving historical matter, data, relics, for the benefit of the state. 

Approved February 27, a.d. 1883. 





The society shall be known as the Nebraska State Historical Society, 


1. The general object of this society shall be to encourage histori- 
cal research and enquiry, spread historical information, especially 
within the state of Nebraska, and to embrace alike aboriginal and 
modern history. 

2. The particular objects of this society shall be : First, The es- 
tablishment of a library of books and publications appropriate to such 
an institution, with convenient works of reference, and also a cabinet 
of antiquities, relics, etc.; Second, The collection into a safe and per- 
manent depository, of manuscripts, documents, papers, and tracts po5- 
sessing historical value and worthy of preservation ; Third, To en- 
courage investigation of aboriginal remains, and more particularly to 
provide for the complete and scientific exploration and survey of such 
aboriginaV monuments as exist within the limits of this state. 


1. The regular officers of this society shall consist of a president, 
two vice-presidents, a treasurer, corresponding secretary, and a record- 
ing secretary. 

'2. All the above named officers shall be chosen by ballot at the 
annual meeting of the society, and hold their respective offices until 
their successors shall be duly elected and qualified. 

3. Vacancies occurring from any cause in any of the regular of- 
fices of the society shall be filled by ballot at any regular meeting, 
notice of such election to be given by the recording secretary in call- 
ing the meeting at which such election shall take place. 




The membership of this society shall be composed of three classes, 
viz.: Active, correspond iDg, and honorary. 


To be an active member of this society the member must be a resi- 
denfc of the state of Nebraska. The active members shall exclusively 
<conduct its affairs, elect its officers, admit its members, and fill its 
^offices. They shall pay an admission fee of three dollars, and an an- 
nual assessment of two dollars, as long as they continue members. 


1, The admission of corresponding and honorary members shall 
he regulated by the by-laws. 

2. Such members shall have the right of attendance at any of the 
society's meetings, and of participating in any scientific or historical 
disciissions, but they shall not vote nor hold any regular office in the 
,^me, and they shall be exempt from all charges, fees, and assessments. 


L Failure to pay the regular assessment before the succeeding an- 
nual meeting shall entail forfeiture, unless the member is absent from 
the state and has not been duly notified by the society. 

2. Conduct unsatisfactory to the members, and by them deemed 
incompatible with membership, shall work a forfeiture. The mode 
^f enquiry and proceedings therein to be prescribed by the by-laws. 


1. The annual meeting for the election of officers shall be held on 
the second Tuesday of eTauuary in each year. Quarterly meetings may 
he held at such dates in April, July, and October, and at such places 
:as may be agreed upon and directed. 

2, All regular and special meetings of society shall be held at such 
time and places, and be conducted by such rules and order of business 
as shall be determined in the by-laws. 




Fivp active members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting ex- 
oept at the annual meeting for the election of officers, when the re- 
<][uired number shall be at least ten active members. 


Special meetings may be called under the direction of the president, 
or in case of his absence, by one of the vice-presidents, for the dis- 
patch of extraordinary business, of which seasonable written or printed 
notice shall be given to all the active members ; Provided, hoiuever, That 
the spirit of this constitution and the by-laws of the society shall in 
no case be violated by the transactions of such meeting. 


All manuscripts, correspondence, and unpublished papers deposited 
with this society shall be forever held by them in trust for the public 
benefit, and shall remain in possession of the society, unless otherwise 
directed by the donors, or those having legal control of the same. 
Copies of the same shall never be taken or removed out of the society's 
immediate custody, without express permission from the society, pre- 
viously asked and obtained. 


This society shall have a seal, bearing such emblems, devices, or 
mottoes as shall be agreed upon by the members. A suitable form of 
diploma or certificate of membership shall be furnished by the secre- 
tary, duly executed by the president, secretary, and treasurer, with 
the seal of the society attached thereto. 


The President. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at 
all meetings of the society, and to conduct its proceedings in conform- 
ity to its constitution and by-laws; Provided, however, That it may 
be at his discretion, and when present, to call any member temporarily 
to the chair. He shall also deliver an appropriate address at the 
close of his term of office. 



The Vice-Presidents. It shall be the duty of the vice-presidents, 
in the order of their election, to perform the duties of the president in 
his absence. 

