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3 1833 02595 0533 

Gc 973.2 N27p v.9,Ser.2,v.4 
Nebraska State Historical- 
Publications of the Nebraska 
State Historical. Society 




At Home and in Congress 



United States Senator for Nebraska, 1867-1875 




\ • I 

I H 


972. & 







President— * J. Sterling Mobton, Nebraska City. 
First Vice-President— Robert W. Fubnas, Brownville. 
Second Vice-President— Chables Sumnek Lobingieb, Omaha. 
Treasurer— C. H. Geke, Lincoln. 
Secretary— H. W. Caldwell, Lincoln. 

* Died April 27, 1902. 


J\\ Amos Barrett, Librarian and Assistant Secretary. 
A. E.Sheldon, Director of Field Work. 
E. E. Blackman, Archeologist. 
Clarence S. Paine, Collector of Curios. 
Daisy M. 1'alin, Newspaper Clerk. 

COMMITTEES FOR 1902-1903. 

Publication— H. W. Caldwell, S. L. Geisthardt, Charles S. Dundey. 
Obituaries— R. \V. Furnas. Geo. L. Miller, A. L. Bixby. 
Program— H. \V. Caldwell, A. E. Sheldon, A. T. Richardson. 
Library — Jay Amos Barrett, Miss Edith Tobitt, Albert Watkins. 
Mhtseum and Collections — Jay Amos Barrett, C. ,S. Paine. II. T. Clarke 

Annual meeting of the Society, second Tuesday in January. 
Meetings of Executive Board, first Tuesday alter second Monday in Janu- 
ary, April, July, ( October. 




CHAPTER I. Territorial Governors 1-73 

Francis Burt 1- 2 

Thomas B. Cuming 3- 8 

Mark W. Izard 9-16 

William A. Bichardson 17-20 

J. Sterling- Morton 21-47 

Samuel W. Black 4S-55 

Algernon S. Paddock 56-60 

Alvin Saunders 61-73 

CHAPTER II. Territorial Delegates 74-103 

Introduction 74- 76 

Napoleon B. Giddings 77- 78 

Bird B. Chapman 79- 81 

Fenner Ferguson 82- 85 

Experience Esta brook 86- 88 

Samuel G. Daily 89 

J. Sterling Morton 90- 99 

Phineas W. Hitchcock 100-103 

CHAPTER III. State Governors 104-210 

David Butler 104-117 

William H. James 118-119 

Robert W. Furnas 120-134 

Silas Garber 135-140 

Albinus Nance 141-147 

James W. Dawes 148-159 

John M. Thayer 160-175 

James E. Boyd 176-201 

Lorenzo Crounse 

Silas A. Holcomb 206-210 

CHAPTER IV. State Senators ~ ' ' - ;>: ' 

Preliminary Historical Sketch 211-215 

Thomas W. Tipton ~ ' ' 

John M. Thayer 267-278 

Phineas W. Hitchcock 279_2 

Algernon S. Paddock 2f 

Alvin Saunders 

Charles H. Van Wyck :: 

„, , „ ,, -. 333-361 

Charles F. Manderson 

William V. Allen 362 " 




CHAPTEE V. Representatives 386-556 

T. M. Man | urn 386-389 

John Taffe 390-394 

Lorenzo Crounse 395-409 

Frank Welch 410-413 

Thomas J. Majors 414 

Edward K. Valentine 415-420 

Archibald J. Weaver 421-425 

.lames Laird 426-438 

Gilbert L. Laws 439-442 

William J. Connell 443-448 

George W. E. Dorsey 449-454 

John A. McShane 455-461 

William J. Bryan 462-500 

William A. McKeighan 501-516 

Omer M. Kem 517-528 

Eugene J. Plainer 529-537 

David H. Mercer 538-549 

George D. Meiklejohn 550-556 



Thomas Weston Tipton. Frontispiece. 


J. Sterling Morton, 1858 24 

J. Sterling Morton, 1896 96 

David Butler 104 

U. W. Furnas 120 

J. E. Boyd 1 76 

Lorenzo Crounse 202 

Silas A. Holcomb 208 

Charles P. Manderson 336 

William V. Allen 368 

William Jennings Brya n 464 

<=Jfy ^^c (^cZb^trz^L . 



After a continuous residence of thirty-three years in Nemaha 
County, four of which were with the celebrated First Nebraska 
Regiment, and eight in the United States Senate, having suffered 
a sudden loss of health, I found a very pleasant pastime and most 
genial employment in recalling the early days of Nebraska pioneer- 

My first impulse was to utter opinions of men and measures. 
But remembering how liable we all are to make mistakes, and being 
fearful of doing injustice, by omission or prejudice, to some of my 
associates, I determined, as far as possible, to become only the re. 
corder of their public works and compiler of their sentiments and 
oratorical gems. 

My theme, Forty Years of Nebraska at Home and in Congress, 
brought into review fifty officials, — eight territorial governors, six 
delegates in congress, ten state governors, eight United States sena- 
tors, and eighteen members of the house of representatives. The 
number required brevity. The one million new-comers and young 
generation were to be instructed, and the considerate and merciful 
criticism invoked of the remaining fifty-eight thousand old settlers. 

I acknowledge nry indebtedness to ex-governor Furnas for the 

use of his invaluable library, to the Illustrated History of Nebraska, 

and to the Congressional Globe and Record. 


607 Florida Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. 
May 30, 1S94. 



Page 21, Note. For Joseph D. Morton read Julius Dewey Morton. 

Page 55, Note. For III. read /. 

Page 57, line 18. For Nebr., Territory read Nebraska Territory. 




Aug. 2 to Oct. IS, 1854. 

The sad history of Governor Burt 1 of South Carolina, the 
first governor of Nebraska, is soon written. He was appointed 
by President Pierce and reached the Territory at the Mission 
House at Bellevue, now of Sarpy county, on the 7th day of Oc- 
tober, 1854, just four months and seven days subsequent to the 
passage of the act organizing the Territory. Coming there 
much indisposed, he died on the 18th of the same month of his 
arrival, having taken the oath of office on the 16th of October, 
18.~)4. and closing a two days' term of official life. He has been 
spoken of as "a man of stern integrity and unblemished charac- 
ter, greatly beloved by those who knew him," and in the pecu- 
liar terms of that day, as "an accomplished southern gentle- 

1 Governor Francis Burt: Nebr. State Hist. Soc. Pub., sec. series, I., 25-38; first series, 
I., 93 (biog. from X. Y. Times, Nov. 9, 1854); II., 19. Savage and Bell, Hist. oj Omaha, 
50. The following genealogy of the Hurt family is furnished by Miss Katharine Burt, 
daughter of Gov. Francis Burt: 

Matthew Burt [b. before 1732, Mecklinburg, Va.: m., Harwood; after Rev- 
olution, moved to Edgefield, S. C; d., ] had 14 children: Harwood, Matthew, 

Philip. Edward, John, Francis, William, Robert, Garland, Moody, Susan. Martha, Mary. 
Ann. Francis Burt [b. about 17.74; m. Katharine Miles (dau. of Aquila .Miles, and 

Harriet Giroud who was dau. of Jourdan. dau. of French Huguenot, and win. 

had 8 children: Susan. Rebecca, Katharine. Paniilia, Amelia. .lack. Lois. Aquila); d., 

] had 10 children : Louis, Matthew, Oswald, Armistead, Francis, Erasmus, Harriet, 

Eliza. Katharine, Pamilia. Francis Burt [b. Jan. 13, 1807; m.. 1831, Georgians Hall, 
dau. George Abbott Hall of Charleston (son of Geo. A. Hall and Lois Matthew-, sister 
of Mrs. Thomas Hayward whose husband was signer of Declaration of Independence I 
and Anne Dawson (b. Oct. 9, 1774; dau. John Dawson and Joanna Mouck ; descendant 
Dr. Henrv Woodward; m., 1806)] had six children: Frank (d. 1850), Georgians (m. 
W T illiam H. Dawson, 1854; d. 1882), Harriet (m. D. M. Young. ISlis,. Armistead in. 
Laura Rippeton, 1887), Joanna (m. George Robert, now deceased, 1879), Katharine I b. 
1842, lives Macon, Ga.), Mary (m. William A. Johnston, 1871: d. 1879), George Abbott 
{"Frank"; m. Minnie Nutting, 1881). 

2 (1) 


The Secretary of the Territory, T. B. Cuming, of Iowa, imme- 
diately assumed the duties of acting-governor, and his procla- 
mation, announcing the sorrowful death, draping the national 
flags, and appointing an escort, was the first executive utter- 



Oct. 18, 1854 to Feb. 20, 1855, and Oct. 25. 1857 to Jan. 12, 1858. 

The first Territorial Legislature of Nebraska convened Jan- 
uary 10, 1855, Acting-Governor Thomas B. Cuming delivering 
the message. In that document he said: 

The first official act within our Territory has been indeed 
a mournful one, the transmission to a bereaved wife and 
orphaned children in South Carolina of all that was mortal 
of your late lamented governor, Francis Burt. In his death 
you have suffered a severe loss — the loss of a man peculiarly 
qualified by his public experience and capacity, his private 
virtues, and his energy and firmness, for the satisfactory 
and courageous discharge of his official duties. He spent 
but a few weeks of suffering" among - us, and his grave in < 

a far off State is only another tie of union between com- 
munities widely severed, who will revert to his memory 
with fraternal pride, and to his untimely decease with 
sympathetic sorrow. 

There were no unpleasant discriminations to subtract 
from the universal esteem in which his manly and amiable 
traits were held by an enlightened people; and the fact that 
South Carolina has given us one of her distinguished sons, 
is accompanied upon your record by the expression of your 
undivided respect and affection. i 


The Territory being without a system of civil or criminal law. 
■or corporations, financial institutions, or public works, as rail- 
roads, bridges or highways, the foundations were to be laid, 
and superstructures erected. In the absence of financial re- 
sources, appeals were made for congressional aid. in behalf of 
the Pacific railroad, telegraph and mail facilities, a chain of 
military posts for emigrant protection, ami land donations for 
all conceivable purposes. 

Having hoped for the arrival of Governor Burt's successor 
up to the meeting of the legislature, and not wishing i<» pledge 

1 Council Journal. 1st session, pp. 8-9. 


him to any specific policy, the acting-governor dealt in brief 
and general allusions and closed as follows: 


I could not forbear, gentlemen, in transferring to another 
the trust reposed in me, from expressing a pride that, our 
Territory being thus speedily built up :is another arch in 
the national fabric, your public acts and counsels will 
contribute to defend and perpetuate the Union and the 
Constitution of the United States as the only sure founda- 
tion of our civil liberties. I trust that your delibera- 
tions, by the blessing- of Divine Providence, may be con- 
ducted with efficiency and prudence, and that the most 
ardent hopes of each one of you who have confronted the 
hardships and trials of pioneer life, may be realized in the 
promotion of the lasting- good of our vast and promising- 
young Territory. 1 

When the 41 h Legislative Assembly convened December Sth, 
is.")7. Secretary Cuming, being again acting-governor, delivered 
a message congratulatory and instructive: 

We are assembled today under the most favorable aus- 
pices. The Territory of Nebraska has, thus far, achieved 
all that her friends could ask. Her early organization and 
rapid progress have signally illustrated the safety and ex- 
pansive force of the principles of the Federal compact, 
from which naturally sprang her organic act. 

On account of Nebraska's close proximity to the Anti-Slavery 
strife in Kansas, where the slave power was determined to 
enthrone the "peculiar institution,'' and the resident citizens 
Mere equally devoted to the free soil and free men, the gover- 
nor made the following allusions: 

Although la incut able dissensions have given to our sister 
territory a wider notoriety, we may well congratulate each 
other upon the verification of the political truth. "Happy 
is thai people whose annals are tranquil." Safe, thus far. 
from the interference of reckless agitators and the mad 
efforts of intolerant fanatics, we can furnish to the world 
an enviable proof of the legitimate effect of the genius and 
spirit of our republican institutions. 

Among his recommendations be mentioned the fact that the 
1 CouncilJournal, 1st session, V2. 


citizens of Omaha bad contributed $50,000 to aid in completing 
the Capitol building for which Congress should reimburse them; 
and that the government should give the territory a surveyor 
general; distribute troops along the emigrant line of travel; 
make appropriations for railroad construction and for bridging 
the rivers and streams on the United States mail routes, lie 
drew a very true picture of the evils of unrestricted and riegli 
gent banking and demanded all the safeguards that prudence 
could dictate. 

The few days allowed for a session of the legislature had 
demonstrated the fact that legal enactments were limited, con 
fused and contradictory, and needed constant amendments and 
comparisons with the legislation of older communities. 

The thoughtful reader will understand that the laws, regula- 
tions and customs of a new and formative society will be con- 
stantly superseded by the progress of intellectual and physical 

This final message of Governor Cuming closed as follows: 

T have thus presented to you, gentlemen, plainly and 
hurriedly, such considerations as have occurred to me, un- 
certain, until the eve of your assembling, whether in my in- 
cidental position, such a communication would be required. 
Once before we have met under similar circumstances. Since 
that initial period, the bitterness of sectional strife has been 
measurably allayed. Strange faces and new interests have 
taken their places upon the stage and many of the actors in 
our early history have passed away, or been lost in the 
throng of events. Men, out of repair politically and morally, 
will continue to be prostrated, one by one, and their names 
expire with the forgotten influences of the past; but our 
powerful young Territory will move on with augmented 
and prevailing force and realize, in its future fortunes, all 
that human hope or ambition can anticipate or wish. Acting 
for that Territory in a coordinate capacity, and in view of 
the mutations of public affairs, and in the vicissitudes of life. 
permit me to assure you. each and all, that I cherish a 
sincere desire for your success, individually, as well as in 
your endeavors to promote the public good. May no per- 
sonal resentment or local alienations hereafter mar the 
harmony which should inspire the intercourse of Hie repre- 
sentatives of the government and of our people. May no 


boundary Datura] or artificial prevent tin' union of all our 
energies, in building up an eminent, honored and thriving 
State. May yon be prospered in all your laudable aims, and 
alter performing the high duty of legislating for a patriotic 

and confiding people, return in health to the comforts and 

friendships of your respective homes. 

Within three months from the date of tins official document, 
its author had passed from earth, and at the meeting of the 
next legislature, Governor Richardson said: "The Territory lias 
lost one of her brightest intellects, one whose genius and at- 
tainments had inspired his many friends with high hopes and 
marked out for him a brilliant and useful future. T. B. Cuming, 
Secretary of the Territory, has been called away forever." 1 

The legislature having referred this message to a committee, 
the following report 2 was made by its chairman, Hon. R. W. 
Furnas, subsequently governor: 

Thomas B. Cuming was appointed secretary of the Terri- 
tory of Nebraska by Franklin l'ierce. President of the United 
States, upon the organization of the Territory, and entering 
at once upon the discharge of the duties of his office, lie 
arrived here in the month of September, 1854. By the 
untimely deeease of Governor Burt, he succeeded to the 
supreme executive and became ex-officio Governor of Ne- 
braska. How ably he filled that office, those living can 
testify. In the organization of the first legislature, sur- 
rounded as he was by conflicting elements, threatened by 
tierce contending factions, standing in imminent danger of 
personal violence, he wavered not once in his fealty to the 
general government, nor in his fidelity to the trust reposed 
in him. Throughout the whole duration of those trouble- 
some times be pursued a policy, the sagacity of which was 
proved by its success, and the wisdom of which is evidenced 
by the present prosperous position of the Territory which 
he governed. Upon the resignation of Governor Izard, he 
again assumed the executive office and Prom that time till 
near his death maintained it. Me has been identified with 
the Territory ever since its organization, as one of its 
highest officers, lie died with the mantle of authority still 
about him. in the land which he had chosen for his own; 
in the country which he had ruled so well. Me was buried 
with his honors fresh upon him; from the halls where he was 

' Council Journal, 5th session. 15. 
• Council Journal, 5th session, 30-31. 


wont to tread among a people that delighted to do him 
reverence. He was followed To his grave by those who were 
his friends, and the soil for which he had lived and labored 
received his remains. His requiem was tolled bv the silence 
of those who knew what they had lost, and 'if you seek his 
monument look around you.' Besides being- for a long time 
the first executive officer of the Territory, he was in many 
respects the first man of Nebraska. And hereafter when 
the roll of the greal men of the Territory is called, and 
the name of Thomas 15. Cuming is pronounced the first upon 
the list, let the answer be as it was with the surviving com- 
rades of La Tour, D'Auverne, first grenadier of the army 
of France, "Died on the field of honor." The closing moments 
of an existence, checkered as his has been by worldly con- 
tests, cannot but attract attention. His life was no holiday- 
but almost every moment of it had been passed in the busy 
thoroughfares of the world, and when finally prostrated by 
disease, the closing acts of his public life were characterized 
with the same energy and decision which made his character 
what it was. Your committee have in this hurried manner 
discharged the duty imposed upon them. They are con- 
scious of their inability to present a report for your con- 
sideration commensurate with their estimation of the man. 
and their appreciation of Thomas B. Cuming as an executive 
officer. Your committee would close their report by express- 
ing their earnest hope that here in the shadow of the 
Capitol, about whose arches the spirit of the deceased may 
linger: that here the memory of those sectional disputes 
among which the latter part of his life was unavoidably 
passed. will cause this legislature to avoid them, and unite 
for the furtherance of such measures as shall be for the 
good of the whole country. 

Never was the pathway of a youno' politician beset with 
greater perplexities and temptations than those surrounding; 
the first temporary executive of the Territory of Nebraska. To 
be unexpectedly called upon to assume the duties of another, 
and expected to evolve a government from a state of elementary 
chaos, in the absence of precedents, would have required all 
that age, experience and human sagacity could have furnished. 
While it beeame his duty to designate the place for the assem- 
bling of the first session of the legislature, the final question 
of Capitol location was left to the representatives of the people; 
but inasmuch as the place of the first meeting would have the 


prestige of an incipient Capitol, his decision was sought in the 
spirit of desperation. What there was of settlement, was di- 
vided by the Platte River into North and South, while in the two 
antagonistic sections, three rival towns in each were ready to 
destroy their local competitors to gain a permanent advantage. 
These were Bellevue, Omaha and Florence to the north, and 
Plattsmouth, Nebraska City and Brownville to the south. 

Bellevue, having been the place where the tirst governor 
landed and died, and whence his acting successor issued the 
first official proclamation, and possessing the most beautiful 
location, had many reasons to anticipate becoming the perma- 
nent seat of government. 

When, therefore, Mr. Cuming, having ordered the taking of 
a census, in L854, and the election of members of a legislature 
and of a delegate to Congress, appointed the assembling of the 
first session for Omaha, the clans were mustered for war. In 
the absence of courts to issue the quo warranto or mandamus, 
appeal was occasionally made to the knife and revolver, and 
under mental conditions affected by the use of money or whis- 
key. Accordingly, in 1858, when the location question was again 
revived, and Secretary Cuming was once more acting-governor, 
after Governor Izard's resignation, a majority of the legislature 
removed to Florence, eight miles up the river, and called upon 
li iin for the records in possession of the minority at Omaha. 

Before a solution of this complication was secured Gov. Rich- 
ardson of Illinois arrived and, assuming control, released the 
young official once more to his original duty of secretary of the 
Territory, which place he filled until early in the spring of 1858, 
when he was stricken by death, in his 28th year. 



Feb. 20, 1855 to Oct. 25, 1S57. 

In the illustrated history of Nebraska, a writer quoting from 
the Omaha Herald, proceeds as follows: "Mark W. Izard, who 
eame into the Territory as United States marshal, was ap- 
pointed successor to Governor Burt, and the ball was given 
in honor of his excellency." It might be here parenthetically 
stated that when the governor was to read his inaugural mes- 
sage he arranged it so that a negro was to announce his ap- 
proach to the legislative chamber, by saying, "Mr. Speaker, the 
Governor is now approaching"; but forgetting his text he elec- 
trified the assembled wisdom with, "Mr. Speaker, de Grub'ner 
hab done come." The following is from the Herald: 

Izard was a stately character physically; mentally, rather 
weak, and felt a lively sense of the dignity with which the 
appointment clothed him. He had never known such an 
honor before, and it bore upon him heavily. To the few per- 
sons who then constituted the population of the city, the 
governor was careful to intimate a desire to have his 
gubernatorial advent suitably celebrated. The factious and 
wary Cuming suggested- the idea of giving Izard an executive 
ball. The larger of the two rooms, which then constituted 
the building, was the theatre of a scene perhaps the most 
ludicrous that was ever witnessed in the history of public 
receptions. The room had a single coat of what was called 
plastering, composed of a frozen mixture of mud and ice, 
and a very thin coating at that. The floor was rough and 
unplaned, and not altogether safe for those who preferred 
the upright position. It had been energetically scrubbed for 
the occasion. The night being- dreadfully cold and the 
heating - apparatus failing to warm the room, the water froze 
upon the floor and could not be melted by any then known 
process. Rough cottonwood boards on either side of the 
room were substituted for chairs. The hour of seven having 
arrived, the grand company began to assemble. Long before 
the appointed hour his Arkansas excellency appeared in 
the dancing hall. He and Jim Orton and "the hand" of 
Council Eluffs reached the scene about the same moment. 


The governor was \ ery polite to Jim, and Jim was just "tight" 
enough to be correspondingly polite to the governor, while 

[zard was the guesl of nine ladies, who were all that could 
be mustered, even for a state occasion in Omaha. They were 
Mrs. (i. L. Miller. Mrs. T. 1!. Cuming, Mrs. I-Ynner Ferguson, 
Mrs. .1. Sterling Morton. Mrs. ('. B. Smith, Mrs. Fleming 
Davidson, Mrs. A. .1. Eanscom, Mrs. A. I). Jones, and Mrs. 
S. I-;. Rogers. Two of the ladies could not dance, and their 
places were supplied by the same number of gentlemen. 
The governor had a son by the name of James. He was his 
excellency's private secretary, and wishing to present a high 
example of style, he came in at a late hour escorting' Mrs. 
Davidson. His bearing was fearfnlly stately and dignified. 
He wore a white vest and white kids, as any gentleman 
would do, but these were in rather discordant contrast 
with the surroundings. Paddock, Poppleton. Cuming, Smith, 
Morton, Ferguson, Goodwill, Clancy, Folsom, and Dr. Miller, 
besides a large assembly of legislators, attended. .Tim Orton 
was the solitary fiddler, occupying a corner of the jooni. 
The dance was opened and it was a gay and festive occasion. 
During the dance several accidents happened. One lady, 
now well known in Omaha, fell fiat; others did likewise. 
The supper came off about midnight, and consisted of coffee 
with brown sugar, but no milk, sandwiches of a peculiar 
size, very thick, and made up of a singular mixture of bread 
of radical complexion, and bacon. The menu was supple- 
mented with dried apple pie. and there being no tables in 
those days, was passed around. The governor having long 
lived in a hot climate, stood around shivering with the cold. 
but bore himself with amiable fortitude, buoyed up with 
the honors thus showered upon him, and at the proper time, 
under a deep sense of his own consequence, made a speeidi 
returning- thanks for the high honor done him. 

On the 20th day of February, 1855, the successor of Governor 
Burt having arrived, Secretary Cuming introduced him to the 
legislature in ;i most complimentary speech, which was replied 
to iii a manner indicating that "honors were easy," and eulo- 
giums ai par. 

Mr. Cuming: We congratulate you and ourselves, Sir, that 
the blessing of prosperity and harmony, and the glory of 
greal hopes for the future are- light ing up your path, which 
the vigorous arm of popular sovereignty has carved out 
and upon which we have entered. * * * We feel assured, 
Sir. that a glorious destiny will result from that manifesta- 


tion of the popular will which has already fixed the west- 
ward "march of empire"; and we rejoice in the assurance 
that you will hereafter occupy a prominent place among the 
benefactors of commerce, the promoters of patriotism and 
the friends of mankind. i 

To which the governor replied: 

1 return my sincere thanks to you for the kind and compli- 
mentary manner in which you have received me. In the 
difficulties through which you have passed, and the embar- 
rassments which you have unavoidably encountered in the 
organization of this now prosperous and growing Territory. 
I am conscious you had at heart the welfare of the 
whole Territory. 1 return to you my sincere thanks for the 
cordial welcome and friendly feeling witli which you have 
received me. * * " :: * I feel that there is wisdom and in- 
tegrity enough here to lay the foundation for a government, 
the blessings of which are soon to be enjoyed by a popula- 
tion unparalleled in the settlement of any country, a popu- 
lation which will vie in point of morals and intelligence 
with any country, new or old. 2 

These few complimentary extracts may suffice as introduc- 
tory to an official acquaintance and a prelude to the governor's 
first message 3 of February 27, 1855, which ran as follows: 

The circumstances under which I make this, my first 
official communication to your honorable body, are some- 
what peculiar, my arrival in the Territory having been 
delayed by causes entirely beyond my control, until a late 
day of the session. I cannot flatter myself that I am 
officially familiar with the progress already made, to indi- 
cate a course of policy for the government of your future 
actions, with as much clearness and precision as 1 could 
desire, but finding the session fast drawing to a close, and 
the more important matters of legislation which are of 
vital interest to the people of the Territory, yet in their 
incipient state, or wholly untouched, I feel it my duty to 
call your attention to the subject, and recommend to 
your favorable consideration such measures as \ deem im- 
portant for the speedy organization of the Territory, and 
future peace and harmony of our young and growing com- 

1 Council Journal, 1st session, 78. 
- Council Journal, 1st "session, 78, 79. 
'Council Journal, 1st session, 97-00. 


The length of the session being limited to forty days by the 
organic act, he recommended that the code of Iowa for civil and 
criminal practice be adopted, and that a general election law be 
framed, and a system of territorial revenue be established, and 
rules and regulations prescribed for defining the rights of set- 
tlers under the act of Congress. There was a most pressing 
necessity for the admonition against special legislation, instead 
of general laws, for all manner of persons were under a frenzy 
of excitement in order to acquire charters for banks, ferries and 
endless corporations, the erection of counties and location of 
towns, and for the permanent establishment of the capital. 
whereby a fictitious value should at once be attached to real 
estate, and vast fortunes amassed. The legislature then in ses- 
sion was not responsible to any settled and well defined con- 
stituencies; and many members were citizens of other states. 
mere adyenturers, who, being on prospecting tours, found time 
lo take part in the first organization. On the eighth day of the 
session, charges were made against six members of the council 
for want of citizenship, and one for being a minor, leaving six 
to assume valid citizenship; and inasmuch as a large immigra- 
tion was expected before another election, a preamble and reso- 
lutions were introduced in the council suggesting a general 
resignation of the members and a new election. 

Closing his message, the governor said: 

Having the fullest confidence in your wisdom, integrity 
and patriotism, I invoke the blessing' of the Divine Being 
upon your deliberations and look forward with lively an- 
ticipations for the result of this, the first legislative as- 
sembly of the Territory of Nebraska, to bring honor and 
prosperity upon her people, and invite our friends from 
abroad to come in and share with us the blessings of a 
government founded upon the eternal principles of popular 
sovereignty, and I trust that you will always find in me a 
faith lul co-worker in seeking to effect these desirable 

During this first session a report was made on the subject of 
prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, of which two para- 
graphs will show the drift : 


That in their opinion, where the people are prepared 
and public sentiment sufficiently in favor of a prohibitory 
law to fully sustain and enforce it, such a law would be pro- 
ductive of the best results to the community. * * * As 
much, however, as we may be in favor of a prohibitory law, 
\intil the community by petition or otherwise, may fully 
manifest their determination to sustain such a law, it would 
be idle to enact it. 

The house of representatives having passed a bill excluding 
free negroes from obtaining a settlement in the territory, it 
was finally indefinitely postponed in the council by a vote of 
7 against 4. On the 19th day of December, 1855, Governor Izard 
delivered his second message 1 to the legislature, and as the facts 
of history were few, and the realms of fiction unbounded, he 
dealt in the imaginary creations of the present and the gorgeous 
realizations of the future. The infant territory was prosperous, 
the early organization was of bold and energetic measures, the 
principles of "popular sovereignty" vindicated, the people 
happy in a degree heretofore unexampled, while towns and 
cities were springing up as if by magic. The capitol, for which 
he had projected the plans, and which were worked out in detail 
by the accomplished architect of St. Louis, William Rumbold, 
would be the most imposing of buildings, and would be copied 
by Kansas, and admired by all master builders visiting the Ter- 
ritory. The territorial road westward to Kearney would be the 
forerunner of the Pacific railway; and the completion of the 
surveys of government lands would supercede the term "squat- 
ter" and we become sovereigns of the soil. Special attention 
being given to the ordinary wants of the new community, and 
a highly colored portrait drawn of our enterprising and intelli- 
gent and patriotic neighbors of the Pacific slope, he promised 
hearty co-operation with the new legislature, and invoked upon 
them the guidance of Divine Providence. 

One of the most notable acts of the body was the adoption of 
the report of the committee on codification of laws, and an effori 
to arrPst the ocean tide of divorce applicants and to refer them 

Council Journal, 2nd session, 5-15. 


exclusively to the courts, became a pressing necessity. The end 
of the second legislative year found ;i network of corporations, 
nnd the towu site plats in universal existence. On the 6th of 
January, ls.~>7. Governor Izard came i<> the fronl with his 1;isi 
message, 1 bu1 be came up smiling, and his voice attuned to 
strains of congratulations. While Kansas had been desolated 
by pillage and her people murdered, Nebraska had been at 

When we reflect thai but two short years have passed 
since Nebraska was a vast uncultivated and unsettled region, 
with scarcely a mark to indicate that civilization had readied 
its herders, its present condition almost startles us with a 
conviction that the hand of magic, rather than enterprise of 
the pioneer, lias wrought the change. ^Ve can boast of a 
population of more than 15, (ion intelligent, orderly and 
energetic citizens, who may challenge comparison with those 
of any State or Territory in the Union, of flourishing towns 
and prosperous cities, with their broad and beautiful 
prairies, being thickly dotted with comfortable farm houses 
and well cultivated fields, yielding their rich treasures to 
the hand of peaceful industry, and with handsome church 
edifices, well regulated schools and busy streets. The ap- 
preciation of property has far exceeded the expectations of 
the most sanguine. Business lots upon streets where the 
wild grass still flourishes are readily commanding from 
$500 to $3,000 each, and land adjacent to our most pros- 
perous low ns commanding from $50 to $400 per acre. 

In the election of -lames Buchanan to the presidency (which 

preceded tlie great internal war), he saw an evidence that the 
slavery agitation was settled forever, and exclaimed: 

Preparatory to Hie reception of the immense tide of 
immigration and wealth that is destined to flow into our Ter- 
ritory at the opening of spring, from all sections of the 
country, it is our duty that you will adopt, at an early day. 
a wise ami judicious system of legislation for the security 
of persons and property. 

The value of education, common and collegiate, received 
marked and extended attention, and the duty of memorializing 

Council Journal. :5r<! session. 12-20. 


Congress for grants of land for those purposes was vigorously 

Reiterating many former recommendations, lie closed his of- 
ficial communication: 

In conclusion I cannot too earnestly exhort you to cul- 
tivate a spirit of harmony and conciliation in your councils, 
and I trust that under the wise direction of an overruling 
Providence, the result of your deliberation may be such as 
will best promote the future growth and prosperity of our 
young- and rising community. 

Following the message in hot haste came a resolution for a 
committee on removal of the capitol, which in two days there- 
after, reported in favor of the measure, which passed the legis- 
lature and in due time was vetoed by the governor. The insinu- 
ations of undue influences in the original location at Omaha 
were offset by the following language of the veto measure: 1 

It is not pretended that a single house, or even sod shanty 
has been erected on the site of the proposed capital, or in 
the vicinity. It appears to be a floating town, not only 
without a location, but without inhabitants. 

In regard to banks and banking a committee used the follow- 



We have now six banks; add six more and we have twelve, 
a bank for every thousand inhabitants. Who are the men 
who are asking for these charters? Are they sovereign 
squatters of Nebraska? Not at all. Most, if not all of 
the leading men are from other states, who would be very 
much obliged to us now to legislate to them the opportunity 
of filling our pockets with their bills, but who would laugh 
us to scorn when they had our gold and our property in 
their possession. 

The bill to incorporate the extra six met with the executive 
veto and failed to become a law. The committee to whom was 
referred so much of the governor's message as related to the 
election of President Buchanan, reported: 

That while we have no objection to the election of .lames 
Buchanan, yet they cannot see that the rights of the South 

Council Journal, 3rd session, 4ti-ts. 


are more secure than if John C. Fremonl had been the 
fortunate candidate, neither do Ave think that it will be for 
the interests of the South that her peculiar institution 
should be secured to her. Seeing that with them, and all 
her superior natural advantages, a blight hang's over and 
eventually cripples and enervates all her energies. 

His last veto 1 arrested a bill entitled, "An act to repeal all 
criminal laws passed at the first session of the legislative as- 
sembly." which was finally passed over the veto, and before the 
convening of the legislature, December 9th, 1857, Thomas B. 
Cuming was again acting-governor, due notice of which has 
already been taken in the section concerning him. 2 

Council Journal, 3rd session, 158-159. 
- Sec page 3. 



Jan. 10 to Dec. 5, 1858. 

In the Directory of Congress the following appears: 

William A. Richardson was born in Fayette County, Ken- 
tucky: graduated at the Translyvania University; studied 
law and came to the bar before attaining- his twentieth 
year. He soon settled in Illinois, and in 1835, he was elected 
state attorney: in 1836 he was elected a member of the 
legislature: in 1838 he was elected to the state senate, and 
again in 1S44 he was elected to the legislature and made 
speaker of the House. He was chosen a presidential elector 
in 1S44. In 1846 he served as captain in the Mexican war, 
and on the battlefield of Buena Vista was promoted by the 
unanimous vote of his regiment; in 1*47 was elected a repre- 
sentative to Congress from Illinois where he continued to 
serve by re-election until 1856. when he resigned. In 1857 
he was appointed by President Buchanan, governor of Ne- 
braska, which position he resigned in 1858; in 1860, he was, 
against his consent, re-elected to the house of representa- 
tives, but before the expiration of his term in 1861, was 
chosen a senator in Congress from Illinois, for the un- 
expired term of his friend, S. A. Douglas, serving on the 
committee on territories and the committee on District of 

From the legislative records it appears that Gov. W. A. Rich- 
ardson assumed the duties of bis office on or about the 12th day 
of January, 1858, at which time he was called upon to recog- 
nize the action of the majority of the legislature then in session 
at Florence, to which place they had seceded from Omaha. < >n 
the ground that Omaha was the seat of government for the ter- 
ritory, their request was promptly refused, 1 while the minority 
adjourned the legislature, on January 16, 1858, four days after 
bis accession to power. Inasmuch as all criminal laws bad been 
repealed, and a great legal confusion existed, an extra session 
convened on the 23d of September. 1858 , and a regular one or- 

J Council Journal, 4th session, 146-148. 


dered by law to follow it beginning October 4th, 1858. One 
brief message 1 sufficed for both sessions and also announced 
the fact of the governor's resignation of his office. As a justi- 
fication for a special session he said: 

The only law under which crime can be punished in this 
Territory is the common law of England. All other criminal 
laws have been abolished by a previous legislature. The 
common law of England is so uncertain and doubtful in 
reference to every proceeding" and offense and its punish- 
ment, that every point will have to be adjudicated before 
the courts can tell what the law is. 


As reported the territorial indebtedness was $15,774, and it 
was said that only five counties had paid a part of their taxes, 
also that banks had failed to redeem their notes and should be 
■dealt with accordingly, and that Congress should be memorial- 
ized in aid of roads and bridges and general improvements. In 
a burst of enthusiasm never yet justified, he fancied a new El- 
dorado of gold at Cherry Creek and Laramie Peak, that ''should 
give an impetus to every branch of industry, and eventually 
make the great valley of the Missouri not only the garden but 
the cei. val money power of the Union." In imagination his 
■ears caught the thundering Union Pacific trains, and his eyes 
were gladdened by the world's commerce gliding from ocean to 
ocean. But he is entitled to utter in glowing rhetoric impres- 
sions of the future: 

Nebraska occupies a position in the very heart of this 
•great republic, and as she is now the geographical center 
of the Union, so shall she soon become the commercial. 
Standing as we do midway between the Atlantic and Pacific, 
where the wealth and commerce of both oceans shall pay 
tribute to our people, their wealth, their advancement, and 
their power is inevitable. With a soil unsurpassed in fer- 
tility, and a climate whose healthful influences are admitted 
by all, settled by a class of people whose industry, enter- 
prise, and intelligence is fast converting the wilderness into 
a garden, who shall dare portray the fullness and prosperity 
of that splendid destiny which is reserved for the future 
State of Nebraska. * * * 

1 Council Journal, 5th session (containing also journal of special M-ssion i, 12-15. 


Having resigned the place 1 now occupy, my official con- 
nection with you will soon cease; I can therefore have no 
interest, no wish and no inclination to enter into any local 
agitation. But upon the other hand, I wish in some degree 
to contribute to the advancement and improvement of the 
Territory. I shall recur with pleasure to the many kind- 
nesses of the people of the Territory towards me, and 
carry with me the recollection that I have endeavored faith- 
fully to promote the public welfare. In conclusion permit 
me, to urge you, gentlemen, to discard all local feelings, all 
jealousies, and unite where interests are the same and where 
opinions cannot be divided, in passing laws so necessary 
for the interests of those you represent. I hope peace, 
concord, and harmony may characterize your deliberations; 
and that you may so discharge your duties as to merit and 
receive the approval of your constituents after your labors 
shall have been completed. 

The following report 1 is a flattering testimonial of apprecia- 
tion and esteem: 

Your committee to whom was referred so much of the 
governor's message as relates to the resignation of his office, 
beg leave to respectfully report: Governor Richardson 
arrived in Nebraska on the 10th day of January last, in the 
midst of the most violent contest this Territory ever wit- 
nessed. He came here under an appointment of the general 
government, most fit to be made. He had stood up in 
the Congress of the United States, one of the foremost 
champions of that principle which asserts and vindicates 
the ability of the American citizen, whether a resident of 
the older or newer settlement of the country, to govern 
himself. The champion, the eloquent, powerful cham- 
pion of natural rights of the people of Nebraska, most 
fit was it that he should be set over them as their gov- 
ernor. He came welcomed by the warmest enthusiasm of 
the people of the Territory. They felt, as they had 
abundant reason to feel, most grateful that a man of his 
reputation, which was national; of his abilities, which, in 
the then present exigencies of public affairs, were needed 
for the public good; of his connection, so intimate and so 
honorable, with their first history, should be sent among 
them. Open arms, warm hearts, welcomed him to this Ter- 
ritory. He has served us for nearly a year; all his wisdom, 
all his best efforts, have been ours; no personal feeling, 
ambition or pride, have ever swayed him. Patriotism, a 

'Council Journal, 5th session, 214: made by W. E. Moore, Nov. 1. 1858. 


generous regard for the highest public good, have 
characterized liis administration. The Territory of Ne- 
braska stands today on a moral and Legal position Ear 
higher, more honorable, than ever before. We have now 
a complete, wise, and well reyulaled system of laws; indi- 
vidual and public rights can. and henceforth will be vindi- 
cated and wrongs punished. For all this, how largely are 
we indebted to Governor Richardson, to his wholesome 
and timely advice and direction, lie i^oes from our midst 
carrying the sincere regrets of every class of our citizens, 
thai the pleasant and useful public and private relations 
which he has in so short a time so firmly established, are 
to be severed amid all the shifting scenes of life. He will 
carry with him the gratitude of this whole people for the 
great good he has done us and our posterity, and our 
hearty wishes foi his prosperity and welfare, will attend 
li i in in all time to come. 

The governor's expose of the territorial banks was amply sus- 
tained by a minority report of a committee, recommending the 
repeal of four of their charters, while the majority suggested the 
repeal of all, unless their cases were to receive the attention of. 
the courts. 


Dec. 5, 1858 to May 2, 1859, and Feb. 24 to May 15, 1861. 

Hon. J. Sterling Morton 1 came to Bellevue, Nebraska Ter- 
ritory, November 10, 1854, and on April 12, 1855, removed to 
Nebraska City, where he established his permanent home. 

By the appointment of President Buchanan he became secre- 
tary of the Territory July 12, 1858; which office he held until 
succeeded by A. S. Paddock, under the administration of Abra- 
ham Lincoln. At the date of his arrival, he was only twenty- 
two years of age, having been born in 1832. No young man 
ever came to the territory better prepared for a useful and hon- 
orable career. Having enjoyed the advantages of Michigan 
University, and having received his final diploma from Union 
College, New York, and being endowed with a fine command 
of language, with the fancy of a picturesque writer, and the 
aggressive style of the ready debater and orator, journalism 
and politics offered inducements in the line of his capabilities 
and taste. 

But these acquisitions and natural endowments were forti- 
fied, directed, and restrained by sound morals, high sense of 
honor and that chivalric bearing that charms society and makes 
home happy. As a writer on the Detroit Free Press and Chicago 
Times, his contributions were highly prized, while before his ap- 
pointment as Secretary, he was editor of the Nebraska City 
News, and in 1855 elected to the legislature. During the ses- 
sion he attempted to stem the tide of wildcat banking, which 
resulted in his defeat in the election of 1850. This was a source 
of regret on the part of many new made friends; but the Board 
of Regents, members of the faculty, and many students of the 
Michigan University, could have said, "I told you so"; for I re- 

■Abner Morton emigrated from St. Albans. Vt.. to Jefferson County, X. V.. about 
1816. His son, Joseph D. Morton, emigrated from X. Y. to Michigan in 1834. Julius 
Sterling Morton, son of Joseph D.. was born in Jefferson County, X. Y.. April 22, 1- 


member how the boy stood by an excommunicated professor in 
the college, denounced all in authority, and chose expulsion 
rather than sacrifice a single conviction. In 1857 he was again 
elected to the legislature and saw at once in exploded banks 
and a defrauded people, evidence of the wisdom of his unre- 
lenting opposition to the issue of an inflated, irredeemable paper 
currency of 1855. 

In 1SG0 he was democratic candidate for delegate to Congress 
against Samuel G. Daily, republican, and inasmuch as the Bu- 
chanan administration with which he was connected, stood 
charged with being the hot bed of treason, and his party the 
home of traitors, in the hour of national peril no explanation 
or protestation could prevail. Even Douglas democrats who 
approved Mr. Lincoln's war policy, could not receive absolution,, 
unless the name of democrat was discarded for that of republi- 
can. But after the storm passed over, Mr. Blaine, a republican 
historian, declared no man would have lamented over a des- 
troyed Union more than President Buchanan. In this cam- 
paign, joint discussions were held by the rival candidates, 
thousands of miles traveled, a few voters addressed and cabins 
and dug-outs transformed into opera houses and hotels, with 
the open prairies as an annex. No railroads or turnpikes or 
canals aided in travel, but private vehicles struggled through 
the grass, marshes and quicksands, furnishing opportunities for 
walking, w r ading and swimming. Patriotism was retailed at 
a premium, eloquence lavished in profusion. Yet only 5,900 
votes were returned, of which a majority of fourteen were 
awarded Mr. Morton, but afterwards lost by a contest in Con- 
gress. 1 

Six years thereafter, in 1866, we find him a candidate for first 
governor of the new state, against David Butler, republican. 
Public arguments, for speedy admission as a state, were used by 
republicans, to the effect that the best government lands were 
being taken by settlement, and in a few years a new state would 
have to receive an inferior grade as her donation for education 
and internal improvement purposes; that the Territory could 
Pages 90 99. 


not draw capital to it as readily as a state could; and that the 
salaries named in the constitution to be voted upon, were so 
small the people could meet them without oppressive taxation, 
on account of the enhanced value of property. 

To which it was replied that the national domain was inex- 
haustible, the salaries delusively low, and increased prosperity 
would demand corresponding expense. Republicans were influ- 
enced privately by the consideration that they were now in a 
majority, and state and national patronage would be dispensed 
in their behalf. But democrats hoped that enough conservative 
republicans, sustaining the policy of Andrew Johnson, could by 
union with them capture the state and national offices, with a 
few years' delay. Accordingly, when they voted for Mr. Morton, 
many also voted against state admission, but the returns finally 
gave Butler a majority of 145, and state admission a majority 
of 100. 

At the first election of United States senators, Mr. Morton 
was a democratic candidate, receiving the full party vote, as 
against T. W. Tipton, republican. Sixteen years thereafter, in 
1882, when the vote had increased from 8,041 in 1860, to 87,345 
in 1880, Mr. Morton was again put forward by his party as a 
candidate for governor against James W. Dawes. In this con- 
test a majority of the votes were given to Mr. Morton and Mr. 
Ingersol; but Mr. Dawes, having more than either of the others, 
was elected. Again in 1884, Mr. Morton and Mr. Dawes were op- 
posing candidates, while Mr. Morton increased his vote over that 
of two years previous from 28,562 to 57,634, and Mr. Dawes raised 
his from 43,495 to 72,835 and was again elected. In 1892, he once 
more carried the minority party's banner, in a contest for gov- 
ernor, and returning it unsullied, re-entered the democratic 

Often called upon to act in the capacity of governor, during 
the absence of that official, and at one time for six months con- 
tinuously, following the resignation of Richardson, he met the 
emergencies with promptness and efficiency. In 1859, on ac- 
count of the attack of the Pawnee Indians upon the persons and 
property of citizens of Dodge and Cuming counties, he called 



upon Colonel Charles May, commander at Ft. Kearney, for aid 
in the shape of cavalry. 1 As a result of rhis appeal Lieutenant 
Robertson, U. S. Army, Comd'g 2nd Dragoons, joined the com- 
mand under Gen'] Thayer, which was accompanied by Gov. 
Black and stall', and overtaking the Indians in camp, received 
their surrender, the delivery up of seven of their young men, 
ami pledges of future good conduct. 

In September of the same year, 1859, Secretary Morton deliv- 
ered the address at the Agricultural Fair, Nebraska City, which 
was incorporated with the first annual report of the state soci- 
ety and entered upon the legislative records. No other citizen 
could have given such a sketch of the first five years of terri- 
torial life; and at no other place and time could the intellectual 
photograph have been pictured. Without agricultural data on 
which to draw, the task of "brick without straw" was re-en- 
acted; and the address comes forth to-day, from the tomb of 
official documents as history embalmed in sparkling garniture. 
We claim it as a Nebraska classic, and have only one fear of our 
proprietary right being disputed. This arises from the fact that 
the young orator emigrated from the state of Michigan, whose 
Professor, Moses Coit Tyler, in his history of "American Lit- 
erature," declared that England had a claim to our early Pil- 
grim literature, inasmuch as "an Englishman undergoes no 
literary evolution by sitting down to write in America instead 
of England." We set forth in our demurrer, that the Pilgrim 
eloquence was couched in ancient forms, while ours revelled iu 
the freedom and independence of impulses unchained, thoughts 
exuberant, and fancies born of a future of incomprehensible 

In introducing him, Robert W. Furnas, president of the ter- 
ritorial board of agriculture, said: 

Ladies and Gentlemen: I congratulate the Nebraska Ter- 
ritorial Board of Agriculture, and others who honor us with 
their presence and aid on tliis first effort made to hold an 

' Nebr. State Hist. Soc. Pub., first series, II., 194-196, 181-185; III., 279-28G. At II., 
L94-196, may be found copies of a petition t<> Secretary Morton, the letter of Secretary 
Morton to Col. May, a reply by Lieut. William (!. Gill, and a list of the officers in the 



Agricultural Fair west of the Missouri River. While it 
may be said of those who have ventured into this "western 
wild," we are a feeble folk in most respects; we are, 
nevertheless, enthused with "western pluck*' and have "de- 
clared intentions" to carve out of this "New West" homes 
for ourselves as well as for those who are to come after 
us. This first effort to present "products and resources" 
is a striking evidence of this. That there is a promised 
future for agriculture in Nebraska, and that not in the 
"far distance" we have abiding faith. 

It affords me pleasure to introduce as an orator of the 
day one of the earliest of pioneers; a young man who has 
given much thought to the future possibilities of a region 
known until a recent date only as the Great American 
Desert. He will address you from the improvised rostrum- 
platform, a farm wagon, placed in the shade of this 
native oak tree. I ask for him your careful and considerate 

The address of Mr. Morton was as follows: 

Mr. President and Gentlemen: Called upon to address 
you, the farmers of Nebraska, you, whose calling I so much 
honor and love, I was flattered, and in a moment of self- 
reliant enthusiasm, I accepted the call and have undertaken 
the duty which it imposes. 

It had been my intention at first thought to gather 
together accurate and reliable statistics concerning the 
agricultural interests and capacities of the Territory; but 
having made a trial at collecting data of that description, 
I have given it up as impracticable from the fact that 
no regular accounts or correct statements relative to the 
products and exports have been kept in any county in the 
Territory. Even the returns of the assessors of taxes in 
the various counties as sent up to the auditor of the Ter- 
ritory are very inaccurate and convey no well defined idea 
of the amount of land in cultivation, nor any information 
upon which a reliable estimate of the capital employed in 
agriculture can be based. I have, then, only my own 
observation, dating from November, 1854, together with a 
somewhat limited experience, to draw upon and can assure 
you that such information is far less satisfactory to me 
(and probably will be to you) than statistical facts and 
figures. But such knowledge as I have concerning the 
beginning and the success of farming in this territory, I 
give to you with pleasure. 


The Indian title to the Omaha and Otoe lands, which 
comprised respectively the land lying along- the Missouri 
River, north of the Great Platte, and that similarly situated 
south of the last mentioned stream, was not extinguished 
until late in the spring of 1854, and the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill did not pass the House of Representatives until the 24th 
of May of the same year, so that the season was too far 
advanced for the emigrants of that summer to put in crops, 
except in a very few instances, and I think it safe 
to say that not more than a single section of land was 
tilled in the whole Territorv r of Nebraska in 1854; in fact, 
the only considerable patches of corn that I remember 
seeing that fall were raised by the Mission of Bellevue, and 
by the town proprietors of Nebraska City on the town 
site. I remember that we commenced the winter of 1S54-W>, 
a little colony of hopeful boarders, purchasing - everything 
that we ate, and even feed for our horses and cattle in the 
neighboring states of Iowa and Missouri, and they, even, 
had very little to spare. 

The winter was exceedingly mild and with the early 
spring-time came the farmers with their breaking- teams 
and the big plows, and the sturdy hand of industry was 
for the first time browsing in the sunlight that gladdened 
the beautiful prairies of our new found homes. Yet what 
did they know of the rich soil of this untried land? Its 
productiveness was to them an unsealed book". No human 
test had ever demonstrated their worth, and yet the farmer 
turned the heavy sod and planted his corn for the first 
time, with an abiding faith that his labors would be re- 
warded, that his all that he had invested in the experiment, 
would be returned to him ten fold, and that his wife and 
little ones whose very lives were staked upon the soil and 
its capacities, would be fed, clothed and cared for by the 
generous returns of the earth. The man who builds the 
first house, gathers his family around the first home fire- 
side, and plants the first seed, and risks his all upon the 
first crop, in a country whose lands have been forever 
untried, and upon which the slumbers of barrenness have 
rested down unnumbered centuries, must needs be and is 
braver and grander in his heart than he who leads an army 
into a battle, and moves unawed amid the emissaries of 
death himself. 

The spring and summer of 1856 were seasons of intense 
anxiety to the first tillers of the soil, but the harvest sun 
shone propitiously and the benignant rains and the growth- 
giving dews were plenteous, and when the autumn came 
with its sere and yellow leaves the great experiment had 


been successful; and to the questions: "Can Nebraska ever 
be settled up? Can she ever sustain any considerable 
population?" the joyous fields of golden grain nodded an 
indisputable affirmative, and gracefully beckoned the weary 
emigrant to a home of healthfulness and abundance. The 
glad tidings of our success in agriculture were heralded 
far and near through the medium of our pioneer press, 
and a new impetus was thus given the emigration of that 
fall and the following spring. But here came also a spirit 
of evil among us, a spirit of reckless speculation, and a 
seeking for some new method to acquire wealth, some 
method which required neither mental nor manual labor. 

The legislative assembly in January, 1856, deeming it 
necessary to have more money in the country, had, very 
unwisely, concluded that the creation of banks of issue, 
by special charter, would accomplish that much desired 
object. And so six banks were created, or one bank for 
every 500 men in the Territory, and each bank had power 
to issue as many dollars of indebtedness as the circum- 
stances of its individual stock-holders demanded for their 
own pecuniary necessities or ambitions. And what were 
the consequences? Rag money was plenty, everybody had 
credit, and it was no heavy undertaking to secure discounts. 
Town property, though very plenty, as many, very many 
thousands of acres of land had been planted with small oak 
stakes, were not so amazingly abundant as Fontenelle, Ne- 
maha Valley & Western Exchange bank bills, and, as is 
always the case in commercial matters, the scarcer article 
went up in price, and the plentier went down; that is to 
say, money was plentier than town lots, and consequently 
cheaper. And now indeed did the unsophisticated and en- 
thusiastic believe that the method of making without either 
mental or manual labor had most certainly been invented 
and patented in and for the Territory of Nebraska. So far 
did this idea diffuse itself throughout the community, that 
it reached and took entire possession of the executive 
head of the Territory, insomuch, that in a message to the 
Legislative Assembly of the Territory, Governor Izard men- 
tioned, as an evidence of our flush prosperity, the fact that 
town lots had advanced in price, in a few months, from 
$300 to $3,000, apiece. 

Unfortunately for the wise constructors of those patent 
mills for money making, there was no reality or soundness 
in the prosperity of that day. It did not arise, as all 
wealth and true capital must arise, from that great sub- 
stratum of prosperity which underlies and supports the 
whole civilized world, and is called agricultural development. 


Yet the popular mind w;iK apparently satisfied, and lulled 
itself into the belief that the honest art of industry and 
economy belonged t<> a former generation, and that here 

indeed they were certainly useless and obsolete. Who would 
bend the back, nerve the arm to labor, and sweat the brow 
in cultivating the soil, when by the aid of a lithographer 
and the flatulent adulation of some ephemeral newspaper, 
a half section of land could be made to yield three thousand 
town lots, at an average value, prospectively, of one hundred 
dollars each? Whom could we expect to desert the elegant 
and accomplished avocation of city founder and dealer in 
real estate, for the arduous and homely duties of the . 
farmer? We acquired great velocity and speed, in fact 
became a surpassingly "fast" people. We aspired at once 
to all the luxuries and refinements of older and better 
regulated communities in the East. We emerged suddenly 
from a few rough hewn squatters, arrayed in buck-skin and 
red flannel, to a young nation of exquisite land sharks and 
fancy speculators dressed in broad cloths. 

The greater portion of the summer of 1856 was consumed 
in talking and meditating upon the prospective value of 
city property. 

Young Chicagos, increscent New Yorks, precocious Phila- 
delphias, and infant Londons, w-ere duly staked out, litho- 
graphed, divided into shares and puffed with becoming 
miction and complaisance. The mere mention of using such 
valuable lands for the purpose of agriculture, was con- 
sidered an evidence of verdancy wholly unpardonable, and 
entirely sufficient to convict a person of old fogyism in the 
first degree. 

farms were sadly neglected in the summer of 1S56, and 
there were not as many acres planted that season, in pro- 
portion to the population, as there were the year before, 
but the crop of town plats, town shares, town lots, and 
Nebraska bank notes, was most astonishingly abundant. 
We were then very gay people; we carried a great number 
of very large gold watches and ponderous fob chains; 
sported more fancy turn-outs, hi the way of elegant car- 
riages and buggies; could point to more lucky and shrewd 
fellow citizens who had made a hundred thousand dollars 
in a very short time; could afford to drink more cham- 
pagne, and talk and feel larger, more of consequence, and 
by all odds richer than any yearling settlement that ever 
flourished in this vast and fast country of ours. We all 
felt as they used to print in large letters on every new town 
plat, that we were "located adjacent to the very finest 
groves of timber, surrounded by a very rich agricultural 


country, in prospective, abundantly supplied with building 
rock of the finest description, beautifully watered, and 
possessing - very fine indications of lead, iron, coal, and salt 
in great abundance."' In my opinion we felt richer, better, 
more millionairish than any poor deluded mortals ever did 
before, on the same amount of moonshine and pluck. 

But the seasons were prompt* in their returns, and the 
autumn winds came then as they are coming now, and 
the ripening sunbeams descended upon the earth as they do 
today: but the fields of grain that they wandered and 
glistened among were neither as many nor as well tilled 
as they should have been. 

The fall of 1S56 came and passed, and not enough had 
been raised to half supply our home wants. Town lots we 
could neither eat nor export; the}' were at once too ex- 
pensive for food and too delicate for a foreign market. 
.Ml That we had in the world to forward to the Eastern 
marts was a general assortment of town shares, ferry 
charters, and propositions for receiving money and land 
warrants to invest or locate on time. The balance of trade 
was largely against us. 

We were now, more than ever, a nation of boarders, 
eating everything eatable, buying everything consumable, 
but producing absolutely nothing. 

The winter of 1S56 and '57 came, and the first and second 
days of December were most admonitory and fearful har- 
bingers of suffering; they came like messengers of wrath to 
rebuke the people for the folly, the thriftlessness, and ex- 
travagance of the summer that had passed unheeded and 
unimproved. The storm that lashed those two days through 
and ushered in the terrible life-taking winter of that year, 
will never be forgotten by those of us who were here and 
experienced it. 