Treasurer. The treasurer shall collect and have charge of the 
funds and securities of the society. He shall pay no moneys, except 
by a vote of the society, or by order of the board of directors. He 
shall keep regular and faithful accounts in proper books of the so- 
ciety of all moneys and securities of the society that may come into his 
hands, and of all receipts and expenditures connected with the same, 
and shall present a full and accurate report thereof to the society at 
their annual meeting. His accounts shall always be open to the in- 
spection of the board of directors, and he shall make a written quar- 
terly statement to said board of the amount then in the treasury^ He 
shall deposit all sums of money received or collected by him for the 
society in some banking house in the city of Lincoln, in the name of 
the society, as soon as he shall have in his hands or under his control 
the Slim of at least $25, and shall not draw out the same or any part 
thereof, except for payments duly authorized, and then only by his 
official check countersigned by the president or one of the vice-presi- 
dents, or chairman of directors. A copy of this article shall be left 
at the place of deposit, and the signatures of the officers for counter- 
signing, and of the treasurer, shall be always kept there. Whenever 
there shall be any occasion for the services of the treasurer, and the 
same cannot be had in convenient time, then any two of the board of 
directors may perform such duties with like effect and validity as if 
performed by the treasurer. He shall purchase a blank book at the 
expense of the society, which shall be regarded as official and the 
property of the society, and in which he shall enter every and all acts 
of his official doings, with their respective dates and balances struck 
at the time reports are made to the society, showing the statements to 
be exact copies of his cash book account. The treasurer shall be re- 
quired to give bonds with security, to be approved by the society, for 
the faithful performance of the duties of his office. The amount of 
said bond shall be determined by a vote of the society before the an- 
nual election of officers, and be increased from time to time as oc- 
casion may require. 

1. Recording Seeretary. The recording secretary shall keep a rec- 
ord of all the society^s meetings, which record shall be duly signed 



and certified by him and read at the opening of the .succeeding meet- 
ing for information and revision. He shall have charge of the seal, 
(charter, certificates, constitution, and records of the society. 

2. He shall also duly notify in print or writing, in conformity 
to the constitution and by-laws, the several active members of all 
meetings, and also all new members of their election. 

3. All written communications relating to the society and its 
operations, which may be received or made by him in the interval of 
the society's meetings, shall be duly preserved by him, and deposited 
with the society's collections, and a report of the same shall be made 
by him to the members at the next meeting. 

4. He shall have charge of the library and cabinet, including all 
manuscripts, papers, and documents in the society's possession, and do 
his utmost to increase the society's historical and biographical treas- 

6. He shall prepare a suitable catalogue of the same and have all 
papers and manuscripts properly numbered, filed, or arranged for se- 
curity and convenient reference. 

6. He shall keep an account of all books taken from the library 
by the members or any person specially authorized so to do by the 
society, and by whom taken, and mark their return. 

7. He shall in no case allow manuscripts to be taken from his 
possession, or copies of the same to be made, or articles to be removed 
from the cabinet, without express permission from the society previ- 
ously asked and obtained. 

8. He shall also keep a record of all donations, in a book specially 
set apart for that purpose, giving date of donations, how received, 
name of donor, where residing, full description of books, pictures^ 
manuscripts, tracts, antiquities, or relics presented, how said donations 
were disposed of by the society, and when acknowledgment was made 
to donor ; where donation is to be found, how endorsed, numbered^ 
and filed. 

9. It shall also be his duty to provide for the full security of all 
books and collections belonging to the society, by reporting, as occa- 
sion may require, their condition, and recommend such steps as he 
shall judge necessary for their perfect preservation, and make an an- 
nual report in writing to the society of all donations and general con- 
dition of cabinet and library. 



10. He shall perform all other duties specially required of him by 
the constitution and by-laws. 

11. In case of the absence of the secretary, a secretary j^ro tempore 
shall be appointed by the presiding officer. 

1 . Corresponding Secretary. To the corresponding secretary shall 
properly belong the charge of all communications and correspondence, 
not otherwise provided for, between this and other societies or indi- 
viduals, relating to the objects or operations of this society. 

2. He shall make report at the regular meetings of the society of 
all communications received or written by him, which shall be duly 
filed and deposited in the collections of the society. 