The legislative assembly commenced in January. L857, 
and again were the wisdom and sagacity of Solon and 
Lycurgus called into active service. A grand rally was 
had for the purpose of raising more means and more money 
by legislative legerdemain. New towns were incorporated 
and new shares issued; insurance companies were chartered 
with nothing to insure and nothing to insure with: and. 
finally, another nest of wild cat banks was set for hatching, 
it having been deliberately decided that the easiest wa\ 
to make money was through the agency of paper mills, en- 
gravers, and the autographs of fancy financiers. Xoi less 
than fifteen new banks were contemplated and projected. 
Preparations were thus coolly and deliberately mad.' for 
issuing evidence of debt, amounting, in the aggregate, 


to millions of dollars, and a confiding .and generous public 
were expected to i-eceive them as money. Fortunately for 
you, for the Territory, for your reputation for sanity, the 
great infliction was escaped, and out of the entire number, 
De Soto, and the never to be forgotten Tekama, were all 
thai ever saw the light; thus this second attempt to legislate 
prosperity into the country by the manufacture of an irre- 
sponsible and worthless currency failed most signally. Its 
only Eruits have been seen in the thousands of worthless 
pictures which have the impress of the Tekama bank, and 
have finally exploded in the pockets of the merchants, 
mechanics, and farmers of this territory, and thereby de- 
frauded them of some hundred thousands of dollars worth 
of capital and labor. 

In the mid-summer of 1S57, while credulous men were 
buying town lots at enormous prices, and sapient specu- 
lators were anxiously looking up enough unoccupied prairie 
land to uphold a few more unnamed cities, while the very 
shrewd and crafty operators in real estate were counting 
themselves worth as many thousand dollars as they owned 
town lots — while enthusiastic seers observed with prophetic 
eye city upon city arise, and peopled with teeming thousands, 
while the public pulse was at fever heat — when the old 
fogies themselves were beginning to believe in the new 
way of making money without labor, the financial horizon 
began to darken. At once hope whispered that it was only 
a passing cloud, but judgment predicted a full grown storm. 
And one pleasant day, when lots were high and town shares 
numerous and marketable, the news came that one. Thomp- 
son, John Thompson, had failed, and also that the hitherto 
invulnerable Ohio Life & Trust Company had departed its 
pecunious and opulent existence. 

The streets in cities thereabout were occupied by knots 
and groups of wise and anxious men; the matter was fully 
and thoroughly discussed and it was generally conceded 
that, though it did sprinkle some, it probably would rain 
very little, if any. But again and again came the thunder- 
bolts, and the crash of banks, and the wreck of merchants, 
and the fall of insurance companies, the decline of railroad 
stocks, the depreciation of even state stocks, and finally the 
depletion of the National Treasury. The quaking of the 
crcilit of all the monied institutions, in fact, of the govern- 
ments themselves, of both the old and the new world, 
demonstrated beyond a doubt, that the storm had indeed 
begun, and furthermore, that it was a searching and testing 

Just as in your own farm yards, when a sudden storm of 


rain, lightning and tempest has broken out from a sky 
almost all sunshine, you have seen the denizens of the 
pig-sty, the stables and the poultry coops, run, jump, squeal, 
cackle, neigh, and bellow in their stampede for shelter;' 
so vamosed the city builders, speculators, bank directors 
and patent cash makers of Nebraska, while the terrible 
financial tornado of 1857 swept over the world of commerce. 

The last day of the summer of 1857 had died out and was 
numbered upon the dial plate of the irrevocable past. The 
September sun had come, glittered, warmed and ripened and 
the time of harvest had gone by. November, cold, cheerless 
and stormy, came on apace and whispered in chilling 
accents of the approach of winter. 

It became the duty of every man to look to his pecuniary 
condition and to prepare well for the season of cold; and 
the examinations then made by you and all of us, proved 
this: they proved that the season of planting in 1857, like 
that of the year previous, had slipped by almost unnoticed, 
and unimproved by a great many of the people of Nebraska. 
We had not raised enough even to eat; and as for clothing, 
it looked as though nakedness itself would stalk abroad in 
the land. . 

If the great states of Illinois and Wisconsin found them- 
selves, that fall, in an almost hopeless bankruptcy, what 
then must have been our condition? 

The irrepealable law of commerce which declares that, 
"whenever the supply of any article is greater than the 
demand, that article must decline in market value," was 
most clearly proven in Nebraska. The supply of town lots, 
after the monstrous monetary panic of 1857, was as large 
as ever. There was at least one million of town lots, in 
towns along the Missouri River, between the Kansas line 
and the L'Eau-qui-Court; but where was the demand? It had 
ceased! It had blown away in the great storm, or been 
crushed out in the great pressure. We had nothing else to 
offer for sale, except real estate, and even that of very 
doubtful character. We were yet a colony of consumers; 
we were worse off than ever; we were a nation of boarders, 
and had nothing to pay board with, and very little 
valuable baggage to pawn for the same. The greater num- 
ber of our banks had exploded, and the individual liability of 
stockholders, as marked on each bill, proved to mean that 
the bill holders themselves were individually responsible 
for whatever amount they might find on hand after the 

I think we were the poorest community the sun ever 
looked down upon; that the history of new countries can 


furnish no parallel for utter and abject poverty. I believe 

on ilic first day of .lanuary, 1858, there was not, upon an 
average, two dollars and fifty cents in cash to each in- 
habitant of the Territory. Hard limes were the theme 
of each and every class of society, and all departments of 
industry. Merchants, mechanics, speculators and hankers 
were continually lamenting their departed fortunes, and 
their many failures and losses. 

There was one class of individuals who, although they may 
have been sadly pinched by the pressure of times, noted no 
failures in their ranks, and who, when winter set in, were 
comparatively well off, in fact, relatively opulent and 
luxurious in their circumstances. They were the very Eew 
farmers who had passed through the era of speculation 
untempted by the allurements thereof, they who had fol- 
lowed the plow steadily, and planted their crops carefully. 
They, and they alone, of all the people of Nebraska could 
board themselves. There is no doubt but that poverty in- 
duces thought. It may paralyze the physical energies for a 
time, but it will induce reason and reflection in the thought- 
less and judgment and discretion in the reckless, 
after all other arguments have failed. T believe that 
owing to our extreme poverty, we were led to more thinking 
and reasoning- during the winter of 1857 and 1858, than up 
to that time had ever been accomplished in the Territory. 
As you have seen your grandfathers, during the long winter 
evenings, sit down by the large tire place when the huge back 
log and big blaze burned so brightly, away back east, some- 
where, at your old homesteads, as when the old man, after 
reading his newspaper, would wipe his spectacles, put them 
up by the clock on the mantle piece, and seating himself 
there in the genial fire light, place his head between his 
hands, and his elbows on his knees, and have a good "long 
think"; just so with us all in Nebraska that winter. We had 
a "think," a long, solemn, gloomy think', and among us all. 
we thoughl out these facts: that the new way of making 
money by chartering wild cat banks, had proved a most un- 
profitable delusion and an unmitigated humbug. We 
thought that building 1 large cities without any inhabitants 

therefor, was a singularly crack-brained specimen of en- 
terprise; and furthermore, that everybody could not live 
in town who lived in the Territory unless the towns were 
laid off iii 80 acre or quarter section lots. We thought, 1o 

sum up all hurriedly, that it was useless to attempt to leg- 
islate prosperity into that country: that il was impossible to 
decoy wealth into our laps by legal enactment; that we 

had. in fact, been a \<-v\ fast, very reckless, vi'ry hopeful, 


enthusiastic, and self-deceived people; that while we had 
assumed to play the part of Dives, we were really better 
fitted for the performance of the character of Lazarus. The 
scheme for obtaining- wealth without labor, prosperity with- 
out industry, and growing into a community of opulence 
and ease without effort had been a complete failure. 

The spring of 1858 dawned upon us, and the icy hand of 
winter relaxed its hold upon the earth, and the prairies 
were once more clothed in sunshine and emerald. The 
result of our thinking during the long dreary winter, was 
now about to be embodied in active efforts to enhance our 
real prosperity and substantial wealth. It had been fully 
and justly determined that the true grandeur and pros- 
perity of the people was concealed in their capacity for 
industry, honesty and patient endurance. If there were 
fortunes to be made in Nebraska, they were to be acquired 
by frugality and persevering exertion alone. The soil was 
to be tilled and taxed for the support of the dwellers 
thereon; and out of it and it alone was all true and sub- 
stantial independence to be derived. For the first time 
during our political existence, we realized our true con- 
dition, and comprehended the proper method of ameliorating 
and improving it. The numerous signs marked "banker, 
broker, real estate dealer," etc., began one by one to dis- 
appear, and the shrewd and hopeful gentlemen who had 
adopted them were seen either departing for their old homes 
in the east, or buckling on the panoply of industry, and fol- 
lowing quietly the more honorable and certainly paying 
pursuit of prairie-breaking and corn-planting. The gloom 
of the long night of poverty was about passing away for- 
ever. The clouds were breaking, the effulgence of a better 
and brighter day sent its first glad beams to reanimate 
and rejoice the dispirited and .encourage the strong and 
hopeful. Labor at once began and its hundred voices made 
the air resonant with its homely music. All about us, on 
every side, the prairie plow was at work, turning over, as 
it were, the first page in the great volumes of our prosperity. 
Everywhere were brawny arms lifted up to strike the 
earth, that a stream of plenty and contentment might flow 
forth and bless the country, even as the rock itself sent up 
sweet waters to quench the thirst of Israel's children when 
smote by the strength of Aaron. Everywhere these rich 
and rolling prairies which had lain for unnumbered cen- 
turies as blank leaves in the history of the world's progress 
were being written upon by the hand of toil, snatched from 
the obscurity of uselessness, and forever dedicated to the 
support of the Anglo-Saxon race. The sunshine seemed 


brighter, and the ruin and the dews more plentiful and 
refreshing, because they descended upon the earth and found 
it not all a wild and desolate waste. Seed had been sown. 
farms opened and every energy had been taxed to make the 
Territory of Nebraska self sustaining. It was the first 
genuine effort in the right direction. The people were 
aroused to the fact, that agriculture, and that alone, was 
to be for many years the sole support, the sheet anchor and 
the salvation of the Territory. Emulation was excited; 
each endeavored to outwork the other in the good cause. 
lu many of the counties, fairs were held last fall, and agri- 
culture had at last, after three years of neglect, assumed 
its true position in Nebraska. As you well remember the 
season was favorable, the crops were heavy. We had 
enough, aye. more than enough, and the last spring - wit- 
nessed the first shipment of our surplus production of grain 
to the foreign market. The first steamers that came up 
the Missouri in 1S57, brought ns com to keep us and our 
stock from perishing by hunger and starvation. We paid for 
it at the rate of two dollars a bushel. But now by the 
energy of our farmers, Nebraska in less than two years had 
been transformed from a consumer to a producer. And the 
steamboats of the old Missouri bore away from our shores 
in the spring of 1859, hundreds of thousands of bushels of 
corn to the southern and eastern markets, which we did 
not need for our home use, and for which, at the rate of 40 
cents per bushel, we have taken more money than for town 
lots in the last eighteen months, or will in the next twenty- 
four. Thus imperfectly and hurriedly I have narrated the 
history of agriculture in Nebraska, down to the planting of 
last spring's crop: what that was and how much greater the 
breadth of land cultivated than ever before, the new farms 
that met the eye on every side, and the vast fields of ripen- 
ing grain that magically unsurpassed the place of the rank 
prairie grass, eloquently proclaimed. 

If our brief and only half-improved past has been thus en- 
couraging- and thus indicative of prosperity: if notwithstand- 
ing the mercilessness of the panic and scarcity of money, the 
present time, today, finds Nebraska richer in the true ele- 
ments of prosperity, stronger in the golden capital of 
skillful industry and contented labor than she ever was 
before, who shall predict her future? Who shall attempt to 

portray the fulness and glory of her destiny? 

The Anglo-Saxon race are being driven by the hand of Cod 
across the continent of America, and are to inhabit and 
have dominion over it all. These prairies which have been 
cleared and made ready for 1 he plow by the hand of God 



himself, are intended for the abiding- place of the pioneers 
in the progress of the world. The American Indian, in 
whom there are none of the elements of thrift, held a 
tenancy upon these fertile plains for centuries; but there 
was neither labor in his arm nor progression in his spirit. 
He was an unworthy occupant of so goodly a land and he 
has been supplanted. He has gone, and his race is fast 
becoming extinct; the world is too old for its aborigines. 
Their destiny is completed; they are journeying to their 
fate; they must die, and a few years hence only be known 
through their history, as it was recorded by the Anglo- 
Saxon, while he pushed them before him in his onward 

We stand today upon the very verge of civilization, riding- 
upon the head wave of American enterprise, but our de- 
scendants, living here a century hence, will be in the center 
of American commerce — the mid-ocean of our national great- 
ness and prosperity. Upon this very soil, the depth and 
richness of which is unsurpassed in the whole world, in a 
country whose mineral resources — as yet wholly unde- 
veloped — are certainly mag-nifieent and exhaustless; whose 
coal beds are as extensive as its prairies; whose rivers and 
springs are as healthful as they are numerous, in such a 
country agriculture must and will carve out, for an in- 
dustrious people, a wealth and happiness, the like of which 
the world has never dreamed of before. Manufacture and 
skill in the various arts may, and will undoubtedly aid us in 
our pursuit of a glorious and independent opulence, but our 
great trust and strong hope is still hidden in the fertility 
of our soil and its adaptation to general cultivation. The 
agriculturist may be proud of his calling for in it he is 
independent; in it there is no possibility of guile or fraud, 
and for his partners in labor God has sent him the genial 
simshine, gentle rains and the softly descending- dews. The 
very elements are made his assistants and co-workers; the 
thunderbolt that purifies the atmosphere and furnishes 
electric life to the growing crops, is his friend and his 
helper. It may be urged, and often is, that the calling- 
of the farmer is an arduous and homely one, — that it 
is arduous no one can deny, but it is honorable. 
The idea that a man cannot be a ti-ue gentleman and 
labor with his hands, is an obsolete, a dead and dis- 
honored dogma. All labor is honorable. The scholar 
in his study, the chemist in his laboratory, the artist in 
his studio, the lawyer at his brief, and the preacher at his 
sermon, are all of them nothing more, nothing less, than 
day laborers in the world's workshop— workers with the 


head. Ami the smith a1 his forg-e, the carpenter at his 
bench, mechanics and artisans of every grade and kind, and 
the farmer, are the same laborers — workers with the hand. 

The two classes represent the two divisions of labor, and 
they are mutually dependent upon each other. But if 
nnion»- them all there is one art more health-giving, one 
art more tilled with quiet and honest contentment, than 
another it is that of agriculture. And yet agriculture, 
although it is the art supportive of all arts, although it is 
the basis and foundation upon which the superstructure 
of all the commerce of the world is reared, is less studied, 
less thought of, and more remote from its perfection than 
all others. 

During the last ten years it has, however, begun to at- 
tract a greater degree of attention and has taken a few 
steps towards that high place in the world's business which 
awaits it. The county, state, and national fairs, which 
are now proven so useful, are the protracted meetings of 
husbandmen, where agricultural revivals are initiated and 
thousands annually converted to the faith of the great 
church of human industry. And this is the first revival of 
the kind ever instituted in a territory. To Nebraska be- 
longs the honor and the good name of having placed a 
bright and worthy example before the sisterhood of chil- 
dren States which bound her on the south and west. Let 
us continue in the good work; let every heart's aspiration, 
every thought and effort be to make each succeeding fair 
give better and stronger testimony in favor of the re- 
sources and wealth of our vast and beautiful domain. 

And while in the east the youth are being prepared for 
the so-called learned professions, law, divinity, and medi- 
cine, let us be content to rear up a nation of enlightened 
agriculturists. Men sturdy in mind and thought even as 
they are robust in body and active in all that pertains 
to the J nil development and perfection of the physical 
system of mankind, let it be our high aim, by our en- 
lightened and well-directed training of both the body and 
the mind, to elevate and improve our race and make the 
western man the model, both physical and intellectual, 
from which all the world may be happy to make copies. 

With such an ambition in the minds of the people, and 
an energy to gratify it, the future of this commonwealth 
is such a one as thrills the patriot's heart with grateful 
pride, and makes one sad to Hunk that death may close 
the eye before it shall have rested upon the beauties of 
the Garden State that will have been builded up on these 
shores within the next ten years. "When the valley of L'Eau- 


qui-Court, the great Platte, the Weeping- Water, and the 
two Nemahas, shall be shorn of their native wildness and 
be resonant with the song of the husbandman, the rumble 
of mills, the splash of the paddle wheel and the puff of 
the steam engine; when away out upon those undulating 
plains, whose primeval stillness is now unbroken, save by 
the howl of the wolf, or the wind sighing through the 
rank prairie grass, the American citizen shall have builded 
up homes, hamlets and villages; when the steam plow, 
with its lungs of fire and breath of vapor, shall have sailed 
over the great land-ocean that stretches its luxuriant waves 
of soil from the western bank of the Missouri to the base 
of the Rocky Mountains, leaving in its wake thrifty settle- 
ments and thriving villages, as naturally as a ship riding 
upon a sea leaves the eddy and the foam sparkling in the 
sunlight that gilds its path through the waste of waters. 

When, only fifty miles westward from the Missouri River, 
the strong saline waters of Nebraska shall have arrested 
the attention of the capitalist, and attracted the skill of the 
manufacturer and shall have become, as it must and will, 
the salt producer of the whole northwest; when the rock- 
ribbed mountains that form our western boundary shall 
have been compelled to give up to mankind their long- 
hidden and golden treasures; when afar off up the winding 
channel of the great Platte, the antelope, the buffalo and 
the Indian shall have been startled by the scream of the 
locomotive car, as it roars and rumbles over the prairies 
and the mountains, hastening to unite the states of the 
Atlantic and Pacific into a unity and fraternity of interests, 
a future greater and brighter than words can picture is to 
be achieved, and you, the farmers of Nebraska, are its 
prime architects and its master workmen. 

Be inspired then to hasten the carving out of that destiny 
of indisputable superiority which God has assigned the 
American people; and, so inspired and so laboring - in the 
great field of the world's advancement, when death, that 
harvester whom no seasons control and no laws restrain, 
gathers you to his dark and noiseless garner, may you go, 
like the grain that has thrived and ripened in the brightest 
sunshine, pure and untainted by the mildews of the world, 
back to Him who planted mortality on the earth, thai im- 
mortality might be reaped and garnered and loved in 

This agricultural address was no sporadic effort, but the com- 
mencement of a devotion to the tillage of the soil, to the cul- 
tivation of flowers, shrubs and trees, a devotion which culmi- 


natod in the rural decoration of Arbor Lodge, the presentation 
of a beautiful park to Nebraska City, and to the association of 
his name with Arbor Day triumphs and its beneficent results. 


In the preface to a book entitled "Arbor Day," which Gov. R. 
W. Furnas dedicated to. the Hon. J. Sterling Morton, we have 
the following: 

Perhaps no observance ever sprung so suddenly and al- 
most universally into use in the higher ranks of life 
as that of Arbor Day. The name itself attracts, and at 
once secures fast hold on refined, intelligent people. The 
thought originated with one who worships at the shrine of 
home and its endearing - relations. A resolution providing 
that "Wednesday, the 10th of April, 1872, be and the same 
is hereby set apart and consecrated for tree planting in 
the state of Nebraska, and the State Board of Agriculture 
hereby name it Arbor Day. and to urge upon the people 
of the State the vital importance of tree planting, hereby 
offer a special premium of one hundred dollars to the agri- 
cultural society of that county of Nebraska which shall, 
upon that day, plant properly the largest number of trees; 
and a farm library of twenty-five dollars' worth of books to 
that person who, on that day, shall plant properly in Ne- 
braska the greatest number of trees," was unanimously 
adopted by the State Board of Agriculture on motion of 
Hon. .1. Sterling Morton, January 4, 1872. 

On the day specified in the resolution, the people re- 
sponded by planting 1,000,000 trees and repeated the same 
in 1ST:]. Supplementing the State Board, Gov. Furnas issued 
a proclamation March 31, 1S74. and in 1885 the legislature 
made the 22nd of April. Mr. Morton's birthday, a holiday, 
to be known as Arbor Day. In aid of the object a pro- 
vision was incorporated in the slate constitution and numer- 
ous legal enact incuts. 

Within two months of the public observance of the first Arbor 
Day the Hon. P. \Y. Hitchcock was instrumental in passing 
through the United States senate a bill "To encourage the 
growth of timber on the western prairies," the beneficent op- 
eration of which continued for twenty-two years. Within the 
Space of sixteen years Arbor Day was observed in twenty- 


seven of the States and three of the Territories. Editor H. 
L. Wood, of the Nebraska City Daily Press, having conceived 
the happy idea of issuing an Arbor Day edition of his pa- 
per, received congratulatory responses from many distinguished 
citizens. From James Russell Lowell, poet and diplomat- 
ist: "I am glad to join in this tribute of friendly gratitude 
to the inventor of Arbor Day." From George H. Broker, of 
Philadelphia: "I beg to join with you all in the congratulations 
that may be offered to this friend of humanity on his birthday, 
which was a happy day for the world into which he was born.'* 
From the brilliant author, T. J. Headly: "All honor to the 
founder of Arbor Day." From George William Curtis, editor: 
"I am very glad to join in grateful congratulations to the author 
of the suggestion which has resulted in so beautiful aud service- 
able an observance as Arbor Day." From Gov. Martin of Kan- 
sas: "Mr. Morton's thought has brought forth good fruit, and 
has been of vast pecuniary value to Kansas and Nebraska, and to 
all the states of the West." From ex-Senator T. F. Bayard: "I 
count it my good fortune to have long known J. Sterling Morton, 
and appreciate his many delightful qualities of head and heart." 
From John C. Fremont, the explorer and pathfinder of em- 
pire: "I am glad to have the opportunity to enroll myself among 
the friends and well-wishers of Mr. Morton, and to congratulate 
him upon the success of his unselfish and broadly useful work." 
In the House, the irrepressible and genial Hon. Church Howe 
introduced the following resolution, which was passed: 

Whereas, The President-elect of the United States has 
seen fit to select one of the most distinguished citizens 
of this State for Secretary of Agriculture; and 

Whereas, .T. Sterling Morton, one of the pioneers of Ne- 
braska and the creator of Arbor Day, is particularly well 
equipped for the position, which we firmly believe he will 
fill with credit to Nebraska and honor to the Nation: be it 

Resolved, That the house, irrespective of party politics, 
tender its thanks to the Hon. drover Cleveland for the 
honor conferred upon the State of Nebraska. 

The fact that the measure was introduced by a republican and 


was passed without a dissenting vote was especially gratifying 
to the friends of Mr. Morton. 

Withiu two months Mr. Morton became Secretary of Agricul- 
ture. When t lie people of New Jersey, in compliance with the 
governor's proclamation, met to celebrate Arbor Day, their pro- 
gram spread before them an elaborate, philosophic, and sta- 
tistical essay, by the Secretary, upon the Forestry of Civilized 

Of the "relentless, never-ending war between the animal and 
vegetable kingdom," he said: 

Like great wheels the cycles revolve and reappear, now 
in the animal and then in the vegetable world, as mere 
mites in the stupendous machinery of the universe. The 
glow of beauty on the cheek of youth to-day, may to- 
morrow tint a rose growing upon that youth's grave. 

We die, we are buried, and down into our very graves the 
kingdom of the forest and field sends its fibrous root-spies, 
its pioneers, and sappers and miners. The grand oak, 
the majestic elm, throw out their arms and foliage to 
wave and shimmer in the sunlight, and deploy their roots 
and rootlets to invade graves, and bring them food and 
strength from the tired forms that sleep therein. 

The almost infinite possibilities of a tree germ came to 
'my mind, one summer when traveling in a railway carriage 
amid beautiful cultivated fields in Belgium. A cottonwood 
seed on its wings of down drifted into my compartment. 
It came like a nialerialized whisper from home. Catching 
it in my hand I forgot the present and wandered into the 
past, to a mote like that which had, years and j'ears 
before, been planted by the winds and currents on the 
banks of the Missouri. That mote had taken life and 
root, growing to splendid proportions, until in 1S54 the ax of 
the pioneer had vanquished it, and the saw seizing it with 
relentless, whirling teeth reduced it to lumber. From its 
treehood evolved a human habitation, a home my home — 
wherein a mother's love had blossomed and fruited with 
a sweetness surpassing the loveliness of the rose and the 
honeysuckle. Tims from the former feathery floater in 
mid-air grew a home, and all the endearing contentment 
and infinite satisfaction which that blessed Anglo-Saxon 
word conveys, that one word which means all that is worth 
living for, and for which alone all good men and women 
an- living. 


Never did the Secretary of Agriculture seem a more fitting 
part of his surroundings than when on Arbor Day, 1894, he stood 
uncovered under the towering trees and among the aspiring 
shrubs, upon the flower-clad lawn of his great department; and 
there, with firm hand, steadied in place the Morton Oak of the 

And equally true to nature and the occasion did inspired in- 
tellect entwine the moral and epitaph: 

It seems to me that a tree and a truth are the two 
longest lived things of which mankind has any knowledge. 
Therefore it behooves all men in rural life besides planting- 
truths to plant trees; it behooves all men in public life to 
plant economic and political truths, and as the tree grows 
from a small twig to a grand overspreading - oak, so the 
smallest economic truth, as we have seen in the United 
States, even in the last year, can so g-row as to revolutionize 
the government of the great Kepublic. I say, then, that we 
should all plant trees and plant truths, and let every man 
struggle so that when we shall all have passed away we 
shall have earned a great epitaph which we find in St. 
Paul's Cathedral in London. You remember Sir Christopher 
"Wren was the architect of that wondrous consummation 
of beauty in building, and there among the heroic dead of 
England's greatest heroes upon land or sea repose his 
remains. On other tombs are marked words of eulogy, 
fulsome sometimes, always intense, but upon the sarco- 
phagus where Sir Christopher Wren's remains repose is 
inscribed only these simple words: "Si quceris monumcntum 
circn^n■<tpic^ ,, — If you seek my monument look around you. 
So every man, woman and child who plants trees shall be 
able to say, on coming as I have come, toward the evening 
of life, in all sincerity and truth: "If you seek my monu- 
ment, look around you." 

This occasion was a surprise arranged by the officials of his 
department; but one year afterward it was more than dupli- 
cated on Congress Heights, D. 0., April 22, 1895, being Arbor 
Day and his sixty- third birthday, when sixty-three trees were 
planted in his honor and named for distinguished persons. One 
of these he planted and named "Sound Money." 

Mr. Morton's ability as a platform speaker made him a favor- 
ite in manv states long before his introduction to a president's 



cabinet, not only <»n the stump but in the lecture hall as well; 
and whet her his efforts were reported from cosmopolitan Chi- 
cago or primitive Boston, prairie garlands twined gracefully 
with conservative chaplets. 

Had his fortune been cast in a democratic slate, he would, in 
national politics, have at once wielded the rudder as well as the 
oar. In L890, Prof. Perry of Williams College, being ready to 
dedicate the crowning effort of his life, "Principles of Political 
Economy," inscribed that supreme analysis: 






For forty years Mr. Morton has illustrated the "survival of 
the fittest,** and the Roman motto, "Kemper paraUs" — alw T ays 

Mr. Morton unintentionally and unexpectedly evoked a storm 
of denunciation as the result of clear conceptions. bold utterances 
and intellectual aggressiveness, from a speech delivered in the 
"Congress of Agriculture," at Chicago, 111., Oct. 1G, 1S93. 

The American farmer has foes to contend with. They are 
not merely the natural foes — not the weevil in wheat, nor 
the murrain in cattle, nor the cholera in swine,, nor the 
drouth, nor the chinch-bug. The most insidious and de- 
structive foe to the farmer is the "professional" farmer 
who, as a "promoter" of granges and alliances, for political 
purposes, farms the farmer. 

He thought "individual investigation of economic questions'' 
of more value to farmers than granges or alliances attempting 
"to run railroads and banks, and even to establish new systems 
of coinage."" lie affirmed that "no man should give a power of 
attorney to any society or organization or person, to think for 
him." Immediately upon the delivery of the address, he w r as 
denounced as an enemy of agriculture, and the president was 
importuned by granges and editors for his summary removal as 
Secretary of Agriculture. 


In reply to these violent accusations Mr. Morton published 
the address without note or comment and incorporated with it 
the most violent criticisms of his traducers, in order that the 
public might discover the grounds on which they planted their 
enginery. A copy of this most valuable address, falling under 
the attention of a distinguished economist, received the compli- 
ment, "clear as a bell, sound as a nut, and lively as a play." 