The offices of treasurer, recording secretary, and corresponding sec- 
retary, or any of them, may be conferred on the same individual, 
when in the judgment of the society the same shall be deemed expedi- 


Committees on Business. There shall be appointed by the president 
at the annual meeting, standing committees of business, to be com- 
posed of three members each, on the following subjects, namely: 

1. A Committee of Publication. To select and prepare all articles, 
papers, or essays proposed for publication by the society, and with its 
approval to superintend the printing thereof. 

2. A Committee on the Library and Cabinet. To counsel and as- 
sist the secretary in enlarging and preserving the society's collections, 
and also to prepare and recommend such regulations for the use of the 
same as shall be judged necessary, to be approved by the society. 

3. A Committee on Membership. 


Any officer of this society, or member of a standing committee may 
be removed from office by a vote of a majority of members present 
at any meeting ; Provided, That ten active members be present, and the 
party moved against be notified for two months next previous, if in 
the state of Nebraska. 




Every active member shall pay an initiation fee of $3, and an an- 
unal assessment of $2 to the treasurer within three months after the 
annual meeting, or incur an additional charge of twenty cents per 
month, as fine for not paying within the time specified. 


A revision of the list of members of this society shall be made at 
the annual meeting of the society for choice of officers, at which time 
shall be erased or discontinued the names of such members as by vir- 
tue of the society's constitution or by-laws shall have ceased to be en- 
titled to membership therein. 


Any person may be admitted as a corresponding member of this 
society by the vote of two-thirds of the members present at any meet- 
ing, provided that the candidate shall have been duly nominated at 
the preceding regular meeting, and the nomination regularly referred 
and considered by the committee on membership. 


Honorary members may be chosen by vote at any regular meeting, 
the nomination having been made and referred at the regular meeting 
previously held. 


In all cases of complaint against any member for misdemeanor, or 
conduct incompatible with membership, the party complained of shall 
be served by the secretary with a copy of the specific charges pre- 
ferred against him ; he shall also notify him to appear before the com- 
mittee on membership at a certain place and time therein specified, to 
show cause why he should not be dismissed from membership of the 
society. The decision of the committee on membership shall be sent 
to the defendant by the secretary. 




This constitution may be altered by the vote of a majority of the 
members present at any regular meeting, provided that ten of the 
members shall be present; And provided further, That any proposed 
alteration or amendment shall have been submitted at the second 
regular meeting next previously held, and read publicly at the last 
previous meeting to the one at which the vote shall be taken. 


1. The regular meetings of the society shall be held at such a 
place as the officers may select, on or near the second Tuesdays of Jan- 
uary, April, July, and October, the hour to be designated by the sec- 
retary in the notice of the meeting. 


2. Written or printed notice of each meeting shall be given by the 
secretary to the active members not less than three days next before 
such meeting shall be held, either through the post-office, or by leav- 
ing the same at their usual place of abode, or by publication in at least 
one of the daily newspapers published in the city of Lincoln. 


3. Any meeting of this society may be adjourned, whether a 
quorum be present or not, to such time as the majority of the mem- 
bers present shall determine ; Provided, however, That notice of that 
adjournment shall be given by the secretary to the members, as afore- 
said in section two. 


4. At any regular meeting of the society, a quorum being present, 
any member may propose others for corresponding or honorary mem- 
bership ; if seconded by two additional members, a vote shall be taken 
and a majority of two-thirds of the members present shall constitute 
an election. 



5. Af ter tlie publication of this constitution all new members shall 
be elected by ballot, a majority of three-fourths of the members — a 
quorum being present — shall constitute an election. And no one 
shall be deemed an active member until he has signed the register of 
members, or accepted his election as a member in writing. 


1. The president shall preside at all meetings, but in case of his 
absence, one of the vice-presidents shall take his place; and should 
both the president and vice-presidents be absent, a president pro tem- 
pore may be elected by a majority of the members present. 

2. Upon being called to order and duly organized, the proceedings 
of the society at its regular meetings shall be as follows : 

First The record of the proceedings held at the previous meeting 
shall be read. 

Second. This shall be followed by reports from the recording sec- 
retary, the librarian, and the corresponding secretary. 

Third. Reports from standing and special committees shall be 
next in order. 

Fourth. The secretary shall then call the roll of active members 
in alphabetical order, affording an opportunity to each member to 
-communicate any information, or propose any measure of interest to 
the society. All such communications must be put in writing and 
become the property of the society. 

Fifth. At any special meeting called for extraordinary business, of 
which the members shall be notified in the calls to the meeting, the 
order of proceeding at the regular meeting provided for in the pre- 
•ceding section (2), may be for the time being suspended or modified 
as shall be determined by a majority of the members present, but no 
other business shall be transacted besides that notified in the call, ex- 
cept such as may belong to the ordinary transactions of the society. 


All special committees shall be nominated by the presiding officer 
of the society for their approval unless their election shall be other- 
wise provided for by the express vote of a majority of the members 




The rules of order in this society at its meetings, unless otherwise 
specified in its by-laws, shall be those of Cushing's Manual. 

OFFICEES, 1885. 

RoBT. W. Furnas, President. 

J. M. WooLWORTH, First Vice-President. 

E. S. Dundy, Second 

W. W. Wilson, Treasurer. 

Geo. E. Howard, Recording Secretary. 

Clara B. Colby, Corresponding Secretary. 


Silas Garber, J. Sterling Morton, 
Ira^ng J. Man ATT, Lorenzo Crounse, 
H. T. Clarke. 




William Adair, Dakota 
J. T. Allan, Omaha. 
Samuel Aughey, Lincoln. 
Chas E. Bes-ey, Lincoln. 
John S. Bowen, Blair. 
William R,. Bowen, Omaha. 
J. C. Brodfeehrer, Dakota City. 

D. Brooks, Omaha. 

J. H. Brown, Lincoln. 
J. J. Budd, Omaha. 
David Butler, Pawnee City. 
John Cadman, Lincoln. 
Howard W. Caldwell, Lincoln. 
A. L. Child, Kansas City, Mo. 
Geo. E. Church, California. 
H. T. Clarke. 

Mrs. C. B. Colby, Beatrice. 
Hiram Craig, Blair. 
Lorenzo Crounse, Ft. Calhoun. 
J. H. Croxton, Denver. 
J. B. Dinsmore, Sutton 
Geo. W. Doane, Omaha. 

E. S. Dundy, Omaha. 
W. H. Filer, Blair. 

L. B. Fifield, Baltimore, Md. 
S. A. Fulton, Falls City. 
R, W. Furnas, Brownville. 
S. B. Galey, California. 
Silas Garber, Red Cloud. 
C. H. Gere, Lincoln. 
William Gilmore, Plattsmouth. 
J. Q. Goss, Bellevue. 

E. N. Grenell, Ft. Calhoun. 
Rev. Wm. Hamilton, Omaha 

Chris. Hartman, Omaha. 
H. W. Hardy, Lincoln. 
A. G. Hastings, Lincoln. 

F. J. Hendershot, Hebron. 
John Heth, Omaha. 

C. W. Hiatt, Lincoln. 

G. E. Howard, Lincoln. 
A. Humphrey, Lincoln. 
W. W. W. Jones, Lincoln. 
A. D. Jones, Omaha. 

H. S. Kaley,* Red Cloud. 
T. P. Kenuard'; Lincoln. 
L. A. Kent, Minden. 

' J. W. Love, Plattsmouth. 
J. H. MacMurphy, Grand Island. 
Irving J. Manatt, Lincoln. 
H. P. Mathewson, Lincoln. 
J. L. McConnell, Lincoln. 
J. D. McFarland, Lincoln. 
George L. Miller, Omaha. 
J. Sterling Morton,Nebraska City. 
O. A. Mullon, Lincoln. 
Theron Nye, Fremont. 
Geo. Osborne, Oakland. 
S. G. Owen, Lincoln. 

D. B. Perry, Crete. 

' Geo. W. Post, York. 
Edson Rich, Lincoln. 
H. H. Shedd, Ashland. 





L. B. W. Shiyock, Beatrice. 

E. Shugart, Beatrice. 

I. W. Small, Fairfield. 

Moses Stocking,* Wahoo. 