When the Hansborough bill was before Congress, ottering a 
government appropriation for the destruction of the Russian 
thistle, and an applicant was seeking appointment as chief of 
exterminators, the Secretary ironically suggested including 
•cockle-burs and fan-tail grass," and further said: 

The Hansborough bill will never be perfect until paternal- 
ism has so amended it as to have the government not only 
weed, but plow, cultivate, and g'arner all crops for the 
people of the United States. The circulation of pint, quart 
and gallon packages of the Kentucky antidote for snake 
bites, g'ratuitously, under government franks through the 
mails, oug'ht to begin as soon as the serpents open up for 
summer business. There is no crop so dangerous to man- 
kind (as Adam's expei'ience in the Garden of Eden shows) 
as a snake crop. 

When Mr. Morton took charge of the Department of Agricul- 
ture, March 4th, 1893, he found 2,497 employees on its pay rolls, 
of whom 305 were discharged within nine months. He was able 
to submit an estimate for the fiscal year, to end June 30, 1804, 
of |360,658 less than was appropriated for the previous year. 
He found the Department in its fifth year taking on all the ex- 
travagant vices of the older ones, as indicated by a few items 
from an interview. 

The conversation here turned to the Department of Agricul- 
ture and 1 asked the Secretarv whether he was making any 
changes in the methods of running it. He replied: 

I am making a great many, and I am trying to bring the 
department down to a practical business basis. T believe 
in spending money where it should be spent, but I don't 
believe in wasting it. I have already found a number of 
big leaks which 1 am stopping. One is in these experimental 


stations which have been established by the department 
over the country. Some of them are no good whatever. 
Why, I have found one at Garden City, Kan., the business 
of which was to evolve a grass which would grow on the 
arid plains of 1 he west. Twenty-two thousand dollars have 
been spent on it in five years, and a Professor Veasy is 
trying there to produce a sort of grass that will grow 
without rain, water or soil, a sort of grass orchid, I presume. 
From what inquiries I made I found that this Professor 
Veasy had a home address at Denver, Colo., and he seemed 
to be only heard from at times when his salary was due. 
I have stopped the appropriation and I suppose he will now 
materialize in some shape or other. 

I got a request the other day for $50 for a United States 
flag, which was to be put up over the sugar beet farm at 
Schuyler, ISeb. I couldn't see the reason for the appropria- 
tion and I investigated the station. I found that it was 
costing us over $5,000 a year and that all we could get out 
of it Avas some beet seed, which the regular sugar beet 
factories would send to us if w r e would only pay the freight. 
We pay on these experimental stations about $360,000 a 
year, and I think the most of them should be abolished. 
My idea is that experimenting should be done through 
the agricultural experiment stations of the states. There 
are forty-four of these scattered all over the Union. They 
get an appropriation from Congress of $750,000 a year. 
This goes directly to them, and over it we have no control. 
I think that the seeds could be distributed through these 
experiment stations and not by the congressmen. It costs 
$135,000 a year to send out seeds from here. I am going 
to recommend Congress to abolish this part of our busi- 
ness. As the seeds are now sent out they do not reach the 
parties they should nor do the proper kind of seeds get 
to the proper localities. 

"What are you going to do as to the meat inspection, Mr. Sec- 
retary?" I asked. He replied: 

I am going to abolish a good part of it. Our meat ex- 
ports to Germany last year amounted to only $2,000,000 and 
I find that the Germans reinspected all the meat that came 
in. We sent $34,000,000 worth to England, where there 
was no inspection. The inspection costs a vast deal more 
than it ((lines to, and in eleven months it has footed up a 
total of about $200,000. Why, during that time we paid out 
$l,i)00 to inspect the meat at the Indianapolis abattoirs, and 
how much 7iieat do you think was exported from there? 


Just $351.50. For every dollar's worth of pork sent to 
Germany from Indianapolis we paid more than $10 for in- 
spection. It isn't good business. 

"How about American Corn in Europe? Is Cornmeal Murphy 
going to revolutionize the continent?" 

I think not, though he is still in Europe. More of our 
corn should be used in Europe, but I believe we can create a 
greater market for it by getting the Germans to use it 
in the making of beer rather than the making of bi-ead. 
Most of the beer in the United States is made largely of 
corn. The Milwaukee brewers will tell you they don't use 
it, but they use glucose, which is the same thing, and the 
greatest per cent of our beer conies from corn. Milwaukee 
turns out a hundred car loads of beer every day the year 
round, and our breweries have a great deal to do with the 
price of corn. The Germans use vast quantities of beer. 
Bavaria alone turns out 9,000,000 barrels a year, and the 
other German provinces have vast brewing establishments 
in all of their large cities. Corn makes a very good beer, 
and I think we can gradually get them to using it. I have 
selected a bright, well educated brewer to go to Germany 
to look into the matter. 

While the above shows in what spirit of intelligent discrim- 
ination he began placing his department upon an honest basis, 
the general outcome has become his splendid vindication. Dur- 
ing the absence of Secretary Morton in Europe, in the fall of 
1804, studying their agricultural systems, and economic meth- 
ods, D. MacCuaig, Esq., Chief Clerk of the Department, in suc- 
cessfully vindicating him against political campaign charges of 
a republican committee, incidently touched upon the subject 
of the foregoing interview. If there is one thing which Secre- 
tary Morton detests more than paternalism it is nepotism. 

Amid the subsidence of premature clamor, the words of the 
Hon. E. J. Hainer of Nebraska, in the House of Representatives, 
February 4, 1895, add to the official vindication: 

I know that there is no better friend of the real genuine 
agriculturist, not the fraudulent kind,— not those who 
masquerade as agriculturists,— there is no better friend of 
the genuine farmer than the present Secretary of Agri- 
culture, J. Sterling Morton, though he be a Democrat. 


In the February number of the North American Review, 1895, 
there appeared an article from the pen of the Secretary, in 
which he illustrated the proposition, that "to-day analyzed, is 
only a portrait in miniature of an aggregate yesterday." From 
the history of early exchanges of property, and the opinions of 
ancient authors upon a circulating medium, he passed to the 
object lesson of Nebraska in her infancy, with an inflated paper 
currency, before her possession of exchangeable commodities, 
and the crash two years later, when the inferior currency had 
expelled the superior. In a subsequent interview the salient 
points of the article were condensed: 

1 do not believe that an international congress can es- 
tablish permanently a commercial ratio between gold and 
silver any more than it can establish a permanent com- 
mercial ratio between rye and wheat. But if an 
international conference can fix the price of gold or of 
silver, it can also fix the price of wheat or of any other 
commodity, and thereby avoid all the possible shrinkages 
in values which tend to cause panics. 

I think the word "intrinsic" ought not to be used. The 
value of gold is always relative. To illustrate: If I sell 
you a thousand bushels of wheat today for $570, the transac- 
tion has established, for the time being, the wheat value 
of gold and the gold value of wheat. Tomorrow's cables 
of litter failure of wheat crop in Argentina. Russia, and 
Europe entirely change the relation of gold to wheat, 
and the thousand bushels of wheat purchased al 57 cents 
yesterday, is worth $1.14 a bushel today. But in the mean- 
time, there lias been no "intrinsic" value of gold, notwith- 
standing there has been a change in the relation of wheat 
to gold. 

My own judgmenl is that we must sooner or later declare 
thai the United States of America recognizes gold as the 
l>est and least fluctuating measure of value and medium of 
exchange which the commerce of civilization lias thus far 

The time for straddlers has passed. Those who are for 
sound currency on a gold basis oughl to have the courage 
to say so. and abide by the results of their declaration, 
h makes no difference to me whether a declaration of 
truth, either upon the tariff or the money question, tem- 
porarily drives votes from or allures them to us. 


It is barely possible that the financial fallacies of the 
populists and other vagaries maj- temporarily secure a 
majority of the voters of the United States. Should such 
a catastrophe overtake the country, the people must learn 
by experience what they should have learned by diligent 
study and reason. 

I have no hesitation in declaring myself utterly opposed 
to all free coinage fallacies, all the 16 to 1 lunacies, and all 
of the cheap money illusions and delusions which populists 
and other vagarists advocate. 

My judgment is that silver cannot be restored to its 
monetary place in the commerce of the world, because the 
supply of silver has outgrown the demand for silver in the 
exchanges of civilization. The relation of supply to demand 
is the sole regulator of value. This maxim applies alike to 
salt, silver, sugar, and soap. All the legislation of all the 
law-making bodies on the face of the globe can neither 
mitigate nor annul the operation of the inexorable law that 
"the relation of supply to demand is the sole regulator 
of value." 

The President's critics ask, What is sound money? Any 
ordinary man of business may answer that question. Sound 
money is that sort of currency which has the most universal 
and least fluctuating' purchasing- power in the markets of 
all countries. That money is the soundest for which, 
throughout the commerce of the civilized world, there is 
the most universal demand. And that universal demand is 
always based upon the universal and unfluctuating- purchas- 
ing- power of that money. The present epidemic of the 
silver fever will in due time abate. As the temperature of 
the 16 to 1 patients declines, mental aberrations will dis- 
appear and reason once more resume its sway. 



May 2, 1S59 to Feb. 24, 1861. 

The appointment of Samuel W. Black, 1 as associate justice of 
the territory of Nebraska, in 1857, was the date of his introduc- 
tion to the "Far West." Born in the city of Pittsburg, Pa., in 
1818, then on the confines of western civilization, and educated 
under the severe moral constraints of covenanter influence, he 
icached man's estate better furnished for the battle of life than 
a majority of American youths. At twenty-two years of age 
thousands were charmed by his brilliant oratorical efforts in 
that incomprehensible campaign of 1840, when speech and song, 
hurled in passion, drove democracy from the White House and 
enthroned "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." 

Sanguine friends were predicting for him the garlands of suc- 
cess at the bar, when the Mexican war gave an outlet for youth- 
ful valor, and a colonelcy commission filled the demands of an 
enthusiast's ambition. When introduced to Judge Hall, of Ne- 
braska, a Mexican remembrance incited his wit, when he ex- 
claimed, "Judge Hall, are you related to 'The Halls of the Mon- 
tezumas?'" and received the retort, "Governor Black, are you 
a relative of the Blacks of South Carolina?" 

After the resignation of Governor Richardson in the fall of 
1858, the Hon. J. Sterling Morton, territorial secretary, became 
acting governor until the arrival of Governor Samuel Black on 
the 2nd of May, 1859. 

On the 6th day of December, 1859, Governor Black delivered 
his first official message to the legislature. Being a man of 
scholarly attainments and well posted in political history, he 
devoted half of the space of a long message to dispel the cloud 
cast over the Territory by the ignorance and hasty decisions 
of early explorers, as to its being a desert region, and further, 
to establish its right to speedy admission as a state. 

Biography of Gov. Black, Xebr. Stat. Hist. Soc. Tub., 1st scries, I., 94. 95. 


But inasmuch as practical agriculture has completely dissi- 
pated the illusion, and the question of an admission to the 
Union been a fixed fact for twenty-four years, both theories 
may be passed over in silence. At the threshold of discussion we 
meet the following: 

Nebraska has heretofore suffered from inconsiderate and 
nasty legislation, as well as from sudden and untimely- 
repeal of a large portion of her laws. We have, however, 
just cause of congratulation that the code, both civil and 
criminal, adopted by the legislature of last year, is in 
full force and successful operation. 

The recommendations relative to lands bearing the greater 
share of taxation, homestead exemption from sale for debt, 
prudent usury laws, the intelligent limitation of official fees, the 
enactment of laws to protect debtors and secure creditors in the 
sale of real estate under execution, were worthy of a sound law- 
yer and impartial judge. The brief allusion to the mistakes and 
calamities of the past was pungent and graphic: 

It is a matter of bitter experience that the people of this 
Territory have been made to pass through the delusive 
days of high times and paper prices, and the consequent 
dark and gloomy night of low times and no prices. 

By far the most notable message ever delivered, up to that 
•date, in Nebraska closed, pure in morals and beautiful in style: 

We may here turn to our past history as a territory, and 
find material for pleasant meditation. Individual faults and 
occasional infractions of the law are of course upon the 
record, but not a single page is darkened by the registry 
of a single outbreak among the people. Our growth in 
population and prosperity has been equal to the most san- 
guine expectation. Of agricultural supplies we already pro- 
duce far more than we consume, and we may reasonably 
hope that but a few years will roll around before Nebraska 
will be as well known in the markets of the world as the 
oldest and largest grain growing states in the Republic. 

A railroad to the Pacific Ocean is no longer a problem 

without a solution, and its construction and completion 

are but a question of time. These prairies will all be 

peopled from the great rivers to the mountains. The farm 



house and i In- school house will decorate fclie plains, and 
temples reared to the living God will resound with praise 
from living and grateful hearts. This is the mighty and 
majestic future to which we look almost with the assurance 
of divine faith. Our fathers saw this and were glad. And 
when this "goodly frame," without a parallel, this Union, 
was tirsi conceived, they trusted in Jehovah and were not 
disappointed. They knew as we know thai there is a 
special providence in the fall of a sparrow, and in the 
rise and fall of nations. Thai their fate, who have fallen, 
may not be ours, and that our country may continue to rise 
and increase in just power, in excellence and in virtue, 
should he and will he, in all parts of it and in all times 
To come, as in the times past, the invocation and prayer 
of the patriot. 

On the occasion of vetoing an act of incorporation, the gover- 
nor said: "'it is time that the spirit of incorpoiation should he sub- 
dued and chocked. All special privileges and chartered rights 
conferred on a few, are so much .taken away from the general 
privileges and unchartered rights of the many." As illustrative 
of the bungling way in which laws had been enacted, a com 
mittee reported: "That there was no law in existence in L858 
which authorized the levy and collection of territorial tax. The 
legislature of 1857, in attempting to adopt a revenue law, only 
adojded the enactment clause.'' As only four counties paid 
anything into the treasury in 1858, said amounts were recom- 
mended to be returned. There seeming to be no doubt that 
i hero were six slaves in Nebraska and had been formerly as 
many as thirteen, a bill was introduced and passed for the 
abolition of slavery in the territory, which was vetoed on the 
ground thai slavery existed in the Louisiana purchase when we 
acquired it by the treaty, and could not be disposed of until the 
adoption of a state constitution. <)n the 4th day of December, 
L860, the governor delivered his second and final annual mes- 
sage to the legislature, and proceeded at once to the vital ques- 
tions in which the people were specially interested. Referring 
to the previous session, he said: 

I urged then, as 1 urge now. the necessity of the law 

againsl usurious rates of interest. Better have IIO money 


than buy it with the life blood of the needy and hard 
pressed of the people. 

Iii response to tliis utterance the rate of interest was placed 
at 10 per cent in case there was no agreement for another rate 
not exceeding 15 per cent. Of salaries he said: 

It is perfectly well known that the income of several of 
the officers in the Territory is far greater than it should 
be. and that the territorial debt would be an easy burden 
if it were not for the issue of the warrants to satisfy the 
claims of public officers, whose fees in many cases are 
four times as much as their services are worth. 

To remedy this evil, a most searching and comprehensive law 
was passed covering the whole range of fees and salaries. The 
territorial debt was stated at $52,960, with collectible resources 
amounting to $30,259. Contemplating the manner in which the 
public debt had increased from a small amount in five years to 
$50,000 his indignant language was: 

Let the days of extravagance and enormous fees be num- 
bered and cut short, and let a system of rigid and severe 
economy, suited to the limes and our condition, be intro- 
duced and adopted, and that without delay. 

His plea for an indirect bounty by which the growth of timber 
on the treeless prairies might be encouraged was promptly met 
by the passage of an act allowing a reduction of $50 on the val- 
uation of real estate for every acre of cultivated fruit, forest or 
ornamental trees. On the supposition that "the relation of a 
Territory to the general government is peculiar, and one in many 
respects of entire dependence/" he urged that Congress be called 
upon for aid for bridges and roads on the lines of western travel, 
and for emigrant hospitals, and an arsenal of repairs and sup- 
plies. No important interest of the home-seeker seemed to es- 
cape his attention. His confidence in the future of the Terri- 
tory was reiterated: 

A soil so rich and prolific, a climate for the most part 
of the year so pleasant, and at all seasons so full of health, 
was not meant for a waste place nor a wilderness. God has 


written His decrees for her prosperity deep in the earth, 
and developed His designs in the rejoicing harvests which 
return in smiling - abundance to them who, betimes, have 
sown in tears. 

With his eye upon the storm cloud in the sky of the Union, 

and his ear sensitive to the strains of discord, he came to his 

final appeal: 

The suggestions of self interest and the loftiest patriot- 
ism should combine to make the people of the Territories 
faithful to the constitution and firm to their attachment 
to the Union. When one is the subject of open and frequent 
violation, and the other trembles on a sea of trouble, 
every good and conscientious citizen will ask himself the 
question, what can I do that my country may be saved? 
You cannot shut your eyes, nor can I close mine, to the 
fearful fact that this confederacy is shaken to the center 
and vibrates with intense feeling to its farthest borders. 
If it is not in our power to do something to bring back the 
days of other years when peace prevailed, let us at least 
do nothing towards making the present more gloomy and 
• the future, at best, but hopeless. Rather with one accord 
let us invoke the God of all peace, for "even the wind and 
the sea obey Him," that He will subdue the storm and quiet 
every angry element of alienation and discord. 

Up to the assembling of the legislature in 1860, the govern- 
ment officials had been members of the Democratic party, and 
those of them from slave states uniformly brought with them 
one or more slaves, claiming that slavery was national. Dur- 
ing the first four or five years of territorial existence the anti- 
slavery sentiment of the people had been in restraint by the 
theory that it was better for the material interests of the new 
community that they should not antagonize the policy of the 
party in power. And as I lie repeal of the Missouri Compromise 
and the struggle to force slavery upon Kansas had threat- 
ened the life of the Union, it seemed nothing short of the Kepub- 
lican cyclone of 1800, which brought Mr. Lincoln into the White 
House, could consolidate the emigrants and check the domineer- 
ing assumption of official dictators. But the make-up of this 
legislature proclaimed the emancipation of sentiment and the 


dawn of a new political era. Of course there were at all times 
a few bold spirits, illustrating the fact that a true reformer must 
be in advance of* his times. 

On the 23d day of the session, in reply to the governor's mes- 
sage of censure, a committee of whom T. W. Tipton of Nemaha 
county was chairman, made the following report: 

The select committee to which was referred the special 
message from the governor, dated December the 16th, I860,, 
calling the attention of this body to the fact that only seven- 
teen working- days of the session remained, and up to that 
date he had received no bills for his official signature, have 
had the same under consideration and beg leave to report: 
First, that from a careful and thorough examination of a 
standard almanac, his point in regard to the time is well 
taken; and second, that the journal of the council appears 
to sustain the second count in the indictment. We are 
happy to learn from his excellency that "I make this sug- 
gestion in no spirit of complaint," for we are certain that 
he has no cause of complaint, and had he complained we 
would have handed his complaint over to a people who 
have been cursed with too hasty, illadvised, and inconsider- 
ate legation. But when he says as a reason for prompting" 
us to action, ".Not on my own account alone, but for the 
sake of the people, I request that yon will endeavor to 
hasten the public business," we desire to remind his excel- 
lency that the same people whose will has been stricken 
down at a previous session, by his veto, has sent us here 
to own allegiance to no earthly power but themselves, and 
our oaths of office, and further that we represent thousands 
of freemen and hold our commissions from them, while he 
holds his from the President of the United States. The 
people are well aware that no legislature, a large portion 
of whom hold for the first time, can in the short space of 
twenty days, bring legislative order out of choas, and estab- 
lish a judicious revenue system, construct an election law 
that will guard the ballot box, equalize the fees of all public 
officers, reduce the burdens of taxation by thousands of 
dollars, and place a future state on a broad and glorious 
platform of constitutional liberty. But if it is a fact that 
we have been bj' day and night laboring in this chamber 
and committee rooms, in this behalf for 23 days, may we 
not, when successful, return to our constituents in conscious 
pride and triumph? In taking leave of this peculiar mes- 
sage we concur in the propriety of the following language 
of his excellency: "Nor do I assume any right to influence 


in any wav your movements, or deliberations." From this 
;i\(.w;il on his part, your committee recommend thai the 
council continue in iransact legislative business in ils own 
way, determining its own movements and controlling ii* 
ow n deli bera t ions. 

(in the (iih day of the term Governor Black served upon the 
Legislature a veto message of "A bill prohibiting slavery in the 
Territory," which was promptly passed over his veto by a vote 
of 1(» to 3 in the council and :v.\ to 2 in the house. Of the votes 
in the council 8 of the 1<» were cast by republicans and 2 by 
Douglas democrats. Of these republicans Dundy became 
United States districl judge, Elbert governor of Colorado, Mar- 
quette and Taffe representatives in Congress, Strickland, Doug- 
las democrat. United States district attorney, and Thayer and 
Tipton United States senators, evidence sufficient that the peo- 
ple were not misrepresented on the slavery question. On a 
motion of Mr. Tipton the public printer was ordered to accom- 
pany the governor's message with the action of the Legislature 
in passing the bill over the veto, on which subject he delivered 
the following remarks: 

In my humble opinion this veto message is a most remark- 
able production — remarkable on account of the pertinacity 
with which his excellency follows up this question of human 
freedom with ponderous documents, earnest protests, and 
unavailing entreaties. In its component parts il is equally 
remarkable, whether yon consider it ;i system of dove- 
tailed fallacies, special pleadings, or sublimated foolishness. 
If his excellency had a mint of gold with which to bribe 
this legislature, and we possessed all the logical acumen and 
captivating eloquence of our race: were we willing to re- 
ceive the one and exert the other, we could neither i^ive 
dignity to this document nor force to its conclusions. The 
honest hearts of our constituents would consign us for our 
efforts to everlasting political infamy. 

The republicans had (le« hired in their Chicago platform, "that 
the normal condition of all the territories is that of freedom, 
and we deny the righl of Congress, or of a territorial legislature, 
or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any 


territory of the United States." National democrats held that 
slavery was national, and could follow the master at his pleas- 
ure. The Douglas democrats, followers of the distinguished 
Illinois senator, claimed that the people, as an act of "popular 
sovereignty," could "vote it up or vote it down," according- to 
their preferences. Before the end of the session Gov. Black 
found numerous occasions to exercise his veto, and in no addi- 
tional case did the legislature reverse his decision. On the last 
day of the session he concluded his last veto message with the 
f ol 1 o w i n g sentences : 

This is the last day of your session, and this communica- 
tion is about the last I shall have an opportunity to submit 
to the legislative assembly. When I had the honor to 
occupy a seat on the bench, I trust I was persevering and 
firm in vindicating- the great right of protection to life 
which the law extends to every human being. The position 
then occupied I am unwilling to change, even by a distant 
and remote conviction. Wherefore this bill, which seems to 
excuse, if it does not justify, a felonious homicide, is not 

On the 11th of January, 1861, when the hands of the clock 
indicated final adjournment, as a passenger from the deck of 
the vessel waves a final adieu to friends on shore, the council, 
on motion of General Thayer, sent to the house greeting: — 

Resolved. That we hereby heartily and cordially endorse 
the official conduct of the executive of this Territory, His 
Excellency, Hon. Samuel W. Black, for his gentlemanly and 
courteous treatment of the members of this legislature, 
and for the prompt, efficient and energetic manner in which 
he has discharged the duties devolving upon him during 
the session of this legislature, and during his term of office. 

The 21th of the next month marked the departure of the gov- 
ernor to his native Pennsylvania, and on the following June 
dates the death of Col; Black, shot from his horse at the head of 
a Union regiment, leading a desperate charge against a Confed- 
erate army. A statement of his tragic death was communicated 
to the Nebraska State Historical Society by his daughter. 1 

1 Vol. III., 1st series, 94, 95. 



L862, 1867. 

Hon. A. S. Paddock came to Nebraska under the most favor- 
able circumstances possible for a young man of ambitious ten- 
dencies, being twenty-seven years of age and possessing a good 
education, free from all public vices, and with a "sound mind 
in a sound body," possessed of fundamental principles of law, 
and the experiences of self-support. Pioneer neighbors naturally 
hailed him as one qualified for counsel and aggressive action, 
;i new man, in a new country, where a new set of political is- 
sues were beginning to monopolize public attention. Having 
inherited anti-slavery sentiments from a New England ancestry, 
his natural affiliations would be with Fremont as a presidential 
candidate in 1856, and for Lincoln in 1860. When, therefore, 
he met New Yorkers in the Chicago convention in I860, from 
whom he had parted as an emigrant in 1857, and was with them 
in voting for William H. Seward for nominee, a mutual co-oper- 
ation in the future was easy and natural. With Lincoln elected 
and Seward in the cabinet, and the prestige of a campaign ora- 
tor associated with the name of Mr. Paddock, the appointment 
was made and confirmed, and he entered upon the duties of 
Secretary of Nebraska April 1st, 1861." In 1864 he was candi- 
date for nomination before the republican convention of Ne- 
braska, I'm- delegate in congress, with T. M. Marquette, P. W. 
Hitchcock and T. W. Tipton as friendly competitors. Each 
being voted for separately, Mr. Tipton lacked four votes of the 
nomination while Mr. Marquette was a few short also. On the 
next ballot the first count gave Mr. Paddock a majority of one r 
but before the ai uncemenl a delegate claimed the parlia- 
mentary right »il' changing his vote, which left it a tie. Up to 
this point the friends of Mr. Hitchcock had been casting com- 


plimentary rotes to each candidate, and now that his time of 
trial had come, all were "returned with interest," and he re- 
ceived the nomination. 

In 1866, while Mr. Seward was still in the cabinet of Andrew 
Johnson and many conservative republicans were sustaining 
the administration, Mr. Paddock became a candidate for Con- 
gress, receiving a conservative republican and democratic vote, 
but failed of election by a majority of 848 votes, in favor of 
John Taffe. 

In 1867 President Johnson gave him the nomination of Gover- 
nor of Wyoming territory, which was finally declined. Subse- 
quently he was elected a senator of the United States, in 1875, 
and re-elected in 1887, while in the interim he served on the 
Utah commission. 

Among the many duties devolving upon him as acting gover- 
nor, was his preparation for the subjugation of the hostile Indi- 
ans in the year 1862. 

Omaha, Nebr., Territory, Sept. 9, 1862. 
Eon. E. M. Stanton, Sec'y of War: Powerful bands of In- 
dians are retiring from Minnesota into the northern 
counties of this Territory. Settlers by the hundreds are 
fleeing 1 . Instant action is demanded. I can turn out a 
militia force, a battery of three pieces of six pounders, 
and from six to ten companies of cavalry and mounted in- 
fantry. The Territory is without credit or a cent of money. 
Authorize me to act for the general government in pro- 
viding immediate defense and I can do all that is necessary 
with our militia, if subsisted and paid by the government. 

A. S. Paddock, 
Sec'y and Acting-Governor of Nebraska. 

Authority being granted, all preliminary steps were taken,, 
the Second Nebraska cavalry organized and placed under the 
command of Col. Furnas, and a complete victory obtained over 
the savages in the battle of Whitestone Hills, with the Brules, 
Yankton and Blackfeet Sioux. 

When the legislature convened in January, 1867, the governor 
being absent on official business, the duty of presenting the 
annual message devolved upon the territorial secretary, Hon. 


A. s. Paddock. The fads and figures of the accompanying re- 
ports of state officers belonged to the administration of Gover- 
nor Saunders, while the secretary was entitled to full credit for 
most wise and conservative views upon the national land sys- 
tem, results of the war, impartial suffrage, and kindred themes 
of vital importance to the embryo state. 

The financial statement gave an available surplus of $61,810, 
whereas six years before, the date of the governor's first mes- 
sage, the indebtedness was f^T.ilM). The revision of the laws 
had been accomplished in an admirable manner. "The wise 
economy" of the homestead law "had been no more clearly illus- 
trated than in this territory." Said he, "How much wiser then 
the economy which gives to productive industry the possession 
of the national domain- free of cost, than that which disposes of 
it in large tracts to speculators, in whose hands it remains unoc- 
cupied and unimproved, a veritable obstacle in the way of the 
rapid settlement and development of the country." Among 
numerous recommendations made to the legislature was that 
for a memorial to Congress protesting against any future cash 
sales of public lands, or withdrawing from market for pros- 
pective railroads, or locations by script or warrants unless for 
new state uses, and also asking that government buy the Union 
Pacific railroad lands and devote them to free settlement. It 
was also recommended that a liberal amount be appropriated 
to secure the active labors of immigrant agents, and to accom- 
plish a geological survey of the Territory. In order to bring in 
closer relations, commercially and socially, the inhabitants north 
and south of the 1 Matte, a free bridge was urged as an unavoid- 
able necessity. 

A very satisfactory review of the railroad situation was 
Closed as follows: 

Such brilliant railroad prospects have very rarely, if ever. 
presented themselves to the people of a new slate or terri- 
tory. Nature has marked this spot, equi-distant from the 
two great oceans, as the pivotal center of the railroad 
system of America. God grant thai the Union Pacific 
railroad, which is the true base of all prosperity, may be 


speedily completed to the Pacific. May it form an additional 
bond of union to the states, a never failing source of pride, 
of glory and of strength, to the nation, and an equal source 
of pride and profit to the brave and energetic gentlemen 
who engaged in its construction. 

After commending the admission of the Territory as a state 
of the Union, and proffering co-operation in behalf of greater 
effieiency in the common schools, the acting governor concluded 
his official communication with temperate and patriotic allu- 

I should hail with joy a radical change in the rule of 
suffrage which would give the franchise to intelligence and 
patriotism wherever found, regardless of the color of its 
possessor. He who can read understandingly the constitu- 
tion of his country, and he who has fought in its defense, 
of whatever race or color, should have a voice in the choice 
of the nation's rulers. I should therefore cheerfully concur 
with you in a memorial to Congress, praying for an amend- 
ment of our organic law, in accordance with this view. 
Xo change, however, should be made which would take the 
franchise away from any person who now enjoys it under 
existing laws. 

At the time he delivered his message there was a peculiar 
significance in the following: 

The kind offices of the peacemaker avail not, and 1 he 
olive branch is cast aside, a withered and useless thing - . 
How can our beloved country be united again in fact as 
well as in form '.' How can the Union be firmly re-established 
in the hearts and in the affections of the people of all 
sections? For the patriotic love of the people is the soul 
of the union, its preservation is essential to the very life of 
the nation itself. I do not believe it can be done by depriv- 
ing eleven states of loyal representatives in the national 
congress, when representation is the very germ and essence 
of union. Only that which will win back the hearts of the 
southern people will give stability and enduring peace to 
the Republic. 

In conclusion, permit me to assure you that I shall most 
earnestly eo-operate with you in every endeavor to promote 
the varied interests of our Territory. Whatever measures 
may commend themselves to your wisdom and judgment, as 


best calculated to promote the general welfare will receive 
my most cordial approval. Permit me to wish you a 
pleasant sojourn at the territorial capital, and after the 
labors of the session are terminated, a happy return in 
safety and in health, to your families and friends. 



May 15, 1861 to Mar. 1, 1367. 

Gov. Alvin Saunders 1 claims Kentucky as bis birthplace, and 
was born on tbe 12th of July, 1817. At twelve years of age he 
was taken by his parents to the State of Illinois, and in his 19th 
year united his destiny with the small village of Mt. Pleasant, 
Iowa. With patience and luck he endured the vicissitudes of 
pioneer life, and as merchant's clerk and merchant, as postmaster 
and member of a constitutional convention, as representative of 
the people in the state senate and in the Chicago National Con- 
vention of 1860, which nominated Mr. Lincoln, he secured and 
held the implicit confidence of an honest, intelligent and patri- 
otic community. Though of Virginia parentage and Kentucky 
birth, having developed an enthusiasm for "free speech, free 
soil, and free men," he was fully competent to stand guard on 
freedom's battlements during the stormy days of the Union. 

After discharging the duties of Governor for a term of four 
years, the circumstances attending the signing of his second 
commission were so peculiar that they are treasured up as a 
sacred remembrance. 

I saw Mr. Lincoln, who told me to return home, as it was 
all right and he would attend to the commission. I started 
for home in the morning, and in the evening of the same day 
he was killed. I telegraphed back to find out what had be- 
come of my commission, and learned that the room had not 
been opened. When it was opened the commission was 
found on the table, unfolded, with his signature attached. 
It was not signed by Mr. Seward. I have the commission 
in Mr. Lincoln's name, but the appointment was actually 
made out by Mr. Johnson. 

Bunnell Saunders, father of Alvin Saunders, was a native of Loudoun County. \ a., 
who emigrated to Bourbon County, Ky.. when a young man, and theme to Fleming 
County. His ancestrv was English, and his wife, maiden name Mary Manzy, was a 
native* of Culpepper County, Va., from French family. Alvin was one of five son-. 
Gunnell went to Springfield, 111., about 1829. 


Before he assumed the duties of Territorial Governor of Ne- 
braska, May 1"). isut. ten states had passed ordinances of 
secession, Davis and Stephens elected president and vice-presi- 
dent <>t' the Southern Confederacy, a call had been issued for 
75,000 men at the north and for 32,000 at the south, Fort 
Sumter had been bombarded by the rebels and Massachusetts 
troops mobbed in Baltimore on their way to the city of Wash- 
ington, and President Lincoln had ordered the blockade of 
sunt hern ports. 

Three days after Gov. Saunders' arrival he issued a proclama- 
tion for troops for three years' service, closing with the following 
emphatic language: 

Efforts are being - made to trample the stars and stripes, 
the emblem of our liberty, in the dust. Traitors are in the 
land busily trying to overthrow the Government of the 
United States, and information has been received that these 
same traitors are endeavoring - to incite an invasion of our 
frontier by a savage foe. In view of these facts, I invoke 
the aid of every lover of his country and his home, to 
come promptly forward to sustain and protect the same. 

His acts and messages reveal the fact that during the four 
years of devastating war, his thoughts were ever with the men 
who answered the calls for troops. Whether they were in camp 
or in council chamber, their wants and domestic anxieties urged 
him to duty and called out his ready sympathy. 

In his first message to the legislature, the Governor said: 

Congress, at its last session, in providing means to be 
used in putting down rebellion in a number of Southern 
States <>r the Union, levied a direct tax on the people. 
The Constitution of the United Siaics provides that direct 
taxes shall be levied by Congress in proportion to the 
population. The proportion assigned to Nebraska amounts 
to nineteen thousand three hundred and twelve dollars. 
This t;iv may be assessed and collected by officers to be 
appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, or may be 
assumed by the Territorial Government. In the latter 
case, a deduction of 15 per cent, from the gross amount will 
be allowed the Territory. I therefore recommend thai you 
make the necessary provision for its collection by adding 
the i;niss amount to the tax lew for 1 he coming vcar for 


territorial purposes, or that you make such other provision 
tor its payment as your wisdom may devise. Although the 
sum to be raised is comparatively large, we should not 
hesitate to bear our part of the burden. Each one should 
be willing to exert himself to the utmost to avert the 
danger which now threatens the Union. "We would be 
unworthy descendants of the good and great men who 
pledged their property and their lives to secure our free 
institutions, if we hesitated to make any sacrifice necessary 
for their ^reservation. 

The patriotism of those who assist our country now, when 
she is defending the Constitution and the I'nion against 
traitors and rebels, and who stand firmly by that flag, and 
those institutions, which have descended to us from the 
hands of Washington, will be held in grateful remembrance 
by the gTeat and the good everywhere, and their names will 
descend with imperishable honor to posterity, for having 
aided in preserving- to their country and the world, in its 
original integrity and vigor, the freest and best government 
on earth. 

A committee to whom was referred the subject of the direct 
tax, reported that inasmuch as Congress allowed the Territory 
$20,000 per year, for legislative expenses, the legislature should 
not be convened during the next year, but the $20,000 should be 
diverted by the general government for the cancellation of the 
tax of $19,312. 

And to show the necessity of this, they instanced the financial 
condition of the people, illustrating with Douglas County. 

Douglas County has a mortgage debt of $800,000 hanging 
over her citizens, covering the majority of the real -estate 
in the county and bearing interest at an enormous rate 
of from 2 to 10 per cent per month. The court records 
will show a judgment debt of several thousand dollars. 
The County has a debt of $50,000. So with the other coun- 
ties throughout the Territory. Our Territorial debt is 
$50,000. Our taxes in every county in the Territory have 
been higher for three years than in any state in the Union. 

Inasmuch as the progress of the Government, in the suppres- 
sion of the rebellion, was the all absorbing question, his second 
message, in 1864, contained the following: 

When you were last in session i lie rebels claimed all 
of the slave states and all of the territories south of 
Kansas and west to California, but the Union armies have 


been steadily driving- them back from the loyal states and 
toward the interior from the coast, capturing fortifica- 
tions and cities \mtil now the stars and stripes float in 
triumph over at least two-thirds of the Territory then 
claimed by the insurgents. A few months more of vigorous 
and persistent effort on the part of the great armies and 
navies of the Republic, it would seem, will probably be suffi- 
cient to wipe out the last vestige of this gigantic rebellion, 
and establish the supremacy of the Constitution and the 
laws throughout the whole extent of all the states and 
territories of the Union. 

It must lie a source of profound gratification to you to 
know that the citizen soldiery of Nebraska, springing to 
arms from the peaceful pursuits of life, at the call of the 
President, totally unaccustomed to the hardships and dep- 
rivations of the weary march and camp life, and to the 
exposure and dangers of protracted campaigns, have per- 
formed their part so nobly in every trial of endurance and 

A Nebraska soldier, whether called on by his country to 
confront the wily savages on the frontier, or the rebel 
hosts in battle array, has never shrunk from duty, quailed 
before danger, or turned his back on the foe. 

After urging that all possible effort should be made for the 
comfort of the soldiers in the field, and of the sick and wounded, 
and of widows and orphans, and for allowing the soldiers to 
vote for state and national officers, he passed to the subject of 

I also recommend that you make the necessary provision 
for keeping a correct record of the names of all who enlist 
in the military service of the Territory, to be preserved 
among the public archives; and that the names of all who 
are wounded or fall in battle should be inscribed on a roll 
of honor, to be carefully preserved for the inspection of 
future generations. I also suggest that justice to this class 
of our fellow citizens seems to me to require that a monu- 
ment should be erected at the capitol, on which to inscribe 
the names, and preserve the memory of all from this terri- 
tory who have fallen in their country's service since this 
rebellion commenced, or who have fallen during its con- 

He further elucidated the steps leading up to emancipation, 
as a military necessity, and its influence at home and abroad on 


the final result, and declared in favor of an immediate peace con- 
sequent upon a restored union. In his message of 1865, Gover- 
nor Saunders made the following prediction: 

This war for the preservation of our national life, al- 
though protracted through more than three years of bloody 
strife, is at length happily drawing to a close; and recent 
events would seem to indicate, with almost mathematical 
certainty, that the end cannot be far in the future. Slowly, 
but steadily and surely, the Union armies are exhausting 
the strength and resources of the rebel forces. Their 
lines are being rapidly contracted — their ranks decimated 
beyond the possibility of recuperation, and the spirit of the 
misguided masses has been broken. Our armies and navies 
almost encompass them, while one of our greatest generals, 
with his victorious columns, has marched through the very 
heart of the Empire State of the South, from the interior 
to the coast, and captured the most populous and im- 
portant commercial city in the rebellious district, almost 
without opposition. The significant facts leave no room to 
doubt that at an early period the supremacy of the consti- 
tution and the laws will be restored in every portion of the 
country, thus establishing human libert3 r , alike in the South 
and in the North, and vindicating the capacity of the people 
for self government. 

One year later he had the happiness to herald the consumma- 
tion of the great work, in the following language of his annual 
message, of January, 1866: 

Our flag, emblem of the unity, justice, power and glory of 
the nation, now floats in triumph over every part of the 
Republic. Every foot of our national territory has been pre- 
served intact. The supremacy of the constitution and laws 
is acknowledged by all the inhabitants, but this great boon 
has been secured at a fearful cost of blood and treasure. 
Having thus passed through the Eed Sea of disaster which 
menaced us, and for a time threatened to engulf and over- 
whelm the fair fabric of justice and liberty reared for us 
by our fathers, may we not hope that our glorious Union 
will be perpetual and dispense its blessings for all future 
time to the oppressed and downtrodden who may seek an 
asylum in this land of liberty and equal justice from the 
tyrannies of the old world. 

When the question of emancipating slaves was discussed, as a 



military necessity, Governor Saunders held and expressed very 
decided views: 

Look, it' you please, at the effort put forth by the cun- 
ning politicians and traitors of our country, to prejudice 
the minds of the unwary against the President's proclama- 
tion emancipating the- slaves in rebel districts. Thousands 
throughout the country had their minds thus prejudiced, 
and for the time being poisoned, against the measure; and 
yet, that very same measure has, perhaps, done more to 
give us strength, both at home and abroad, than any other 
adopted by the administration. And perhaps we ought not 
1<> close our eyes to the fact, while dwelling on this subject, 
that many of the best and wisest men in the country be- 
lieve that if the slaves should all be liberated, during the 
progress of the war, it will be a just retribution on those 
who originated the rebellion; for (here is a universal con- 
viction among all classes, that slavery was, either directly 
or indirectly, the cause of the war, and that the guilty cause 
ought to be destroyed, and that without this, no lasting, 
permanent peace can possibly be secured. If it stands in the 
way of victory, of peace, of a restored and perpetual Union, 
let it die the death of the malefactor. 

On the 25th of January, 1S<>4, Governor Saunders had the su- 
preme pleasure of placing his signature to a joint resolution of 
the Legislature complimented the territorial troops: 

Resolved, Thai the thanks of the people of this territory 
are due, and are hereby tendered through their Legislative 
Assembly, to the brave men who have gone from our ter- 
ritory to battle for the preservation of our country. That 
we look with pride and satisfaction upon the record our 
soldiers have made since the war of the rebellion was in- 
augurated, and that their unsurpassed bravery on every 
field, from Fori JDonelson, where the blood of Nebraska first 
mingled with the crimson tide of the brave of other states. 
who consecrated with their lives the first great victory of 
the war, down to the heroic defense of Cape Girardeau, 

where the sons of our territory, almost unaided, achieved 
one of the most brilliant and decisive victories that will 
adorn the annals of the present struggle, a record which 
commands the admiration of the world, and places us under 
a debt of gratitude to those brave men which we can never 

How thoroughly the Governor's patriotic efforts were supple- 


mented by the women of the territory, appears from their con- 
tributions to the St. Louis Sanitary Fair of 1864, to the amount 
of $10,000, and to the Chicago Fair of 1865, to the amount of 
£25,000. where Mrs. Alvin Saunders and Mrs. O. F. Davis 
were active participants. The sentiments of loyalty and patriot- 
ism proclaimed by the Governor were amply supplemented by the 
utterance of the Legislature of lSbl-2: 

Resolved, That, disavowing, as Ave do, the right of any 
state or states to nullify the federal law or secede from 
the federal Union, we regard such secession or nullification 
as treason against the United States, and believe it to be the 
first and holiest duty of the Government to uphold its laws 
and repress treason. 

To a resolution of a republican member of the Legislature — 
'•Resolved, that whenever an American Citizen unsheathes his 
sword and shoulders his musket, at his country's call, he should 
leave the spoilsman, the partisan and the politician in a name- 
less grave behind him," there came a democratic response: "That 
we hold rebels against our government to be outside the pale of 
its protection." 

His messages furnish the land-marks of the Union Pacific 
railroad. In the first one, of December, 1861, we have the follow- 

A mere glance at the map of the country will convince 
every intelligent mind that the Platte Valley which passes 
through the heart, and runs nearly the entire length of Ne- 
braska, is to furnish the route for the Great Central Rail- 
road which is to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific States, 
and Territoi-ies. Through Nebraska nntst pass, in a few 
years, not only the travel and trade between the Eastern 
and Western portion of our country, but also much of the 
trade and travel between the Old and New World. 

In his message in January, 1864. he thus congratulated the 

-& j 

Congress passed a bill, at the first regular session after 
the inauguration of the present administration, providing 
for the construction of the Great Pacific Railway, commenc- 
ing on the 100th meridian, within the Territory of Nebraska, 


thence westwardly to the Pacific coast, with three branches 
from the place of beginning- eastward to the Missouri River. 
With these magnificent works successfully prosecuted, con- 
necting- directly with the great cities of the Atlantic and 
Pacific, with the benefits of the homestead act, of a virgin 
and fertile soil, of exhaustless salt springs, with a climate as 
salubrious as exists in the world — none can hesitate to pre- 
dict for Nebraska gigantic strides in the attainment of 
wealth and power. 

In January 1805, his declaration was: 

It will be gratifying to you, and the people of the Ter- 
ritory to know that the work on the great Union Pacific 
Railroad, which is to pass through the entire length of 
Nebraska, is progressing at a very considerable rate. The 
work of grading, bridging, and preparing the ties, is pro- 
gressing - much more rapidly than had been anticipated by 
our most sanguine people. I feel fully authorized to say, 
that unless some unforeseen misfortune attends this great 
enterprise, more than fifty miles westward from Omaha 
will be in readiness for the cars before your next annual 

In January, 18G6, he reported fifty-five miles of track com- 
pleted, and grading and bridging for niety-five miles, and pre- 
dicted that 150 miles of the road would be ready for the cars 
within twelve months. But all speculations were to be exceeded 
during the year of 1806, since on the 11th of January, 1867, 
cars were running a distance of 293 miles from the initial point, 
and 202 miles of track were laid, in that year. 

On the 2nd day of 1 )ecember, 1803, as one of the national Com- 
missioners to locate the initial point of the road, with spade in 
hand to "break ground,"' the governor delivered the following 

Mr. President, Ladies <ni<l Gentlemen: 

We have assembled here to-day for the purpose of in- 
augurating the greatest work of internal improvement 
ever projected by man, an improvement which is to unite 
with iron bands the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific, and 
to connect not only the gre&i cities of the Atlantic with 
those of the Pacific Ocean, but to open the gateway of com- 
merce for the nations of the earth. This gigantic enterprise, 


which spans a continent, is destined to become the great 
thoroughfare not only for manufactured articles of our own 
New England, the agricultural staples of the valley of the 
Mississippi, and the gold and silver of the Rocky Mountains 
and the Sierra Nevadas, but also the silk of the Indies, 
the manufactures of England and France, and the teas of 
China. It may indeed be appropriately termed the "Nation's 
Great Highway." 

This, my fellow citizens, is no mere work of fancy, or fic- 
tion, but a substantial reality. The people, the great masses, 
have taken hold of it, and the work this day so auspiciously 
inaugurated, is destined to go steadily forward to com- 
pletion. Whether viewed in the light of a prudential war 
measure or regarded in the light of a commercial enterprise, 
the Nation is so deeply interested in its speedy completion 
that it cannot fail. 

The parties who participated here today in this initial 
step, represent the diversity of interests which ai*e combined 
to push it forward to a complete consummation. You behold 
here the engineer, the mechanic, the laborer, the physician, 
the lawyer, the capitalist, the editor, the telegraph operator, 
all taking part in the exercises of this hour — and for such, 
throughout the whole country, is composed of backers of 
this great enterprise. I cannot close these brief remarks 
without expressing the gratitude which I feel to the Presi- 
dent and the Congress of the United States for the good 
judgment which they have displayed in giving life to this 
magic work, and congratulating the people of the whole 
Union on its commencement and the cheering prospects of 
its early completion. 

In advance of Congress, the Governor said in his message of 
1861: ''You should, in 1113- opinion, urge Congress to enact a 
Homestead law at its next session," And in that of 1864, we 
have the following: 

Among the many beneficent acts of legislation, passed by 
the Congress of the United States, since your last session. 
may be mentioned the "Homestead Bill." In fact, its suc- 
cess, so just to the settler, and so wise as a measure of 
national policy, seemed hopeless, while the reins of govern- 
ment were held by such men as controlled the administra- 
tion preceding that of our present chief magistrate. The 
honor of the prompt passage of this great measure, is due 
to President Lincoln and his political friends in Congress. 


This question received special attention in all his messages, 
ami after various efforts, congressional action was secured, and 
the transition made from the territory to a state, during the term 
of his incumbency. Without am- exaggeration, his term of office 
included the most eventful period of our history, and no state or 
territory had a more faithful officer or devoted war governor 
than Nebraska. In the message of 1861, we read: 

We are surrounded by tribes of Indians who are more or 
less tampered with by wicked men, and traitors of the 
Union; we are in the immediate vicinity of the battle fields 
of the rebellious states: the regular troops, who have been 
recentty garrisoning - ovir forts, are being rapidly withdrawn; 
large numbers of our best and bravest young men have been 
summoned from their homes to aid in fighting the battles of 
the Union; we have a long range of frontier settlements ex- 
posed to the tomahawks and scalping knives of savages. 
You should, therefore, urge upon Congress, in the strongest 
terms, the necessity of furnishing our people with the means 
of defending their homes and families. 

The subject received attention in his official communication 
Januarv 8, 1864: 

True, Nebraska has no particular calls made for the serv- 
ices of her militia lately; nothing, however, but the 
liberality of the general government in supplying our wants 
with government troops has prevented it. 

In 1865 his reference to the theme was as follows: 

In the late call for troops to assist in protecting our 
frontier settlers from the savages, I found myself obliged to 
rely entirely upon the patriotism and liberality of the peo- 
ple in order to raise and equip a sufficient force to give 
proper relief to the suffering people. 

It was recorded in the message of January 9, 1866, that: 

The Indian War upon our Western border to which I ad- 
verted in niv last animal message, still continues. It was 
hoped with the close of Ihe rebellion these troubles 
Would cease: but lliis hope has proved groundless. Em- 
boldened by success, the savage tribes who have committed 
these outrages upon the lives and property of emigrants, 
and upon the Overland Stage line, and Pacific Telegraph, 


have become exceedingly reckless and daring in their 
murderous forages; and outrages the most atrocious and 
wanton in their character are of frequent occurrence. Noth- 
ing will, in my judgment, give us peace upon the plains, but 
the employment of the most vigorous measures to hunt out 
and severely punish the authors of these outrages. 

After Gov. Butler (of the State) had convened a Legislature 
on the 4th of July, I860, for the election of United States Sena- 
tor, Congress ordered the Territorial Governor (Alvin Saunders) 
to convene the Legislature for the purpose of adopting a "con- 
dition precedent" to the State's admission into the Union. Ac- 
cordingly he issued his proclamation February 14th, 1867, and 
his message to the Legislature February 20th, 1867. Against 
the state legislature amending the provisions of the constitution, 
which as voted upon by the people recognized only white voters, 
the democrats entered their protest in a series of state resolu- 
tions in 1868; while at the same time there was not a unity of 
opinion among republicans on the questions of the right of the 
State to act, and the policy of extending the elective franchise 
to the people of color. Indeed, Governor Saunders, the very em- 
bodiment of national republicanism, said in his proclamation, 
to the Legislature: 

It no doubt would have been more satisfactory to you, 
as I frankly confess it would have been to me. if Congress 
had given the settlement of this question directly to the 
people of the Territory, instead of requiring of you, who 
were not particularly instructed on the subject, to take 
upon yourselves the whole responsibility of deciding this 
subject for them. 

On the other question he affirmed: 

The day, in my opinion, is not far distant when property 
qualifications, educational qualifications, and color qualifica- 
tions, as precedent to the privilege of voting, will be known 
no more by the American people; but that intelligence and 
manhood Avill be the only qualifications necessary to en- 
title an American citizen to the privileges of an elector. 

At this time the amendment to the United States Constitution 
had not passed, establishing impartial suffrage, but in 1870, two 


years later, the democratic platform read: "Resolved, that the 
Democracy of Nebraska accept the adoption of all amendments 
of the fundamental law of the land as a formal settlement of 
the questions disposed of thereby." 

The State's admission, and the suffrage question both settled 
and out of the contest, in 1870 the republicans endorsed Grant's 
administration, commended congress for a reduction of the bur- 
dens of taxation and extended sympathy to Germany in her 
struggle with France; while the democrats resolved. "That all 
taxation, to be just, must be for a public purpose, equal, and 
uniform; that the national government has no right to levy a 
tax upon one individual to advance or promote the interest of 

The condition, to which the state w y as to give assent, was, 
"That within the State of Nebraska there should be no denial 
of the elective franchise, by reason of color or race," except to 
untaxed Indians. This having been complied with, the state 
was formally admitted by the president's proclamation of March 
1, 1807, when Governor Saunders was superseded by Governor 
David Butler. On retiring he indulged in a few parting words 
to a constituency that, in full, reciprocated his confidence and 


Executive Office, 
Omaha, Nebbaska, March 27, isur. 

1 have this day received official notice from the State De- 
partment at Washington, of the President's Proclamation 
announcing - that the Legislature of Nebraska has accepted 
the conditions proposed by Congress, and declaring the fact 
that Nebraska is admitted as one of the independent states 
of the Union. The Governor elect under the state organiza- 
tion being now ready to take charge of the office, my duties 
as the Chief Executive of the Territory this day cease. 

I lake pleasure, before retiring- from this office, in availing- 
myself of this opportunity of returning- my sincere thanks 
to the people of the Territory for their uniform kindness, 
and for the alacrity and promptness with which every offi- 
cial demand upon them has been honored, whether in war 
or in peace. No period of time of the same length since the 


organization of our Government has been so eventful and 
full of interesting - history as has been the six years I have 
been honored with an official connection with the people 
of Nebraska, and it gives nie great pleasure to know that 
peace and general prosperity now prevail throughout our 
whole country, and especially to know that no country can 
truthfully boast of greater peace or more genuine pros- 
perity than can Nebraska. 

Especially do I feel proud of the financial condition of 
the Territory. Six years ago the debt of the Territory was 
fully two dollars for every man, woman and child in it, and 
the warrants of the treasury were selling at from twenty- 
five to thirty cents on the dollar. Now her paper is at 
par, and she is ready to pay every dollar of her indebted- 
ness of whatever character, so that the new state can com- 
mence her career without a dollar of debt hanging over 
her. This condition of affairs, so far as my knowledge ex- 
tends, is without a parallel in the history of new states, 
and gives cause for mutual and general congratulation. 
While our officers and people have been so attentive to the 
finances of our country, they have not been idle or wanting 
in other important particulars, for during the war Nebraska 
furnished as many troops as any other state or territory 
in proportion to its population, and no soldier from any 
quarter showed more valor or made a better record for 
bravery or true soldierly conduct than <Jid those from Ne- 
braska. So, viewing it from any standpoint, 1 feel proud 
that I have been permitted to occupy so conspicuous a posi- 
tion among a people so patriotic, prompt, and appreciative. 
With my best wishes for the prosperity of the whole people, 
of our new State, and for its great success, I am, etc., 

Alvix Saunders 


^Yhoever attempts to write history for the people of Nebraska, 
or sketch the career of prominent citizens, meets with many 
impediments. So young is the State, that many of the actors 
are still in stage costume, and extremely sensitive as to any 
criticism upon the performers or the play. Scenes that were 
thrilling to them and heralded as tragic, divested of their sur- 
roundings may innocently by strangers be classed as comical. 

An eloquent author once said: ''Every attempt to present on 
paper the splendid effects of impassioned eloquence, is like 
gathering up dewdrops, which appear jewels and pearls on the 
grass, but run to water in the hand — the essence and the 
elements remain, but the grace, the sparkle, and the form are 
gone." And so when the writer erects a statue upon the historic 
page and exclaims, "Behold the man!" the disappointed reader 
may demand, "What of the electric current that warmed the 
heart, illumined the eye, and flushed the cheek; what of the 
hopes that impelled, the fears that retarded, the placidity or 
turbulence that dominated the inner life?" In spite of all 
hindrances and discouragements, with an apology to the "old 
settler," and a salutation to the new-comer and his juvenile 
family, the writer enters upon the theme, Nebraska in Congress. 

Her first appearance before the government was as a very dim- 
imitive. nameless infant in arms, when in April, 1803, France, by 
treaty, gave her mother Louisiana away, in marriage, to "Uncle 
Sam." In 1804 Louisiana was erected into two territories, called 
Orleans and District of Louisiana, and provision was made for 



the formation of a State Constitution for the Territory of 
Orleans whenever the population reached 60,000. Having ac- 
quired the specified amount in 1810, an Enabling Act was passed 
in 1811, and in 1812 the Territory of Orleans with the name of 
Louisiana was admitted into the Union as a state; leaving the 
balance of the purchase for future disposal. 

The Louisiana purchase cost the United States $11,250,000; 
and such an amount due the citizens of the United States, from 
France, as should not exceed $3,750,000. 

It was bounded north by the British possessions, south by 
Mexico, and west by the Rocky Mountains, and is to-day included 
in the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, 
Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and parts of Colorado, 
Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. 

The name of Louisiana was changed to Missouri Territory in 
1812. and later the southern part became the Territory of Arkan- 
sas. The necessary steps being taken, a part known as Missouri 
became a state June, 1821. As Missouri was coming in as a slave 
state, the free states demanded "a set-off," hence the Missouri 
Compromise was enacted, to quiet "slavery agitation forever/' 
and this, when ruthlessly repealed in the Kansas-Nebraska Act 
of 1854, precipitated the ''death to slavery forever'' struggle. By 
that notable act, all new states subsequently formed north of 
parallel of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, dividing the 
Louisiana Purchase, should come in free or slave, as the people 
might determine. And so a protecting barrier was erected be- 
tween Nebraska and slave territory for a term of thirty-three 
years, ending in 1851. 