J. M. Taggart, Palmyra. 

S. R. ThompsoD, Pennsylvania. 

V. Vifquain, Lincoln. 

C. H. Walker, Butler county. 

J. L. Webster, Omaha. 

C. O. Whedon, Lincoln. 

D. H. Wheeler, Omaha. 
R. H. Wilber, Omaha. 
C. D. Wilber, Wilber. 

0. T. B. Williams, Seward. 
W. W. Wilson, Lincoln. 
J. M. Woolworth, Omaha. 

^ Dead. 


Act, the organic of State Historical Society, 218. . 
Active members of State Historical Society, 229-230, 
Addresses, animal before State Historical Society, 149-217. 

Admission of Nebraska into the Union, address of Hon. Charles H. Gere before the 

State Historical Society, 162-173. 
Autobiography of Kev. William Hamilton, 60-73. 

Biography of Amelia Fontenelle Lockett, 89; of the Fontenelles, by Mrs Thompson, 
90-93; of Governor Francis Burt, 93; of Gov. Samuel W. Black, 94-95; of 
Mrs. Mary T. Mason 96-100; of Dr. Gilbert C. Monell, 100-102; of Hon. 
Phineas W. Hitchcock, 102-103; of Joel T. Griffen, 104-106; of Bishop Robert 
H. Clarkson, 106-111; of Dr. Enos Lowe, 111-114; of Caroline Joy Morton, 
115-127; of Moses Stocking, 128-137; of Rev. William McCandlish, 138; of 
John McCormick, 139-140; of S. S. Caldwell, 140-141; of Hon. John Tafife, 
141-142; of Elder J. M. Young, 142-144; of Charles Powell, 144; of Rev. Al- 
vin G. White, 145. 

Black, Gov. Samuel W., biographical account of, 94-95. 

Bloomer, Mrs. Amelia, her account of first woman's suffrage movement in Ne- 
braska, 58-60. 

Burt, Gov. Francis, biographical sketch of, 93; referred to, 151. 

Child, Dr. A. L., address of, on Rush for Gold at Pike's Peak, 174-180. 
Clarke, Hon. H. T., mentioned by Henry Fontenelle, 83. 
Clarkson, Bishop Robert H., biography of, 106-111. 
Colonization, Ancient, 152-154; English, 154 £f. 

Convention to memorialize Congress relative to extinguishing Indian title, 38. 
Constitution and by-laws of State Historical Society, 219-228. 
Coronado, the discoverer of Nebraska, 180-202. 

County histories, list of in possession of State Historical Society, 23-24. 
Cuming, Gov. Thomas B., 151. 

Discovery of Nebraska by Coronado, 180-202. 

Emigration, The Philosophy of, address of Hon. J. M. Woolworth, 151-161. 

Female suffrage, the first movement in Nebraska, 58-60. 
Fontenelle, Amelia, Mrs. Thompson's account of, 90-93. 

Fontenelle, Henry, account of Indian names of streams and localities, 76 ; history 

of Omaha Indians, 77-83. 
Fontenelle, Logan, account of by Henry Fontenelle, 81-83; birth and descent of, 


Fontenelle, Lucien, Mrs. Thompson's account of, 90-93. 



Fort Atkinson or Fort Calhoun, letters of Father Be Smet relating to, 42-44; men- 
tioned by W. H. Woods, 49. 

Furnas, Robert W., letters to Dr. Geo. L. Miller relative to first white child born 
in Nebraska, 44-45; on traditional origin of Omaha Indians, 48-49; anecdotes 
of ' ' White Cow " or White Buffalo ' ' by, 83-85 ; annual address as president of 
State Historical Society, 149-151. 

Gere, Hon. Charles H., on the admission of Nebraska into the Union, address before 

the State Historical Society, 162-173. 
Gold at Pike's Peak, the rush for, 174-180. 
Griffen, Joel T., biography of, 104-106. 

Hamilton, Rev. William, letter to Robert W. Furnas relative to first white child 
born in Nebraska, 45-46; letter to A. D. Jones relating to the Omaha and 
other Indians, 47-48; autobiography of, 60-73; on local names of Indian origin, 

Harnois, John, letter of, relative to first white child born in Nebraska, 45. 
Hitchcock, Hon. Phineas W. , biographical sketch of, 102-103. 
Historical Block, proceedings relating to, 18-20. 
Histories of counties, list of, 23-24. 

Historical recollections in and about Otoe county, paper of James Fitche, 27-31 ; 
letter of S. F. Nuckolls, 32-37; Otoe county in early days, paper of E. H. 
Cowles, 37-42. 