This same line was extended through Texas, under certain 
conditions, on her admission to the Union in 1845. In 1850, 
when the Union was endangered by the fiery discussion over the 
admission of California as a free state, the doctrine of non inter- 
vention as to slavery was affirmed: and when it was enacted in 
the organic law of Nebraska that the Missouri Compromise was 
"inoperative and void," and slavery was a question exclusively 
for the people to settle, Senator Benton of Missouri declared the 


statement was "a stump speech injected into the belly of the 
bill." Had Nebraska then been as far south as Kansas, border 
warfare would have desolated her plains, murdered citizens, 
and laid homes and cities in ashes. 

Nebraska was introduced to congress, by name, in 1S44, when 
a bill to define her boundaries was presented to the House of 
Representatives. In 1854 the step-daughter was considered of 
sufficient age to commence superintending her future estate, 
under the directions and instructions contained in a law of con- 
gress denominated the Organic Act. 



33rd Congress, 1855; Jan. 5 to Mar. 4. 

In order to "set up housekeeping" in accordance with the cus- 
toms and manners of the elder sisterhood, a selection of an 
agent, in that behalf, was made on the 12th day of December, 
1854. The student of history will remember that Napoleon 
Bonaparte was a prime factor in behalf of France in Mr. Jeffer- 
son's negotiations for Louisiana, and the reader of the annals of 
Nebraska notes the fact that Napoleon B. Giddings, of Missouri, 
was hs# first delegate in Congress. 

The election took place seven months from the date of the 
Organic Act of May 30th, 1854. Voting precincts had been 
designated at twelve places in eight counties adjacent to the 
Missouri River. Of 800 votes, Mr. Giddings received 377, which 
was a majority over any one candidate's vote, though a minority 
of the whole number cast. On the 5th day of January, 1855, 
just twenty -four days after the election, the Congressional Globe 
has the following entry: 

Mr. Phelps of Missouri announced that the Delegate from 
Nebraska was present and desired to take the oath of office. 
Mr. Giddings thereupon presented himself at the bar of the 
House, and the Speaker administered to him the usual oath 
of office. 

The term for which he was elected was to expire on the en- 
suing 4th of March, within about two months. A few days 
before the advent of Mr. Giddings to the House, Mr. Mace of 
Indiana introduced a bill modifying the Kansas-Nebraska law, 
and re-enacting the Missouri Compromise act to protect 
Nebraska from slavery, and for the admission of Kansas as a 
free state, which failed to pass. Hon. Thomas Hart Benton of 
Missouri, formerly Senator, having to be absent for a few 
days, left a short speech to be read for him by a colleague, in 


which he deprecated the opening up of the shivery discussion 
<»ii general principles, but especially for fear of retarding emi- 
gration, which was so desirable to aid and encourage the con 
si ruction of a Pacific railroad. Admitting the border ruffianism' 
of Missouri, he claimed it was the natural product of New 
England Colonization Societies, from which he had from the 
first anticipated evil. 

Bills were introduced by Mr. Giddings as follows: To estab- 
lish post roads; to protect the proprietors of towns in their town 
sites; to establish land offices; and for surveying, marking, and 
opening roads. He offered amendments to establish an arsenal 
in Nebraska, and to allow |50,000 for public buildings. On 
the 31st day of January he wound up his legislative career by 
the delivery of his maiden speech. Mr. Giddings said: 

r wish to say a word or two in r.nswer to the gentleman 
from Virginia in relation to the power of the governor in 
local in»- the seats of government in these territories. No 
such power is given to them. They are given the right to 
select the point at which the first legislature shall be con- 
vened; but after that it is left to the legislature to decide 
at what point the future capital shall be located. I hope 
the gentleman will not try to put restrictions on Kansas 
and Nebraska that have never been placed upon any other 
territories under the government of the United States. 

^ v 

A very short speech of a very short term, and so passed the 
Napoleon of Nebraska from public observation, returning to his 
home in Savannah, Missouri. 



The second election for delegate to congress took place Novem- 
ber G, 1855, at which Bird B. Chapman received 380 votes and 
Hiram P. Bennet 292, according to the returns of the canvassing 
board. Mr. Bennet instituted a contest which resulted in the 
presentation of a resolution by the committee on elections de- 
claring that Bird B. Chapman was not entitled to the seat. 1 
Each argued his side of the case before the committee, and in 
open session before the House of Representatives. 

In the house Mr. Stephens of Georgia specially championed 
the canse of the sitting member, while Washburn of Maine 
argued in favor of the contestant. It was a contest to reconcile 
serious irregularities and to eliminate from the count fraudulent 
votes. Of the two speeches in the house, Bennet's alone appears 
in the Globe. 

Mr. Bennet complained seriously that after the case had been 
closed before the committee, and each claimant had been so 
informed, ex parte testimony had been received and incorporated 
in the minority report: 

Mr. Speaker, I object to all ex parte testimony in the case, 
and I particularly object to the four ex parte affidavits upon 
which the minority report is based; and first, because it is 
" ex parte ; second, because it was never presented to the com- 
mittee, only to the minority; and third, because it was not 
shown to me to exist till long- after the majority report was 
printed. And again, because they were made by my political 
and personal enemies. And fourth, I object to these affi- 
davits because they contain misrepresentations, prevarica- 
tions, and falsehoods. My old enemy Sharp comes on here 
about the time the majority report was made; and after 
looking over all my printed testimony and the majority re- 
port, and conning it over three or four weeks, he fixes up 
a state of facts just saifficient to carry his friend, the sitting 

'Nebraska contested election case. 1856; Cong. (Hob,-. 33 Cong., 1st sees., 476-477, 630, 
641, 970, 1011, 1055-1056, 1106. 1688-1690, 1692, 1711-1715, 1729. 


delegate, through, swears to it in a corner, and then takes 
good care to leave the city before it was possible for me to 
know what was done. 

The Hon. Geo. W. Jones, United States Senator from Iowa, 
having volunteered an endorsement of the veracity of Mr. Sharp, 
received the speaker's attention: 

It is true, this deponent was once a member of the Iowa 
legislature, and while there I believe he supported the elec- 
tion of the Hon. Geo. W. Jones to the senate. Mr. Speaker, 
one good turn deserves another, and the senator comes to 
the rescue of his former constituent. 

The contestant seems, from the record, to have been neither a 
novice in debate, nor timid in attacks. Having parried several 
thrusts from the keen rapier of the mercurial Stephens, he ex- 
claimed in a tone of exultation, "Mr. Speaker, the gentleman 
from Georgia has not quite got me yet." Of the sitting delegate, 
Mr. Chapman, he said: 

The gentleman alluded to his residence in the Territory 
of Nebraska. Now, I know, Sir, that that is mere clap- 
trap talk; but as he has alluded to it I will answer it. He 
says when he went to the Territory, thus and so. He went 
to the Territory the year that the territorial government 
was organized. He was a candidate for Congress before he 
got there. He happened to be beaten very badly at the 
election and the next day after the election he went home 
to Ohio, and we saw nothing more of him. Yes, we — the 
squatters of Nebraska — saw nothing more of him until 
thirty-five days before the election of a delegate last No- 
vember, when he came back into the Territory. He had to 
be there forty days to entitle him to vote. He was not a 
voter, and did not vote at that election. Nevertheless, by 
getting all of the executive influence of the Territory in 
his favor he ran a pretty good race; but I beat him. That 
is, I beat him before the people, but he beat me before the 
canvassers — all of whom were my personal and political 
enemies. One word further in reference to this matter. For 
the purpose of serving a notice upon the sitting delegate, 
that I intended to lake testimony to use in the contest for 
his seat, I inquired of him last January, in that lobby, where 
his residence was. In truth he did not know where it was; 
and 1 could not serve a notice at his residence in the Terri- 


tory because he had none there. It will be shown, in my 
further argument, that that fact worked a great hardship 
to me. 

It is a source of regret that the speech of Mr. Chapman does 
not appear in the Globe, as there is no way to restore the oratori- 
cal equilibrium. On the final vote there were sixty-three mem- 
bers of the house in favor of unseating Chapman, and sixty-nine 
opposed — so the contest failed. A resolution finally closed the 
case, on the 25th of July, 1856, allowing the retiring contestant 
mileage and per diem up to date. The allusions to Mr. Chap- 
man's citizenship are corroborated in Nebraska history. 

Hon. J. Sterling Morton is reported as saying of the first 
election for delegate in Congress, December 12, 1854: 

Even in that early morning hour of the county our 
people exhibited a wonderful liberality in bestowing their 
franchises upon persons who had no interests in common 
with them, and who have never since been identified with 
the material development of this section of the world. Mr. 
Giddings resided then, as now, in Savannah, Missouri. Mr. 
Chapman was a citizen of Ohio, and never gained a residence 
in Nebraska, while Mr. Johnson was a denizen of Council 
Bluffs, Iowa. But as there were not to exceed twenty-five 
domiciles in Pierce Coimty (now Otoe) at that time, nor 
more than fifty beds, it was always a mystery, — except to 
Col. John Bouleware and family, who then kept a ferry 
across the Missouri Biver, — where the 208 patriots came 
from who exercised a freeman's rights on that auspicious 
dawn in Otoe of the science of self government and the 
noble art of electioneering. 

In order to parry the point of this truthful charge, be it re- 
membered that this was prior to legislation in Nebraska. Mr. 
Bennett had not only "come to stay," but was a member of the 
legislature from Otoe County in 1854 and again in 1859, and 
was justified in regarding Bird B. Chapman as a Bird of passage. 



Dec. 7, 1857 to Mar. 3, 1859. 

Fenner Ferguson, who was appointed Chief Justice October 
li'. 1854, was elected delegate to Congress August, 1857, and was 
sworn in upon the 7th day of December, 1857. 

On the 16th day of September, 1857, Bird B. Chapman, who 
had been a candidate for re-election, served notice of contest. It 
appears that there had been four candidates before the peo- 
ple, and the votes were distributed as follows: Fen- 
ner Ferguson, 1,642; Bird B. Chapman, 1.550; Benjamin P. 
Rankin, 1,241; John M. Thayer, 1,171. After one-half the time 
had elapsed for the taking of testimony, the contestant served 
notice November 14th, but the member -elect had left the Terri- 
tory for Washington, D. C, the notice being left at his usual 
place of residence. At the time specified, testimony was taken 
in the absence of Ferguson or any one by him authorized to act. 
A person, however, did appear, and informed the contestant, 
that unless he was allowed to cross-question witnesses, certain 
Mormons would not testify for the contestant. If Chapman had 
inaugurated a game of delay, the tables were turned upon him, 
on the 3rd of December, when Silas A. Strickland, agent for 
Ferguson, left notice at Chapman's residence for the taking of 
testimony on the 14th of the month, Chapman being absent 
from tli:- Territory. 

As a way out of these complications the committee on 
elections, April 21, L858, reported a resolution to the House, to 
extend the time for taking testimony, which would virtually 
send tin- case over to Mie next session of Congress. That was 
passed by a vote of ninety-eight to eighty-five. Before this 
action of the Bouse, January, LS58, the legislature of Nebraska 
passed joint resolutions, in the name of a large majority of the 
people, affirming belief in .Mr. Ferguson's election and in his 


"capacity, integrity, fidelity and incorruptibility,'' and indig- 
nantly repelling all foul aspersions east upon him, for the pur- 
pose of prejudicing his right to a seat in Congress. The House 
of .^Representatives, feeling that the Nebraska legislature had 
overstepped the bounds of propriety by attempting to indicate 
their duty in settling the status of members, on motion, laid the 
resolutions on the table without printing. Accordingly, ad- 
ditional testimony having been taken, the committee, by a 
majority, decided in favor of Mr. Chapman; which report was 
taken up in the House February 9, 1859. 

Mr. Wilson of Indiana said, in behalf of the contestant: "This 
whole case turns upon three precincts — Cleveland, Monroe, and 
Florence." There were but six voters residing in the Cleveland 
precinct and but five dwellings therein, and yet there were 
thirty-five votes cast, eighteen or twenty by persons erecting a 
hotel for the Cleveland Land Company, who voted for the sit- 
ting member and whose votes the committee rejected. He 
charged, further, that in the Mormon precinct of Monroe, where 
there were forty Mormon voters, and only five other persons re- 
siding there, the vote cast was eighty-seven, of which the sit- 
ting member, Ferguson, received eighty-three, and contestant 
one. And that before the polls were formally opened forty 
votes had been cast, as a large number of men came there at 
two o'clock in the morning, voted and went away. He said: "In 
the Monroe precinct appear names which of themselves are 
prima facie evidence of fraud — Oliver Twist and Samuel Wel- 
ler." In the Florence precinct, 401 votes were returned, where 
the polls were kept open three hours later than allowed by law, 
of which 364 were for the sitting member and four for the con- 
testant. One person voted four times and at least "one hundred 
persons were unknown to the oldest settlers.'' 

Air:. Washburn: "Was not that man whose testimony yon 
refer to, accused of perjury?" 

Mr. Wilson: "Yes, bnt the man who accuses him is him- 
self accused of murder." 

Mr. Wilson charged in addition that none of the officers in 


these three precincts were sworn by a legal officer, as though 
they intended fraud from the very start. In justification of the 
committee's decision, he quoted many precedents for the rejec- 
tion of votes, and though it was late in the Congress, eighteen 
months after the election, he demanded prompt action, and 
concluded: "Looking over the elections for the last few years in 
the Territories, it does seem to me that a certificate of election 
from a Territory has become almost prima facie evidence of a 
great fraud committed." 

The beautiful superstructure erected by the ingenuity of the 
gentleman from the state of Indiana was adroitly attacked by 
the wide-awake member from the state of Maine, Mr. Washburn: 

Mr. Speaker, not only is all this testimony ex parte (taken 
alone by one party), but a great part of it is composed of 
affidavits, sworn to before a notary public who, the gentle- 
man says, has no right to administer an oath in the Ter- 
ritory of Nebraska. And, Sir, there is not a single fact upon 
which he relies for the material points in his case, but what 
is hearsay. There is not a single fact of importance touch- 
ing the precincts of Florence and Monroe but what conies 
from the declarations of third parties. There is not a 
scintilla of testimony here which is not of that character; 
whereas the rebutting testimony is that of witnesses who 
lived within the precinct, and who were sworn and cross- 
examined and stated facts within their knowledge. The 
^sitting delegate did not see fit to rely upon the evidence 
of the runners and agents of the contestant, men who 
lived in Omaha and could know nothing certain; but he went 
■to Florence and to Monroe and to Cleveland where the facts 
transpired. He took the testimony of the men, of all others 

in the world, who knew exactly all the facts in the case. 


In reply to Davis of Maryland, Mr. Washburn said: 

The gentleman piles up precedents as high as Olympus, 
but I will never receive hearsay testimony to affect the 
rights of parties. It is not law, it is not sense, and indeed, 
Sir, it is not good nonsense. [Laughter.] No man can stand 
upon it. I have known several persons of the surname of 
Twist and Weller, and 1 want the gentleman to inform me 
whether it is impossible, or even improbable, that among 
all the Twists there is not an Oliver, or among all the 
Wellers there is not a Samuel? [Laughter.] And if so, why 


may they not be in Nebraska, as well as anywhere? [Laugh- 
ter.] And I think the gentleman is getting himself into a 
twist very fast. [Laughter.] 

After Mr. Washburn had examined precedents and testimony, 
he was followed by Mr. Boyce of South Carolina, who stated that 
formerly the law in Nebraska did not close the polls at 6 p. m.; 
that the young men working at Cleveland Hotel building made 
their homes wherever they found work; that there were nearer 
one hundred than merely forty resident voters at Monroe and 
that fifteen votes were cast at Florence after six o'clock. Many 
other members participated in the discussion, and when it was 
closed, "confusion so confounded'' led to an effort to declare 
the seat vacant, and finally a compromise laid the whole subject 
on the table, leaving Ferguson in the chair; and the day before 
the session and Congress closed, a resolution passed awarding 
Chapman six thousand dollars, salary and mileage. Thus endeth 
the second contest. 

From the number of bills introduced and arguments made 
before the committees on Public Lands, Indian Affairs, Judi- 
ciary, Public Buildings, and others, there is every reason to 
believe that the legislature did not overestimate the "capacity, 
integritv, and fidelity" of their delegate. 



Oct. 11, 1859 (election) to May 13, I860. 

Mr. Estabrook was born in 181 •"> in the stale of New Hamp- 
shire. At the age of forty-two years, in 1855, he settled in the 
Territory of Nebraska. He was a student of Dickinson College, 
Pa., and a law student of Chambersburg, in the same stale. 
He graduated in 1839. His time was occupied as a clerk at 
the Brooklyn navy yard for a short time, as an attorney at 
Buffalo, N. Y., for one year, and fifteen years at Geneva Lake, 
Wisconsin. His elections were: Attorney General of Wisconsin, 
member of the Wisconsin legislature, and member of the 
Nebraska Constitutional Convention of 1871. His appointments 
were: Attorney General of Nebraska by President Pierce, 1855, 
and Commissioner for Codification of Laws of Nebraska, 1871. A 
good citizen and an honorable lawyer may become his epitaph. 

On the 18th day of May, 18(50, Mr. Campbell of Ohio, from the 
committee on elections, called up the following resolutions: 

Resolved, That Experience Estabrook is not entitled to 
the seat as delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to the 
Thirt3 r -sixth Congress of the United States. 

Resolved, That Samuel G. Daily is entitled to the seat as 
delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to the Thirl y-sixth 
Congress of the United States. 

This was a unanimous report, agreed upon alike by Democrats 
and Republicans. Mr. Estabrook belonged to the former and 
Mr. Daily to the latter party. The election had taken place on 
October 11, 185!). The canvassing board gave Mr. Estabrook 
3,100 voles and Mr. Daily 2. SOU, or a majority for Estabrook of 
300 votes. Of these 202 were reported coming from Buffalo 
County, but of that number 238 were cast in Kearney City which 
is not in the county of Buffalo. Mr. Campbell said: ''The testi- 
mony discloses llie tact that there were not over eight houses, not 
over fifteen residents, and not one acre of cultivated land, or a 


farm house in the neighborhood of Kearney City. Nor was 
Buffalo County organized." Therefore "the entire vote was 
rejected as illegal and spurious." All of the spurious votes were 
given to Estabrook and not one to Daily. The vote of Calhoun 
County was rejected because it was attached for voting purposes 
to Platte County, and though having only two families in the 
northwest and four in the southeast part, had returned thirty- 
two votes, twenty-eight for Estabrook and four for Daily. Mr. 
Campbell said: 

As to the vote of Izard County, the committee rejected 
the twenty-one votes cast for the sitting 1 member, and the 
three cast for the contestant, as the entire vote purporting* 
to have been polled in that county was a fraud, and that no 
such vote was ever polled. * * * If there had been any 
settlers there, if there had been one acre of cultivated land, 
if there had been a single voter in the county, if there had 
been an election precinct, and if there had been officers 
who held an election there, how easy it would have been for 
the sitting' delegate, after full notice, to have brought one 
of these twenty-four voters, one of these election officers, 
to show that there was a settlement and that an election 
had been held and that there were votes cast in the county 
of Izard. 

In L'Eau-qui-Court County, 128 votes were reported, all for 
Mr. Estabrook, while a member of the legislature swore that 
there were only from thirty to thirty-five votes in the county. 
The names of members of Congress were entered on the poll 
book as Howell Cobb and Aaron V. Brown, and two messengers 
who procured a copy of the poll book from the clei'k were mobbed 
by parties who declared, "as they were parties to the fraud, they 
would never suffer any evidence of it to leave the county.*' 
These figures of 128 were reduced to sixty, and a majority of 
119 votes were awarded to the contestant on a final adjustment 
of all the votes cast. In conclusion, Mr. Campbell said. 

The learned and able members of the committee who 
are friends to the sitting delegate, — and I trust all the mem- 
bers of the committee were disposed to do that which was 
simply right, — could not find in the case evidence enough 
to found a minority report on. 


Mr. Estabrook desired to make a motion to recommit the case 
to the committee. Mr. Campbell said: 

The motion which the gentleman is about to make has 
been made in the house once, and rejected there, or referred 
to the committee of elections, and argued and rejected 

Mr. Gartrell desired the sitting member should have more time, 
and said: 

I desire to say in justification to myself that while I voted 
in favor of ousting- the sitting delegate and giving the seat 
to the contestant, I did so upon the ground that the record 
evidence before the committee disclosed that the contestant 
was clearly elected. I did not vote for ousting Mr. Esta- 
brook with any idea that he or his friends in Nebraska had 
perpetrated any fraud. 

Finally, when Mr. Estabrook desired to speak more at length 
on some other day, and thought he could clear the Territory of 
charges of fraud, and admitted that "there always is irregularity 
on the frontier and you ought not to hold the frontiers of the 
country to the strict rules of law,"' the House desired him to 
close his remarks at that time. But when he declined to do so 
the final question was ordered, and Mr. Daily was sworn in on 
the 18th of May, 1860. That being the date of the convention 
that was to nominate Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Estabrook exclaimed, "I 
thank the House for making me a sacrifice to the gods of the 
Chicago convention." Thus endeth the third contest. 



Samuel G. Daily of Indiana effected a settlement at Peru, 
Nemaha County, Nebraska, in 1857; and before the permanent 
organization of the Republican party in the Territory, was free 
to avow his utter hostility to the institution of American slavery. 
One year prior to this, the first National Republican Convention 
assembled in Philadelphia, Pa., and nominated for president 
John C. Fremont, and for vice-president William L. Dayton of 
New Jersey; while a remnant of the old Whig party nominated 
ExJ?resident Millard Fillmore of New York. Mr. Daily had 
thoroughly adopted the doctrines of the platform : 

That we deny the authority of congress or of a terri- 
torial legislature, or of any individual or association of indi- 
viduals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory 
of the United States while the present constitution shall 
be maintained. 

That the constitution confers upon Congress sovereign 
power over the territories of the United States for their 
government, and that in the exercise of this power it is both 
the right and duty of Congress to prohibit in the territories 
those twin relics of barbarism — polygamy and slavery. 

Ready and willing to do all in his power in aid of these prin- 
ciples, he was elected to the territorial legislature in 1858, and 
as a delegate in Congress contested the election of Mr. Estabrook 
in 1859. In 1860 he was a candidate for Congress, subsequent 
to Mr. Lincoln's nomination, and made a very thorough canvass 
of the Territory with Mr. Morton, his democratic opponent. In 
1862 he succeeded in defeating Judge J. F. Kinney of Nebraska 
City, and closed a third term in Congress. 

On his retirement, Mr. Lincoln gave him the appointment of 
deputy collector of the port of New Orleans, where he died in 
September, 1865. 



Nov. :;, I860 (certificate of election) to May 7, ls(>2 (cessation 

of privileges). 

Although his name was never entered on the rolls of the 
House of Representatives in Congress, the history of Nebraska 
and a manual published by the legislature in 1885 speak of him 
as elected to Congress. The contest in which he figured in the 
first session of the thirty-seventh Congress, was the most remark- 
able in the past history of the government. He was then under 
thirty years of age, and already stood so high in the confidence 
of his party leaders that such men as Pendleton of Ohio, Voor- 
hees of Indiana, and Richardson of Illinois became his cham- 
pions. The latter, who had been governor of Nebraska for one 
year, said of him: 

I know him; I will say of him that, of all the yonng - men 
in the country, and I am familiar with a great many of 
them, he has the greatest intellect and the most promising 
future. I pass this compliment upon him; I have known him 
for years, and I have watched him well. Beyond the Ohio 
River there is not a brighter intellect. Gentlemen, you will 
hear of him hereafter: mark my words. 

And 1 will say of Mr. Daily — and I say it with pleasure — 
that he is a clever gentleman. He was a member of the leg- 
islative assembly when I was governor of Nebraska Terri- 
tory. I found him ready to support me at all times in the 
vindication of the law, and in everything calculated to con- 
fcribute 1o the welfare and prosperity of the country. I 
am not here, Mr. Speaker, to say one word offensive to him. 
But I do think that the American House of Representatives 
have committed an outrage in permitting the Governor 
of the Territory, in violation of his oath, in violation of his 
duty, and in violation of every trust reposed in him, to 
unseat a delegate, as has been done in this case. 

Mr. l>aily had also the aid of true political friends. They had, 
iu ;t previous Congress, ousted a Democrat and seated him, — the 
political excitement was intense, — and now that he came a 


second time claiming the right to cast another garland upon the 
altar of the newly enthroned Republican divinity, the admiration 
was shared between the gift and the donor. They pointed to his 
superior skill in strategy, admired his bold aggressiveness, and 
held him not too rigidly to the rules of rhetoric or the amenities 
of debate. 

On the 9th day of October, 1860, the election for delegates took 
place. On the 3rd of [November, 1860, a certificate of election 
was issued to J. Sterling Morton, declaring him as having re- 
ceived the largest number of votes, and concluding, "this shall 
be the certificate of the said election as delegate to Congress, to 
the thirty-seventh Congress of the United States." The canvass 
of votes was made by the governor, chief justice, and district 
attorney, as required by law. Six months thereafter, unknown 
to the chief justice and attorney, without any re-canvass, or 
sending of it to the secretary of state for legal record, Governor 
Black issued a certificate of election to Mr. Daily, the opposing 
candidate, after Mr. Daily had months before been taking testi 
niony to contest Mr. Morton's right to the seat in Congress. The 
reason given for this act was. that fraudulent votes had been 
discovered to the amount of 122, the deduction of which from 
Morton's vote elected Daily. The governor enjoined secrecy 
upon Mr. Daily, saying that he owed Morton money, for which 
he was being hounded, and if made known his departure from 
the state might be obstructed. 

The second certificate, attempting to revoke the first, was 
dated April 20, 1861, and as there was an extra session of Con- 
gress to commence July 1, 1861. that date would necessarily 
cause its publication. Mr. Daily stated to the House that, to 
avoid apparent undue secrecy when on his way east to Congress, 
he telegraphed an eastern paper of the fact of a new certificate- 
But Mr. Morton never saw the announcement; and arrived in 
Washington on the supposition that he was a member of Con- 
gress. The former private secretary of Governor Black i March 
4, 1862) having made an affidavit of his copying the Daily certifi- 
cate for the governor, "after he (Black) had been removed from 


the governorship of Nebraska and Alvin Saunders had been 
appointed," made an explanatory affidavit in the interests of 
Mr. Daily April 30, 18C2, in which he said he only intended by 
the word removed to say that it was after his removal so far as 
the appointment of Governor Saunders removed him, but he 
was the governor up to the time he left the Territory. Not to 
be outdone by this flank movement, Mr. Morton showed, by a 
letter of the Secretary of the Interior, "that Mr. Pentland was 
appointed a temporary clerk in the general land office March 
15, 1862, on the recommendation of Hon. S. G. Daily of Nebraska 
Territory," implying thereby that Pentland was under obliga- 
tions to Mr. Daily. This was parried by the assertion that high 
government officials of Pennsylvania had recommended Mr. Pent- 
land. When, in connection with the Daily certificate, it was 
asserted that Mr. Daily had purchased the horse and carriage of 
Governor Black, as though "one good turn deserved another," he 
admitted the purchase, but said he got them one hundred dollars 
under their true cash value. On the subject of the second 
certificate of election, Mr. Morton said in opening his speech in 
th^ House: 

He did this because he hated and desired to injure me. 
It was the vengeance of an assassin and a coward wreaked 
upon one who had, by loaning him hundreds of dollars, 
saved him and his family from shame and mortification, 
saved even their family carriage from public auction at the 
hands of the sheriff. Mr. Black owed me money and became 
indignant because I, after he had enjoyed for three years 
the use of a few hundred dollars, which he had borrowed to 
return in three days, pressed him for payment. 

How this revoked certificate got on the house roll was stated 
by Mr. Daily in answer to Voorhees of Indiana: 

I went to Col. Forney, then clerk of the House, presented 
my certificate to him, and told him to read it and to con- 
sider whether it was proper or wrong; and if proper to put 
my name on the roll, and if wrong to put Mr. Morton's 
name on the roll. I told him Morton had another certifi- 
cate, as he would see by the reading of mine; but when he 
read it, he said that a man who had been imposed upon by 


fraud had a right to correct his own act, as he thought 
Black had done in this case. 

The first rote taken in this ease was upon a motion to sub- 
stitute the name of J. Sterling Morton for that of Samuel G. 
Daily, which was lost, and Mr. Daily was sworn in on the 
second day of the extra session, July 5th, 1861. The second vote 
involved a refusal to recognize Mr. Morton as a sitting member 
pending the contest, which carried the case over to the next 
session of Congress. 

As this was the fourth contest in succession from Nebraska, 
members were reluctant to enter upon its settlement, only that 
the two certificates for the same election gave it a novel char- 
acter. It was the true policy of Mr. Morton to be respectful and 
conciliatory toward the majority, and hence he spoke of the 
mistake the House made in not allowing him to be sworn into 
the organization. But it was the policy of Mr. Daily to keep 
the majority in line, and hence his course of procedure to 
prejudice the House against his opponent. The war raging, 
and the very existence of the Union in peril, if the stigma of 
rebel could be attached to Mr. Morton's name, frauds against 
such an one would be hailed as blessings in disguise. But when 
Mr. Daily asserted that he had a letter from a Democrat, a 
captain in the army, who said Mr. Morton "sympathized with 
Southern traitors," Mr. Morton exclaimed: 

I have simply to say this, that towards the close of the 
Thirty-sixth Congress, when the nation itself seemed in the 
convulsions of dissolution, when, amid the roar and din of 
assembling armies, I heard the voice of the venerable gentle- 
man of Kentucky (Mr. Crittenden) sounding calmly and 
grandly over and above all the terrible tumult, saying unto 
the waves of sectional strife, "Peace, peace, be still," I 
caaight the words and echoed them even upon the far-off 
prairies of Nebraska. If that may have been disloyalty, 
then I am disloyal; if that may have been treason, I am 
proud to be called a traitor, — a Crittenden traitor. 

Mr. Daily: "Will the gentleman please close with prayer?" 
Be would make no charges himself, but would send up the 
letter. Members declared it personal and not in order. 


Mr. Johnson: "I think the House has been sufficiently dis- 
graced with ihis scene already, and I object to it." 

Each of the gentlemen was an adept at evasion and retort. 
In a running debate with Yoorhees of Indiana, Mr. Daily ex- 

While the lamp holds out to burn, 
The vilest sinner may return, 

and when Mr. Lovejoy said, "I feel bound to interpose in behalf 
of the scriptures," Mr. Daily, unabashed, continued: 

M is good doctrine anyway. It ought to be there if it is ' 
not. I have read Watts and the Bible so much together that 
I sometimes mistake one for the other. [Laughter.] Now I 
would say further in regard to Governor Black, he was an 
appointee of Mr. Buchanan. The marshal and the secretary, 
Mr. Morton, were also Buchanan men. They were all Breck- 
enridge Democrats; and a large majority of them are now 
in the rebel army. But Mr. Black, when the national diffi- 
culty arose, broke friendship with these old friends, and 
went back to his native town of Pittsburg where he raised 
a tine regiment, and we heard of him the other day as the 
first man to enter the enemy's works at Yorktown. 

Mr. Morton: 

1 think he would have been the second man in, if there 
was as certain knowledge that there was whiskey there, as 
I here was thai there was no enemy there. 

Mr. Daily, knowing what a center thrust this was in the 
knowledge of all Nebraskans, and that the House was ignorani 
of its terrible point, indignantly answered, "That shows, Mr. 
Speaker, the character of men. I do not reply to it." 

.Mr. Daily, having passed a pleasant eulogy upon a witness, 
whose character when attached had been sustained by twenty 
of his neighbors, received the following from Mr. Morton: 

The cabinel of Jeff Davis could. I have no doubt, impeach 
the loyalty of tins congress, cabinet, and president, and sub- 
stantiate their own, before any tribunal in Richmond; the 
inmates of a penitentiary establish among themselves their 

purity and the wickedness of tl uter world; and the little 

imps in Tartarus would attest the virtue of Satan ami im- 
peach the court of heaven that banished him. 


Inasmuch as this contest was never decided on its merits, it 
matters but little that the analytic arguments of distinguished 
members should be omitted, and only a mere synopsis of those 
of the contestant and sitting member be given. The speech of 
Mr. Morton was first in order, and announced the consequence 
of the committee being bound by the prima facie action of the 

My conclusion must naturally and logically follow that 
the best manner to become a member of Congress with 
safety, securit}*, and celerity, is not to become a candidate 
before the people at all, but quietly to go to the private 
residence of some governor of small means, easy virtue, and 
extravagant habits and purchase a certificate of election, 
being well assured that it is positively the last one to be 
issued, come here and secure the affections of the clerk 
of the House by some means, and if he is a bold man, and 
an anxious candidate for re-election, your name will be put 
upon the roll-call of the members and you will be sworn in, 
safety in, seated upon live oak and green morocco, to 
enjoy all the honors and perquisites arising therefrom, for 
the period of two years. 

Taking up the case of L'Eau-qui-Court county, where one 
hundred twenty-two votes were thrown out of his count, on the 
testimony of four witnesses, Mr. Morton referred to evidence in 
which Mr. Westernian said that in consideration of the testi- 
mony which they were to give in behalf of Samuel G. Daily, 
"I agreed to pay W. W. Walford one hundred dollars and Heck 
fifty dollars." He further showed that, in a case in Dakota 
Territory, subsequently, this same Westerman gave as a reason 
why the witness Walford should not be believed upon oath. 
that he was a hired witness in Nebraska; and of the fourth 
one, Cox, he said, "He tendered his services to me as an itinerant 
witness, but I declined to negotiate, and within a week he 
turned up as a witness for Mr. Daily." 

When it was charged that the vote of the county for him was 
greater than the whole population, he showed that since the 
election a part of the county had been set off to the Territory of 
Dakota, and a new census taken. Of twenty votes denied him 


in Monroe precinct, Platte County, because some were of citizens 
upon a reservation, he claimed they were, nevertheless, citizens 
of Nebraska, and such residents had been entitled to vote in 
the nearest adjacent precinct, by a recent legislative enactment. 
Of thirty-nine votes from Buffalo County, he claimed that the 
sworn records of the county showed organization and hence the 
vote valid. In Rulo precinct, Richardson County, where 
ninety votes were cast for Morton and the committee deducted 
twenty for want of residence in the precinct, he claimed that 
custom allowed them to vote in any precinct where they might 
be on the day of election, and further said: 

Perceive that while they are painfully careful to deduct 
twenty votes from me, they are felicitously forgetful of the 
nine votes which they admit should be deducted from those 
returned for Mr. Daily. 

Falls City precinct returned one hundred and four votes 
for Mr. Daily. The ballot box, unsealed, was for hours in 
the hands of a person out of the possession or sight of the 
election board. It is proved, too, handfuls of ballots were 
taken out of the box by a political friend and supporter of 
Mr. Daily's and others put in their place by the same person. 
The whole 104 votes returned from Falls City should be 
thrown out. If L'Eau-qui-Court is thrown out the former 
certainly must be. If both go out, I am elected. 

Mr. Noble of Ohio: 

Mr. Speaker, I have been acquainted with that judge and 
his associates a great while. Where they lived before they 
went there, they would neither be believed on oath, nor be 
entrusted with anything. I could relate instances of fraud 
above anything I ever knew, during an active practice of 
over twenty years. 

Mr. Morton presented in evidence an act of the Nebraska 
legislature, since the commencement of the contest, legalizing 
the first organization of Pawnee County, and claimed that he 
lost thirty-nine votes in Buffalo County on a charge of non- 
organization, while in a county of the same condition, his 
opponent gets one hundred of a majority. He claimed that the 
law was not observed in Clay and Gage counties and in the 



precincts of Otoe and Wyoming in Otoe County, and that the 
clerks of Dodge, Cass, Nemaha, Lancaster, Johnson and Wash- 
ington made no abstract of votes, as the law required, and the 
minority report claimed they should be thrown out. He argued 
in conclusion, that to enforce the law as it had been construed 
against himself, would reduce Mr. Daily's vote two hundred 
and ninety-four. Mr. Morton concluded: "Thanking the House 
for its courteous attention, I submit the case for its determina- 

As L'Eau-qui-Court county was the objective point of attack, 
Mr. Daily approached it promptly: 

Knowing the means that they would resort to, while going 
through the canvass with the contestant, I said to him that 
I did not expect to get the certificate; I said to him that 
these officials will manage affairs so that when it is ascer- 
tained how many, they will bring from some place nobody 
has heard of before, votes enough to elect you. Sure enough 
it turned out as I predicted. Neither the contestant nor I 
had ever heard of this northern precinct of L'Eau-qui-Court 
county; but it was from that precinct that a vote of one 
hundred twenty-two came in, all for the contestant, and 
sufficient to elect him. But, how, let me ask, were those 
•one hundred twenty-two votes counted? They were counted 
•contrary to law; they were counted contrary to the evidence 
before the territorial canvassers. Now how did the terri- 
torial canvassing board know that there was any vote of 
that kind? Because the county clerk had stated to them 
that such a return had been presented to and rejected by 
him; and because he rejected it they counted it. [Laughter.] 

There is a return included here, called Cottonwood 
Springs, some ninety miles beyond Fort Kearney, of some 
seventy votes for Mr. Morton, which I did not go to the 
trouble of proving fraudulent, because I had enough to do 
to make out my case without. I now dare him to go back 
upon that issue (of fraud) to the Territory and I will show, 
beyond a doubt, that his certificate was obtained, counted, 
and this return, which Was no return, counted, without 
which the certificate could not have been given, by means of 
bribery, that the certificate was caused to be made out by 
the appliances of bribery. 

Mr. Morton: 

I understand the sitting delegate to say that he is willing 



upon these certificates to go again before the people of Ne- 
braska and try the contest there. I am willing to accept 
thai proposition. . 

Mr. Daily: 

No, Sir; at the next election in that Territory I will con- 
sent to that trial again. I am speaking simply of these cer- 
tificates, which, 1 repeat, have nothing whatever to do with 
the merits of the case. 

Mr. Daily stated that the witnesses, who received $150 for 

coming to Omaha to testify, traveled two hundred fifty miles 

and were over sixty days making the trip. He claimed that 

Morton had votes counted for him in Platte County, from the 

Indian Reservation, bv men who took the oath on the condition 

that the Reservation was found to be in Monroe precinct. As 

the chairman of the committee was to close the debate in behalf 

of- Mr. Daily, it allowed the sitting delegate to disport himself 

at will among the multitudinous questions raised during the 


My friends are very impatient, and I must hurry to a con- 
clusion. There are a great many things with regard to this 
case which I would take delight in talking- about, because 
I tell you that it reeks with the greatest fraud, and chican- 
ery, and trickery that ever was concocted in the darkest 
hours of the night amid the infernal regions below, or that 
ever could be concocted by Democratic officials under James 
Buchanan to carry the day in the territory, right or wrong. 
[Much laughter.] 

Mr. Yoorhees: 

Inasmuch as this line of remark is indulged in, I shall 
say to gentlemen upon the opposite side of the house, that 
with this country filled and reeking from side to side with 
frauds committed by high officials of the present adminis- 
tration, it comes with a bad grace from them to say one 
word about frauds that have been committed in times past. 

Mr. Daily: 

Oh, I hope these frauds are not to be brought into this 
case. Cod knows there was enough fraud in the Nebraska 
cisc on the part of the contestant without bringing in all 
the frauds about horse contracts. 

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am constrained out of mercy for the 
house, so Jong bored by this case, to close this argument. 


Following the closing speech of Mr. Daus, on motion of Mr. 
Washburn, a friend of Mr. Daily, the whole subject was laid 
upon the table by a vote of sixty-nine to forty-eight. So the 
contest was never decided, but Mr. Daily held the seat under 
the second certificate. The privileges of Mr. Morton ceased 
May 7, 1862. 



Into the political campaign of 1864, as republican candidate 
for delegate in Congress, Mr. Hitchcock entered unconditionally 
and hopefully. No man went beyond him in an endorsement of 
Mr. Lincoln's sublime prophecy that, "The mystic chords of 
memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to 
every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will 
yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely 
they will be, by the better angels of our natures." Having 
been a delegate to the convention and voted for Mr. Lincoln's 
first nomination, and having heartily approved his official acts, 
and under his appointment acted as United States marshal for 
four years, it became more than a mere pleasure, a positive duty, 
to advocate his re-election. 

The Democratic candidate was General George B. McClellan, 
a* splendid officer and pure patriot, who had been deemed too 
•slow by the radical Republicans and too conspicuous for the 
scheming politicians. After the asperity of the war was subsid- 
ing Ben: Perley Poor, a Republican author, said of him: "General 
McClellan, who was then eulogized as a second Napoleon, soon 
found himself 'embarrassed' By men who feared that he might 
become president if he conquered peace." He was also im- 
pressed with this presidential idea by pretended friends who 
had fastened themselves upon him, and "between two stools he 
fell to the ground." 

All state or territorial politics were overshadowed in the 
canvass and national issues predominated. Mr. Hitchcock was 
elected delegate to Congress by a majority of one thousand, 
while Lincoln's majority in the United States, of the popular 
vote, was 407,342, and of the electoral college over McClellan, 
was 191. Ten states were in revolt and not represented. 

1 For more personal details of the life of Mr. Hitchcock, see pub. Nehr. State Hist. 
Soc, first series, vol. I., pp. 100-103. 



The circumstances attending the advent of Mr. Hitchcock in 
public life, as a delegate in Congress, were monumental as to 
eras, marking the returning shadows of slavery, and the dawn- 
ing glories of universal freedom. The hour in which he re- 
sponded to the roll-call of ''Nebraska," the newly elected 
Speaker of the House emphasized the living contrast: 

The Thirty-eighth Congress closed its constitutional ex- 
istence with the storm-cloud of war still lowering- over us; 
and, after a nine month's absence, Congress resumes its leg- 
islative authority in these council halls, rejoicing, that from 
shore to shore, in our land, there is peace. 

But the fires of civil war have melted every fetter in the 
land and proved the funeral pyre of slavery, and the stars 
on our banner, that paled when the states they represented 
arranged themselves in arms against the nation, will shine 
Avith a more brilliant light of loyalty than ever before. 

In the membership of the House was an infusion of the best 
young blood of the nation. The "Plumed Knight" of Maine, 
James G. Blaine; Roscoe Conklin, the gorgeous, of New York; 
the sauve and well-poised Samuel J. Randall, of Pennsylvania; 
the scholarly James A. Garfield, of Ohio; the chivalrous N. P. 
Banks, of Massachusetts; with a long list of compeers, challeng- 
ing their pre-eminence, and holding the scales of decision in 
equal balance. Under the wig and upon the crutch came Thad- 
deus Stephens, the invincible old commoner of Pennsylvania, 
wielding the war club of leadership in the style of a Cromwell; 
while bearing the motto, "The pen is mightier than the sword," 
came Brooks of New York, editor, orator, and statesman. It 
matters not that a delegate in Congress may be of finished 
education, devoted to principles, profound in the science of 
government and used to intellectual sparring in stormy debate, 
yet he is barred from national themes and confined to narrow 
and material lines of territorial wants. But if of studious habits 
and sound morals, and making each opportunity a stepping- 
stone to future elevation, the confined position of delegate will 
not prevent the acquisition of valuable material for use in the 
Senate or House of Representatives. 

The legislature of 1865-6 charged Mr. Hitchcock with the 


presentation of memorials asking for bounty lands for Nebraska 
volunteers, and the same aid for the Burlington and Missouri 
River Railroad as that accorded to the Union Pacific, and land 
grants for railroads west from Nebraska City and Brownville. 
Also for reimbursement of expenses incurred in suppressing 
Indian hostilities; and for numerous mail routes. 

In the first session of the thirty-ninth Congress, of his own 
motion, he presented bills for the creation and construction of 
a penitentiary, and for the finishing of the capitol building; 
asked that internal revenue from Nebraska might be ap- 
propriated. To faciliate emigrant travel and secure a western 
outlet for Nebraska productions, he presented a bill for a wagon 
road from Columbus to Virginia City, Montana. To save the 
people from frauds of irresponsible corporations and heartless 
cormorants he presented and advocated before the appropriate 
committee a petition for "just and equal laws" respecting inter- 
state insurances. When terror-stricken emigrants fled before 
the murderous and thieving forays of Arapahoe, Cheyenne, 
and Sioux, their claims for remuneration and protection were 
met by an anticipating effort. 
. With a firm faith in the future of the great west and its com- 
mercial demands, the Missouri river ready for heavy transporta- 
tion, and an indomitable enterprise promising to make the 
beautiful central prairie state the railroad checkerboard of the 
nation, he early advocated Omaha and Nebraska City for posts 
of delivery. Bills for a geological survey and for government 
buildings at Nebraska City were deemed advisable, in order 
that concealed treasures might be disclosed, and for the accom- 
modation of United States courts, revenue office and postal 

In summing up the results of the first session of the thirty- 
ninth Congress, the United States statutes disclose the follow- 
ing state of facts: Bills passed establishing sixteen post routes; 
for surveying public lands, $25,000 appropriated; for territorial 
expenses, f 26,500; and as much of $45,000 as the secretary of 
war shall deem necessarv to reimburse the territory for ex- 


penses incurred in the suppression of Indian hostilities in 1804 ; 
and for the removal of the surveyor general's office of Wisconsin 
and Iowa to Plattsniouth, Nebraska. There was also found due 
and appropriated for Indian tribes in Nebraska, under treaties, 
over 1100.000. 

Inasmuch as the closing session of the thirty-ninth Congress, 
closing Mr. Hitchcock's term, was to be one of three months 
only, and as the senator and delegate from Nebraska were 
awaiting admission, but little business was pressed upon the dele- 
gate; and he returned from the position three days before the 
end of his term, while the proclamation of the president, 
extinguishing the taper of the Territory, unveiled the star of 
the State. 

During that second session, however, the record shows the 
passage of an act allowing an annual appropriation of internal 
revenue, for three years, aggregating $40,000 for penitentiary 
buildings, |15,000 for land surveys, and an allowance for a 
geological survey, with $31,500 for legislative expenses. In his 
argument before the various house committees on lands, Indian 
affairs, pensions, claims, post offices, appropriations, commerce, 
agriculture and territories, as well as in his intercourse with 
fellow members, he manifested good capacity, liberal acquire- 
ments, commendable devotion to duties, with gentility of deport- 
ment. From the remembrance of their college days, it was no 
matter of astonishment when Garfield met him in the house, and 
subsequently, Ingalls in the senate. 



David Butler, first governor of the state of Nebraska, was 
born in the state of Indiana near Blooming-ton, Monroe County, 
December, 1829. At that time in the west educational facilities 
were so very indifferent that farmers' sons were doomed to 
enter public life, very generally developed more by application 
to severe toil and the treasures of personal experience, than by 
technical scholastic culture. 

Whether superintendent of a Wisconsin stock farm before of 
age, or assuming the charge of a large family and an embarassed 
estate on the death of his father, or coming out of the financial 
crisis of 1857 with ''an inheritance of loss," he was prepared 
for new ventures and future encounters. Arriving in Nebraska 
in 1858, still a young man, little did he suppose that iu eight 
years' time he would be enrolled among the executives of states. 
Engaging in mercantile pursuits in Pawnee City and in raising 
and dealing in live stock, he was soon established as a persever- 
ing and successful man of business. Efficiency and prominence 
soon marked him for a leader, and prior to his nomination for 
governor lie had served three years in the legislature. 

According to the provision of the state constitution, the first 
session was to convene on the Fourth of July, 1866; and tc 
this body was delivered the first message of the first governor of 
the new state. As this period marks an era in our political 
existence, it may not be inappropriate to present it in full: 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: In ac- 
cordance with a time-honored custom, that reaches back 
to the beginning- of our national existence, I assume the 




privilege of addressing the first senate and house of repre- 
sentatives, chosen by the popular will, since Nebraska was 
elected to take her rank as one of the sovereign states of 
the Union. The position in which Ave stand to-day is pecu- 
liar to our national economy, and affords an instructive 
comment upon the character of our institutions and their 
adaptation to the needs of a progressive people. While in 
a territorial condition, we have, necessarily, been depend- 
ent upon the general government for social and civil pro- 
tection, for the appointment of our executive and judicial 
officers, and for annual appropriations to defray the ex- 
penses of a territorial government. Now that the rapid 
increase of our population and the proportional develop- 
ment of our resources have given us sufficient strength 
and stability to dispense with the temporary guardianship 
afforded by the Organic Act while passing our minority in 
the family of the Union, we propose, quietly and peaceably, 
in accordance with numerous precedents afforded by other 
states, and in response to the invitation extended to us by 
an act of Congress of 1864, commonly called the Enabling- 
Act, to take upon ourselves the responsibility of state gov- 

The auspices under which we ask, at the door of Con- 
gress, for admission into the Union, are extremely favorable 
to our future happiness and prosperity. The tide of immi- 
gration, checked for a season by the disturbing influences 
of the great civil war, is again pouring with increased mo- 
mentum over the western banks of the Missouri, and now, 
although a year has scarcely elapsed since the close of the 
rebellion, our population has probably increased one-third; 
our prairies have been taken up with unexampled rapidity 
by enterprising settlers, and herds of cattle and fields of 
luxuriant grain change, as if by magic, the solitary wilder- 
ness to the appearance of civilization. 

The question of state government, as it has been submit- 
ted to the people, has not been sprung precipitately upon 
them. No exception can with propriety be taken to the 
manner in which it has been brought before them. It has 
been thoroughly discussed; first by the territorial legis- 
lature that drafted the constitution, then by the press and 
by the people at large, and the result of the vote upon 
the state constitution evinces that a majority of the people 
of Nebraska deliberately prefer the rights and privileges 
appertaining to a state to the more imperfect organiza- 
tion of a territory. The objection to the admission of Ne- 
braska by Congress, on the ground of a scanty population, 
cannot be urged with any appearance of consistency. At 


tin- time of the passage of the "Enabling Act" by Con- 
gress in 1S<>4, the population of Nebraska was estimated 
at 38,000. As no accurate census has been taken since that 
time, the exact increase cannot be stated, but from the 
returns of the assessment of 1865, from the great influx of 
immigration during the fall of 1865, and the spring of 1866, 
and from the number of votes cast in the recent election, 
sufficient data are presented to estimate, with probable ac- 
curacy, that it will not, by the time Congress can take 
action upon the question of her admission, fall short of 
70,000. This, so far from being- below the standard of new 
states, is really above the average. That it will be any 
grievance to the older states in the Union to give Nebraska 
a greater representation in Congress than is prescribed by 
law, is an evident fallacy. In apportioning representatives 
to other states, although a population of 120,000 is required 
for each member, yet several of the states have each a rep- 
resentative in Congress for a fractional part of the stated 
number, often less than the population of Nebraska. In 
addition to this, it will be found, upon reference to the 
census returns of the different states, that not only have 
the majority of them been admitted before their population 
was up to the standard of representation, from time to time 
increased by Congress, but in at least one case (that of 
Florida) a state has been represented for years, upon the 
congressional floors, by two senators and one representa- 
tive, that has not at this moment a population exceeding 
that of Nebraska, and which has never in its history meas- 
ured up to the legal standard. That the people of Nebraska 
and of all the territories, now or to be organized, would 
suffer injustice were it requisite to the admission of a state 
that she should have the number of inhabitants required for 
a representative is evident, not only from the foregoing 
statements, but from the guarantees given them in the 
treaty by the provisions of which Louisiana was ceded by 
France to the United States in 1803, and which embraces 
nearly all the states admitted since the treaty was made, 
and the present western territories, with the exception of 
those ceded by Mexico. In the third article of that treaty 
we find the following language, than which nothing- can be 
more explicit and clear: "The inhabitants of the ceded terri- 
tories shall be incorporated in the union of the United 
States, and be admitted as soon as possible, according to 
the principles of the federal Constitution, to the enjoyments 
of all the rights and immunities of citizens of the United 
States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained and 
protected in the free enjoyment of all their liberty, prop- 


erty and the religion which they profess." Now, what is 
meant by the expression "as soon as possible, according 
to the principles of the constitution," if it is not to be inter- 
preted, as soon as their wealth and population shall be suf- 
ficient to support a state government? It could not have 
been in contemplation that an inexorable sliding scale 
should be established, increasing- from time to time, to keep 
pace with the development of older communities, to which 
each new territory must measure up or be kept out from 
her right of representation and self-government. 

If the people of the Atlantic states could support their 
respective state governments with population ranging, in 
some instances, considerably less than that of our terri- 
tory, then it reasonably follows that the time contemplated 
in the treaty, specified by this somewhat emphatic expres- 
sion, "as soon as possible," has arrived for the state of Ne- 
braska. While it is a subject of regret that the majority for 
the constitution was so small, yet an impartial examination 
into the causes that tended to decrease it will do away with 
most of the significance that might be attached to that 
•circumstance. Nebraska, while sending her full quota of 
volunteers to the national army for the suppression of the 
rebellion, contributed very little in the way of direct taxa- 
tion for the prosecution of the war. While most of the 
states were obliged to offer large bounties to induce enlist- 
ments, we were wholly exempt from such burdens, and 
the close of the war found us neither impoverished by 
heavy taxes nor weighed down with a heavy debt. The ad- 
vantage thus enjoyed by our tax-payers over those of other 
sections, though really adventitious, carried great weight 
as an argument in favor of a territorial form of govern- 
ment to minds not accustomed to study much the sci- 
ence of political economy. Another argument used against 
the constitution was of a very different nature, and was 
found in the instrument itself, in the clause defining the 
extent of the elective franchise. But this vexed question 
seems now about to be placed beyond the reach of agita- 
tion by an amendment of the constitution of the United 
States which has already passed Congress, and now awaits 
the ratification of two-thirds of the states, which in due 
course of time will permanently settle the political status 
of the African. 

Within the last two years the wealth of the territory has 
increased with even greater rapidity than the population. 
In 1864 the taxable property of Nebraska was returned as 
■$11,000,000; in 1865 at $13,000,000. This year the returns 
already filed in the auditor's office indicate a total of 


$18,000,000. The sanu- ratio of increase will give us in 1867 
the sum of $35,000,000; but taking into consideration the 
unprecedented increase of emigration, and the large amount 
of capital introduced by the rapid progress of our internal 
improvements, it will be safe to estimate the amount of 
taxable property in 1867 at upward of $40,000,000. 

The railroad interests of Nebraska are assuming- large 
proportions. The work upon the main line of the Pacific 
Railroad is progressing- at the rate of one mile per day, 
and in a few weeks the track of iron will extend two hund- 
red miles west to Fort Kearney. If the same energy shall 
be displayed till its completion, but a short time will elapse 
ere it will wind its way beyond our western boundary. 
This road completed, together with the various connecting 
branches, now in contemplation, or in process of construc- 
tion to unite lis with the great eastern roads and the gulf 
of Mexico, we shall have abundant facilities for ti*ansport- 
ing our surplus products to the eastern, southern and west- 
ern markets. The importance of the early completion of 
these highways of commerce is not overlooked by our enter- 
prising people, and must be felt even by a casual observer 
who should to-day cross our broad fields, where the cattle 
graze upon a thousand prairies, and the earth seems op- 
pressed by the burden of ripening grain. Measures have 
been recently taken in several counties for the development 
of our mineral resources, and the present indications are 
that coal exists in inexhaustible quantities in Nebraska. 
It cannot be long - in the natural order of things befoi'e the 
attention of capitalists will be directed to our mines and 
coal will in good time fill the breach caused by our tem- 
porary scarcity of timber. 

To a community so comparatively wealthy as our own the 
burdens of a state government must be light; and when we 
take into the account the inevitable impetus to be given to 
emigration and the introduction of capital by the adoption 
of a state constitution, we can but come to the conclusion 
that financially we shall be upon a much better basis in 
1867 with a state organization than in 1866 as a territory. 

The duties of the present legislature, though important, 
will not probably occupy much time nor entail very much 
upon the treasury in the way of appropriations. Until the 
seal of legality is placed upon its records by our admission 
and consequent recognition by Cong-ress, its action should 
be limited to the business actually necessary to put in mo- 
tion the machinery of state. The election of United States 
senators, who shall, in conjunction with our congressional 
. representative, present our petition at Washington, is of 


course the first and most important step. That your coun- 
sels will be guided by wisdom and patriotism, the fact thai 
you come fresh from the people, to whom the issues of the 
day have been presented with distinctness and ability, 
seems to afford the strongest pledge. 

The amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 
recently passed by Congress, and submitted to the action 
of the several states, to which I have incidentally referred, 
should, in my opinion, be acted upon during- the present 
session. It is the embodiment of the reconstruction policy 
of Congress — a policy long considered and carefully di- 
gested, and which is apparently the wisest, the most ex- 
pedient, and the most conformable to the spirit of our 
institutions, of any that has been suggested, or that can 
be adopted. It gives a promise of an early solution to the 
main questions that have threatened the national life, and 
if fully carried out in letter and spirit, will, as I think, 
restore harmony and concord to the national councils and 
reaffirm in our Constitution the fundamental principles 
enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, that all men 
are created free and equal. It is not necessary for me to 
enter into the particulars of the amendment at present, as 
I shall take an early opportunity to communicate it to 
your honorable body. 