History, the place of in modern education, 202-217; a science, 207; institutional 
character of, 207; as a means of mental discipline, 211; its use as a moral in- 
structor, 214; as teacher of humanism, 215. 

Howard, Geo. E,, address on the place of history in modern education, 202-217. 

Indian names, meaning of, 47-49, 71-76. 
Indians, religion of, 72. 
Indian tribes, how related, 71. 
Indians, see Omaha Indians. 

Jones, A. D., letter to Dr. Geo. L. Miller relative to first white child born in Ne- 
braska, 46-47. 

Johns Hopkins University, the leader in the new movement in history, 205. 
Local names, 47-49, 73-75. 

Lockett, Amelia Fontenelle, biographical sketch of, 89; account of by Mrs. Thomp- 
son, 90-93. 
Lowe, Dr. Enos, biography of, 111-114. 

Majors, Alexander, address of to ox-teamsters of first freighting train, 1858, 35-37. 
Mason, Mrs. Mary T., biographical sketch of, 96-100. 
Marriage, first at Kearney (Nebraska City), 30. 
McCandlish, Rev. William, biographical notice of, 138. 
McCormick, John, biographical notice of, 139-140. 

Miller, Dr. Geo. L., his biographical sketch of Bishop Clarkson, 106-111. 
Monell, Dr. Gilbert C, biography of, 100-102. 
Morton, Mrs. Caroline Joy, biography of, 115-127. 



Morton, J. Sterling, iiddress at banquet, 33-34. 
Names, local, 47-49, 73-75. 

Nebraska, admission of into the Union, 162-173; the discovery of by Coronado. 

Nuckolls, S. F., letter of, 32-37; member of convention relative to extinguishing 
Indian title, 38. 

Officers of State Historical Society, 228. 

Omaha Indians, history of by Henry Fontenelle, 77-83; traditional origin of, 48- 

49; account of by Father Hamilton, 47-48, 68 ff. 
Organic act of State Historical Society, 218. 
Origin of State Historical Society, 13-16. 
Otoe county, early history of, 27-42. 

Philosophy of emigration, address of Hon. J. M. Woolworth, 151-161. 
Pike's Peak, rush for gold at, address of Dr. A. L. Child, 174-180. 
Powell, Charles, biographical sketch of, 144. 
Proceedings of State Historical Society, 16-22. 

Quivera, located in Nebraska, 194 ff. 

Eussell, Majors and Waddell, freighters, 1858, 35-36. 

Sarpy, Peter, in connection with G-aterwell treaties, 65. 
Savage, Judge James W., his address on the discovery of Nebraska, 180-202. 
Squatter Settlement before extinguishing of Indian title in Nebraska, 40-42. 
State Historical Society, origin of, 13-16; proceedings, 16-22; collections of, 23-24; 

relics in possession of, 56-58; report of treasurer of, 21-22; organic act, 218; 

constitution and by-laws, 219-228; present active members of, 229-230. 
Stocking, Moses, biography of, 128-137. 

Smet, Father de, letters relating to Fort Atkinson or Council Bluffs, 42-44; men- 
tioned by Mrs. Thompson in connection with Lucien Fontenelle, 91 ; officiates 
at marriage of Lucien Fontenelle, father of Logan, 89, 91, 92. 

Taffe, Hon. John, biographical sketch of, 141-142. 

Thompson, Mrs. A. L., account of Lucien and Amelia Fontenelle, 90-93. 
Treasurer's report, 21-22. 

Washington county, early history of, 49-56. 

White Cow or White Buffalo, Henry Fontenelle's account of, 79-80; anecdotes 

concerning, by Eobert W. Furnas, 83-85. 
White, Rev. Alvin G., biographical sketch of, 145. 

Wilson, W. W., report of as treasurer of State Historical Society, 21-22. 
Woods, W. H. , letters of relating to antiquities of Washington county, 49-56. 
Woolworth, Hon. J. M., his address on the philosophy of emigration, 151-161. 

Young, Elder J. M., biographical sketch, 142-144, 


Page 204, lines 21 and 22 should read: "as Bryce, Stubbs, or Freeman at Ox- 
ford, and Seeley at Cambridge," etc.