Financially I am able to report the territory in a healthy 
condition. The light debt incurred by us during the Indian 
troubles, in defending our frontiers, forms the extent of our 
liabilities. Congress will, doubtless, in accordance with 
established precedents, reimburse us for our expenditures 
in calling out the militia against the Indians, as soon as our 
just claim shall have been properly represented. To these 
facts, and especially to the financial tact and energy of our 
present territorial administration, are we indebted for the 
gratifying fact that our bonds will bring- in the market 
ninety-seven cents on the dollar. In this respect we have 
advantages not often possessed by a new state, and which 
will tend to alleviate any additional burdens that the 
change in our form of government may impose. There has 
never been in our history a finer prospect for an abundant 
harvest than at present. He who sends the "early and 
latter rain" has blessed us most abundantly, and to Him 
-should our hearts go forth in gratitude for His many mer- 

We believe that the time is not far distant when the prod- 
ucts of our soil shall make our name familiar in the com- 
mercial marts of the farthest clime— when our prairies 
shall be dotted with comfortable dwellings and tracts of 


growing timber, from the .Missouri to the mountains, and 

when our churches and schoolhouses, greeting each other 
from t\ci\ eminence, shall be the index of the intelligence 
and moral worth of our citizens. That the future of Ne- 
braska will give a glorious fruition as the reward of our 
sanguine hopes, is my firm trust and is the prayer of every 
good citizen and patriot. 

This session, of eight days' duration, resulted in the election 
of United States senators, as follows: Thomas W. Tipton hav- 
ing been nominated as a republican, and J. Sterling Morton as 
a democrat, twenty-nine votes having been east for the former, 
and twenty-six for the latter, Thomas W. Tipton was declared 
duly elected. And twenty-nine votes having been cast for John 
M. Thayer, and twenty-six for Andrew J. Poppleton, John M. 
Thaver was also declared dulv elected a senator. 

On the fourth day of April, 1867, the governor issued his proc- 
lamation for a session of the legislature to convene on the six- 
teenth of May ensuing, and specified thirty-one subjects for its 
special consideration, in order to accelerate the transition from 
the territory to the state; while to this called session he 
delivered a very exhaustive message explanatory of the necessity 
of a special session. Among other things introductory he said: 

Xo state has ever entered the Union under more favor- 
able auspices than our own. Practically free from debt, our 
credit is sound, and our resources entirely available for 
present and future needs. Our facilities for communication 
with the east and south have been greatly increased during 
the past year, and the Rocky Mountains and shores of the 
Pacific are rapidly drawing near to us, as the construction 
train of the Union Pacific makes its daily progress west- 
ward. The tide of immigration, that at the close of the 
rebellion commenced to pour over our borders, has experi- 
enced no abatement, but has continued, with accelerated 
speed, to people our fertile prairies with hardy pioneers, 
and to contribute the necessary labor and capital for the 
development of our latent wealth. 

The conclusion was as follows: 

Gentlemen, I cannot conclude without expressing a hope 
that in all your deliberations the spirit of harmony and 
mutual forbearance, so necessary to the preservation of the 


dignity of a legislative body, may be carefully preserved— 
that every measure brought up for your consideration may 
meet with unprejudiced and unimpassioned examination — 
that our new state, through your wisdom and prudence, may 
inscribe upon the opening pages of its history a record un- 
sullied by the petty, yet bitter, warfare of local interests, 
and that every member of your body may bear in perpetual 
remembrance that he owes not merely a duty to the partic- 
ular section that he represents, but that Nebraska, as an 
integral state, now calls upon him for the unselfish service 
of his head and heart. Rendering in all sincerity our hum- 
ble acknowledgments to the Giver of all good, for our pres- 
ervation and protection as a people, since the date of our 
organization as a territory, uniting with our sister states 
in gratitude to Him for His guidance of the American Re- 
public, through the tempest of treason and armed rebellion, 
to the haven of peace and renewed prosperity, let us sol- 
emnly join in an invocation to the same Almighty Power, 
for the continuance of his fostering- care — that our soil 
may ever yield its bounteous harvest to the intelligent toil 
of the husbandman, and that the peaceful conquests of com- 
merce and mechanical skill may be as enduring as the truth 
of the great principle of universal freedom, which forever 
assures them of victories. 

On the 27th and 28th days of October, 1868, a special session 
of the legislature was holden at Omaha for the appointment 
of presidential electors, of which the governor said: 

In consequence of the recent admission of Nebraska to 
the Union, the time prescribed for the regular session of 
the legislature has not arrived. Since the admission of the 
state you have once convened by the call of the executive. 
At that time your attention was directed to the many im- 
portant questions, growing out of the change in our do- 
mestic government, which were pressing upon us for im- 
mediate action. You have therefore been called together at 
this time to make such provision for the appointment of 
electors of president and vice-president of the United States 
of America as you in your wisdom shall deem best. 

This business being accomplished, Mr. Majors, since lieutenant 
governor, offered the following resolution: 

Resolved, By the senate and house of representatives con- 
curring, that we respectfully, but earnestly, urge upon the 
next president of the United States, General U. S. Grant, 


the appointment of the Honorable John M. Thayer in his 
cabinet; who will, by his long - residence on the frontier, 
and his acquaintance with the resources and developments 
of the West, and with the necessities of the people, be en- 
abled to advance the interests and prosperity of this great 
and growing country. 

Mr. Freeman moved to strike out "General Grant" and insert 
"Horatio Seymour," which was lost, and the resolution adopted. 
An act having passed the legislature, July, 1867, "for the loca- 
tion of the seat of government of the state of Nebraska, and for 
the erection of public building's thereat," the governor, the secre- 
tary of state, and auditor, being the commissioners to perform 
said duty, did, on the 29th day of July, 1867, establish the capital 
at the village of Lancaster, on grounds includiug state lands 
and the old surrendered town site of Lancaster. And thus the 
sale of towm lots inured to the financial benefit of the state, hav- 
ing amounted to $76,715 during the first year thereafter. The 
commissioners whose names w T ere thus identified with Lincoln 
as state capital, w r ere Governor David Butler, Thomas P. Ken- 
nard, Secretary of State, and John Gillespie, State Auditor. 

The new seat of government was made prominent, in the gov- 
ernor's message of January 8th, 1869: 

This commodious and well appointed hall, these substan- 
tial walls, this entire beautiful edifice, this enterprising and 
thrifty town, sprung, within the last eighteen months, 
from the open prairie and to-day contributing, directly and 
indirectly, to the prosperity of an area of more than ten 
thousand square miles, this has been accomplished without 
cost to the state or individuals. It has contributed to the 
enrichment of both. It has added to the wealth of the state 
not less than five millions of dollars. Nor have the public 
benefits been yet fully measured. I would, in this connec- 
tion, recommend that provision be made for the sale of the 
remaining lots. So much of the proceeds as may be neces- 
sary for that purpose should be appropriated to the con- 
struction of the dome, included in the original design of 
this building, and Hie fencing and ornamenting of the 
grounds, and the remainder to the erection of a building for 
state university and agricultural college. 

The grounds upon which the old state house stands were 
given by the citizens of Omaha to be used by the territory 


for the erection thereon of the state capitol. In addition 
to this, the city gave toward the completion of the building 
$30,000 in bonds, which have been redeemed. 

On the fourth of March next, the state will have removed 
from them all its movable property and have ceased to oc- 
cupy them for the purpose originally designed. I recom- 
mend that they be granted to the city of Omaha for a high 
school on the condition that when they shall no longer be 
used for that purpose they shall revert to the state. 

Kecurring to the above subject, in his message of January 6th, 
1871, we have: 

By the provisions of "An act to provide for the sale of 
unsold lots and blocks on the town site of Lincoln, and for 
the location and erection of a state university, and agricul- 
tural college, and state lunatic asylum," approved February 
15th, 1869, the commissioners were authorized to sell all the 
unsold lots and blocks on the town site of Lincoln; to con- 
struct the dome of the capitol building; to erect a state 
lunatic asylum at a cost of $50,000, and a state university 
and agricultural college at a cost of $100,000. "On the 8th 
of November (1870) the [asylum] building was formally ac- 
cepted, and on the 1st of December completely furnished 
and ready for the reception of patients. Orders were 
issued and the patients from the Iowa Hospital and the 
different jails throughout the state, in all numbering over 
thirty, removed to the asylum, where they are now receiving 
the best care. 

The message of 1871 made mention of the State University: 

This institution, established on a broad basis, and liber- 
ally endowed by your predecessors, is not as yet open for 
the reception of students. The board of regents have been 
appointed and organized, and have taken some steps prelim- 
inary to the selection of the faculty. 

Our university building is a source of pride to the citizens 
of our state, and is a model not only in architectural beauty, 
but in its internal arrangements, and its adaptation to the 
purposes for which it is designed. Let me express the hope 
that the legislature may always be ready to foster its inter- 
ests by wise legislation. 

Having presented the necessity of a state prison in his official 
communication of 1869, that of 1871 reported progress: 

The legislature, recognizing this necessity, made provis- 
ion for the erection of a penitentiary, on lands previously 


set aparl for that purpose, about three miles south of Lin- 
coln, and also for the sale of lands donated to the state, 
by the general government, to aid in the construction of 
such an institution. The contract for building the peniten- 
tiary was awarded to Messrs. Stout and Jamison, at a con- 
tract price of $307,950. They are executing their work in a 
manner alike creditable to themselves and the state. The 
labor of the convicts is hired to them at the rate of forty- 
two cents per day, for each convict who is able to work. 
I am pleased to notice that under the present arrangement 
the condition of the prisoner is in every respect much im- 

No such an amount of responsibility had been cast upon any 
previous governor, as to the material interests of the people of 
Nebraska. Butler's term of occupancy might properly be called 
the creative period of the state. Immigration was to be induced 
and fostered by all practicable means, education provided for 
their descendants, penal laws enacted for their protection from 
the vicious, and a state militia for safety from savages; con- 
stitutions framed, amended and adapted to constantly varying 
necessities; a capital city established as the home of the state, 
and so located as to become a great railway center. The wisdom 
of the location, and the general acceptability of administration, 
had to extinguish early prejudice and vindicate the propriety 
of original design. 

The financial statement as given in the message of 1871, re- 
ported a balance in the treasury of $77,886. Said he: 

I am pleased to note that the material wealth of the state 
has been rapidly increasing. The assessed valuation of 1868 
was about $32,000,000. That of 1870 was over $53,000,000, thus 
showing the gratifying increase of $21,000,000 in two years. 

The document concluded: 

Invoking for your deliberation the guidance and blessing 
of Him who controlleth all things, I express the hope that 
your session may be productive of the highest public good, 
and honor to yourselves. 

At the time of his first election, in 1866, Governor Butler, re- 
publican, had a majority of 145 votes over J. Sterling Morton, 


democrat. In 1868 his majority over J. E, Porter, democrat, was 
2,227. In 1870 the majority over John H. Croxton was 2,478. 
But in this, his third campaign, charges were made against him 
of great irregularities in administering the school fund of the 
state. His political friends claimed that no harm could come to 
the state from a re-election, as the legislature would be republi- 
can, and they would examine the case and do justice in the 
premises! Accordingly, by the sixth day of March, 1871, eleven 
articles of impeachment were presented by the house of repre- 
sentatives, to the senate as a Court of Impeachment, one of 
which charged Governor David Butler with having appropriated 
to his own use $16,881.26 of school fund, derived from the general 
government, and that "in this he had committed and was guilty 
of a misdemeanor in office." To all the articles he interposed 
specific denials, and affirmed the borrowing of the school fund 
and the placing on file a mortgage to secure the same about the 
first of January, 1871, which would be three years after the 
arrival of the money in the state treasury. 

Three months after the convening of the court (June 1, 1871) 
he was found guilty of "a misdemeanor in office," and the sen- 
tence was that he be removed therefrom. The managers of im- 
peachment were Honorables J. C. Myers, J. E. Doon and Dr. 
Forest Porter. Honorables Clinton Briggs, John J. Reddick and 
T. M. Marquette were counsel for the defendant. 

On the day preceding the rendering of the decision the gov- 
ernor presented to the speaker of the senate a proposition for 
settlement as follows, but as the Court of Impeachment had no 
control of a settlement it proceeded to decide upon a "misde- 
meanor in office" : 

To the Honorable, the President of the Senate: 

I take the liberty, on the re-assembling of your honor- 
able body, to communicate with you upon the subject of the 
five per cent fund. Early in the spring of 1868, soon after 
the collection of that fund, I made a loan of the state of 
the sum of $16,881.26, and afterwards amply secured the 
same by bond of mortgage. This was done in perfect good 
faith and with the understanding that the transaction was 
perfectly legal. Many, however, of my fellow citizens differ 


with me as regards the legality of the loan and the suffi- 
iency of the securities, and while I am unchanged in my 
opinion on the subject and conscious that I have at no 
time done other than my duty in the premises, I am ready 
and willing, in order that the subject of dissention may be 
disposed of, to deposit in the state treasury the full amount 
of such loan with interest from the 25th day of May, 1869, 
the date of the arrival of the fund in Lincoln in charge of 
the deputy state treasurer, and I ask the passage of an act 
providing for the cancellation of the securities. I sincerely 
trust that this proposition on my part may be received in 
the same spirit in which it is made, and that harmony may 
again prevail in the administration of our state govern- 
ment. David Butler. 
Executive Department, Lincoln, May 30th, 1871. 

February 20th, 1873, a select committee made report: 

We find the claim against ex-governor David Butler, 
amounting originally to $16,881.26, due the five per cent 
fund, which, together with interest now due, amounts to 
$23,664.84, in a very unsatisfactory condition, there being 
no securities properly on file in the state treasurer's office 
as security for the payment of this debt. Ex-governor But- 
ler has submitted a proposition to your committee, to trans- 
fer to the state the residence and adjoining grounds, now 
occupied by him as a homestead, in payment of the above 
debt upon the following terms: For the house, outbuild- 
ings, 80 acres of ground, and furniture contained in the 
main building, the state to allow the sum of .$30,000, to be 
paid as follows: Principal debt, $16,881.26; interest, $6,283.58; 
warrant on general fund, $6,835.16; total, $30,000.00. Your 
committee has the foregoing proposition under careful con- 
sideration, has visited the premises and carefully examined 
the house and grounds, and has reached the decision to 
strongly urge the passage of a bill for an act to provide for 
purchasing a governor's mansion. 

Instead of adopting the committee's recommendation, the leg- 
islature passed an act, March 3rd, 1873, "To provide for the liqui- 
dation and settlement of certain claims with David Butler.'' 
And in accordance with said act, April 4th, 1873, a board of com- 
missioners reported, "That we have examined and appraised 
3,400 acres, the lands of David Butler, in quantity sufficient to 
liquidate the indebtedness of David Butler to the school fund of 


the state of Nebraska," to which Governor Robert W. Furnas 
gave his official approval of the same date. 

Eight years after the f 16,881 had gone into the possession of 
Governor Butler, the legislature passed a resolution rescinding 
the verdict of removal from office; and since the settlement, on 
the supposition that the 3,400 acres of surrendered land had 
become valuable and the state could afford to refund the amount 
over and above the liquidated debt, a bill for that purpose was 
presented to the legislature, but has not been enacted into law. 




William H. James was a native of Marion County, Ohio, and 
received his early education in the common schools of the State 
and from the Marion Academy. He was alternately farmer, 
clerk, and mechanic, and finally student at law, having entered 
a law office in 1853. 

The date of his settlement in Nebraska was in 1857, three 
years after the territorial organization. From this time until 
his election as secretary of state in 1870, he had given some 
attention to legal practice, surveying, and the duties of register 
of a land office for five years under appointment of President 
Lincoln. His term of acting governor commenced with the im- 
peachment of Governor Butler, March 4th, 1871, and continued 
till January 10th, 1873. The legislature convening but once 
every two years, he delivered his only message January 10th, 
1873, and three days thereafter was superseded by Governor 

Among the subjects presented for consideration we find the 
admonition that prison discipline should seek the protection of 
society, and not attempt "vindictive punishment," greater unity 
of action between the regents and faculty of the state university 
demanded, special attention to be given the insane, idiots, and 
imbeciles, pardoning power to be exercised with great care, 
laws enacted to protect capital coming to the State for invest 
ment, and usury laws repealed since "capital is liurid." 

There remained in the state treasury January 18th, 1871, 
$37,547; receipts to December 31, 1872, $1,183,074; total 
$1,220,621. Disbursements, $1,022,233; balance in treasury 
to credit of the several funds $98,387. 

Inasmuch as the exercise of "doubtful and dangerous author- 
ity" had given him an administration, "of few days and full of 


trouble," he deemed it well to go upon record as to the care 
of public funds. 

While it is true that public money should be touched 
with the most scrupulous consciousness of authority, it is 
equally true that the executive officer of the State should 
not be urged to a stretch of legal or constitutional author- 
ity by reason of insufficient provisions, to meet any de- 
mands on the State, growing out of the proper administra- 
tion of the laws. A violation of the law growing out of a 
public want, may furnish a precedent under which a private 
need may be met. And I feel that I can not too strongly 
urge upon your attention the importance of a careful exam- 
ination into the wants of the state government and the 
making of such specific appropriations as will remove all 
necessity or excuse for the exercise of doubtful and danger- 
ous authority. 

After the acting governor's intelligent disquisition upon the 
scrupulous care to be observed in the use of public money, and 
"the impolicy of resorting to doubtful and dangerous authority," 
it is a little astonishing that the state senate felt called upon 
to ask what disposition had been made of a particular fund, in 
charge of the governor, of which the auditor and treasurer had 
no report; and further that a senate committee had to report 
that he admitted that he had not done right in retaining a 
certain |6,300 — and would pay it over on the order of the legis- 
lature, and though he promised to make a written statement to 
the committee in the course of the same day, had failed to 
do so. 

In those early days of crude laws and new and unexpected de- 
mands, it was attempted to palliate delinquencies and indiscre- 
tions from the demands of public wants, though there was great 
danger of establishing precedents in favor of "private needs." 




Born in 1824, an orphan at eight, a printer's apprentice at 
seventeen rears of age, and editor of a Miami County, Ohio, 
paper in his twenty-third year, the subject of this sketch began 
life courageously and in earnest. During forty-five years ex- 
Governor R. W. Furnas has been a very active and intelligent 
worker for the interests of Nemaha county and the State of 
Nebraska. The town of Brownville knew him as a Fourth of 
July orator in 1856, and subsequently as member of the town 
council and the board of education, as a trustee of church 
property, leading member of the Masonic order, and a practical 
florist and landscape gardner from the beauty of his home sur- 
roundings. The county had the benefit of him as editor of its 
first paper, president of her agricultural society, a cultivator of 
nursery stock for orchard and grove, and dealer in choice live 
stock of all descriptions, and member of the legislature and 
constitutional convention. The State had his services as presi- 
dent of her agricultural association, and of her horticultural, 
pomological, and historical societies, and as regent of her univer- 
sity and governor. Early in her history he was active in placing 
her fruit on exhibition in Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond, 
Virginia, and in securing premiums. In 1885 Governor Dawes 
said, in a message relating to a state display at the New Orleans 
exposition : 

With his characteristic energy and enthusiasm Mr. Fur- 
nas entered upon the work placed in his hands; and the re- 
stilt of his work, so untiringly and industriously performed, 
is witnessed in the magnificent display of the various re- 
sources of Nebraska now upon exhibition in New Orleans; 
a display that has called forth encomiums from the press 
of the country, attracting general attention and eliciting 
from those who have not visited Nebraska expressions of 
wonder and astonishment at the great extent and variety 
of her resources. 



In recognition of distinguished services the legislature pre- 
sented the governor with a vote of thanks and a gold medal. 
On the publication of an address upon the origin, history, and 
uses of corn, entitled "Corn is King," he made mention of the 
circumstances attendant upon his New Orleans supervision: 

As most of you are aware, I enjoyed the distinguished 
honor of representing the young agricultural giant, Ne- 
braska, at the World's Industrial and Centennial Exposition, 
New Orleans, La., 1884-5. When I accepted the position 
tendered me by the United States, as commissioner, I de- 
termined to make a point on the great staple product of 
Nebraska, corn. The first banner I flung to the breeze in 
government building had inscribed upon its folds "Corn is 
King." To go south and claim king for any other soil 
product than cotton, especially at the Cotton Centennial, was 
deemed an intolerable bit of impudence in nowise ortho- 
dox — a broad-gauge departure. Cotton, sugar, and tobacco 
all elevated their nasal protuberances, saying by actions, 
which are said to speak, louder than words, "How dare 
you?" Minnesota, "with boundless wheat fields glinted," 
our next door neighbor at the exposition, was "to arms" "in 
the twinkling of an eye," pressing the superiority of wheat 
and invoking the muses to aid her in obliterating- our ban- 
ner inscription. Colorado, Kansas, Illinois and Dakota set 
themselves to work manufacturing huge artificial ears to 
eclipse our natural growth of Chester County Mammoth. For 
a time outsiders entertained doubts as to our ability to 
maintain the advanced position taken. 

But we "fought it out on that line," and came home "with 
our banners still flying." And now in calmer moments, as 
it were, I am bold to assert the belief that among all the 
factors of culture in the United States corn takes prece- 
dence in the sale of crops, as best adapted to more soils, 
climates, and conditions, is used for more purposes, fur- 
nishes more nutritive food for man and beast, has more 
commercial, cultural and economic value, gives more grain 
to the- acre than any other cereal, more fodder than any 
of the grasses, puts our beef in prime order, fattens our 
pork, is the basis of our butter and cheese supply, furnishes 
immense manufacturing material, has twice the value of 
cotton, worth fifty per cent more than wheat, its influence 
on the prosperity and wealth is greater than that of any 
other cultivated plant, and to the transportation compa- 
nies "has millions in it." Appealing to the previous cen- 
sus report it appeared that in a particular year corn ex- 


ceeded wheat, oats, barley and rye, in bushels, 609 millions, 
and surpassed them all 103 million dollars. 

The president of the United States made him one of a com 
mission to examine into the agricultural capabilities of Cali- 
fornia. Oregon, Arizona, and Now Mexico, and a forester of 
the national agricultural department. He was agenl of the 
Omaha Indians in Nebraska, and colonel of an Indian brigade 
and of the Second Nebraska cavalry in 1863, which did duty 
under General Sully against the Sioux Indians. When the 
agricultural department at Washington was allowed a cabinet 
officer, many of the friends of Governor Furnas hoped the pres- 
ident would select him as that secretary. The first official proc- 
lamation of the observance of Arbor Day was issued by him, 
(\v<> years after Mr. Morton's resolution establishing it, and 
eleven years before the State made it a legal holiday; and his 
enthusiasm in that direction has only increased as the years 
have added to the wisdom of the enterprise. 

In the campaign under General Sully of the regular army, 
the battle of White Stone Hills was fought September 3, 1863, 
two hundred miles above Fort Pierre, Dakota. Reporting re- 
sults, having described the amount of scouting necessary to 
locate the enemy, Colonel Furnas said of the battle and the 
conduct of the Nebraska troops : 

The battle now raged with great fury for some time on 
both sides, the enemy successively by a desperate charge 
attempting my right and left flanks, but they were repelled 
with slaughter. They fell in every direction in front of my 
line by the unerring aim of my brave soldiers, who, both 
officers and men, fought with the coolness and courage of 
veterans, exposed as they were to a galling fire from the 
enemy the whole time. Their loss in killed and wounded 
will not fall short of one hundred and fifty, as scouts sent 
out next day after the battle report their dead as scattered 
over the country for miles on the line of their retreat, and 
their wounded as twice that number. The casualties in the 
Second Nebraska Cavalry are seven killed, fourteen 
woiimlccl and ten missing. The officers and men under my 
command are not only entitled to my thanks, but the con- 
fidence of their country for their bravery, efficiency and 
promptness on this occasion. Not a man in any capacity 
flinched a particle. 


Under date of September 16, 1863, General Sully thanked the 
troops in order Number 62: 

In separating 1 from this brigade, the Second Nebraska 
Cavalry, the commanding general takes the opportunity of 
thanking Colonel Furnas and the officers and men of the 
regiment for the great assistance they have rendered him 
in the late campaign, and for the cheerfulness with which 
they have obeyed orders. 

This was followed the next day by a farewell letter to the 
colonel commanding: 

Headquarters N. W. Expedition, 

Fort Antietam, D. T., Sept. 17th, 1863. 

Dear Colonel: — As we are about to separate after months 
of hard campaigning, you to your family fireside, I where I 
may be ordered, I can not part with you without thanking 
you for your valuable services to me in the duties of the 
late campaign, and I hope, Colonel, if you ever again 
throw away the "pipe of peace," and buckle on your saber, 
I ma}' have the good fortune to have you associated with 

With the kindest feelings for your success, I remain 
your obedient servant, Alf. Sully, Brig. Gen. 

'At the expiration of the term of service, when mustered out 
at Omaha November 30, 1863, Colonel Furnas took leave of his 
command by issuing order Number 12, the latter part of which 
is here quoted: 

The battle of White Stone Hills and its results will ever 
be an all-sufficient voucher for you. There you displayed 
coolness and courage unsurpassed, even by veterans. The 
severest chastisement ever inflicted upon Indians was ad- 
ministered by you. To you of the Second Nebraska Cavalry, 
who participated in that battle, is due that victory, and 
you alone. For it you are entitled to the thanks of your 
country; for it a grateful people of the northwest will ever 
hold you in remembrance. It was a proud day for you and 
amply rewarded you for all the toils and hardships you en- 
dured. Should your country ever again require your serv- 
ices, it knows you will be as prompt to respond in the 
future as in the past. We now separate to g - o to our respect- 
ive homes. The best wishes of the colonel commanding 
attend you. Col. R. W. Furnas. 

By order of H. M. Atkinson, Adjutant. 


Governor Robert W. Furnas was the second in the list of 
state executives. In his inaugural address of January 13th, 
1873, after declaring that his aim should be "to serve faithfully 
a people who had so generously confided the sacred trust," he 
pledged himself that no duty would be left unperformed in ad- 
vancing the State to an honorable position. "While elected by 
one of the political organizations of the day, my duty now is to 
the whole people." 

He said of the theatre of action, "Here we are laying more 
the foundations than otherwise, for those w r ho are to come after 
us. We are compelled therefore, to a very great extent, to meet 
emergencies and demands as they arise and present themselves 
for our consideration." Inasmuch as our land endowment for 
schools embraced "one-eighteenth of the entire public domain," 
he believed in the near future that "our whole educational sys- 
tem, from common school to university, could, with careful 
management, be made entirely independent of state aid." Com- 
ing to his favorite theme of agriculture, it w r as commended to 
intelligent and devoted supervision: 

The area of country embraced within the geographical 
limits of our State being peculiarly and almost exclusively 
of an agricultural character, together with the fact that 
we occupy the keystone place in this gigantic trans-Mis- 
souri arch of agriculture, the settled national axiom that 
nations, states, individuals, and civilizations prosper as 
agriculture thrives, or recede as it languishes, renders this 
branch of industry, in a great measure, the foundation 
of that prosperity in store for us. 

As if the treeless prairies were supplicating for moisture and 
shade, in their aid was invoked the supervision of a state for- 
ester, with premiums to stimulate culture. The theory of tax- 
ation recommended that, "in a free government like ours, sus- 
taining burdens should be borne proportionately with means 
and ability to contribute," and that, as between lines of trans- 
portation and the people, "mutual efforts and labors should be 
followed with mutual accommodations and benefits: wholesome, 
judicious, impartial legislation, tending to serve the public good, 
should not be lost sight of during your labors." In order that 


state, county, and municipal bonds should be advanced to par, 
registration was urged in order to establish value with the pur- 
chaser; and with equal urgency attention was called to the util- 
ity of immigration agents and documentary statements of the 
"unsurpassed fertility of our fifty million acres of vacant lands.'" 
An appeal was made in behalf of the claims of the United States 
Centennial Exposition of 1876, and of that at Vienna in 1874, 
so that evidence of Nebraska's capability to furnish desirable 
homes for toiling millions could be understood by the people 
of our own and foreign lands. In behalf of the peace and quiet 
in our "New West," from personal observation and the experi- 
ence of many years, he recommended the removal of the Indi- 
ans from the midst of our settlements, and locating them else- 
where, by themselves. Deprecating hasty legislation, and prof- 
fering hearty co-operation, he assumed the reins of govern- 
ment, "invoking the aid of Him who guides and governs the acts 
of individuals, as well as rules the destinies of nations." 

As Governor Furnas served but one term in office, two years 
elapsed between the time of delivering the foregoing inaugural 
and his final and only message. The message may be considered 
under three heads: principles discussed, facts stated, and rec- 
ommendations made. 

Under the head of revenue he said: 

Government being- universally recognized among the 
wants of men, its maintenance is provided for by contri- 
butions from all interested in its existence, by a system 
familiarly known as and called taxation. In this, the true 
principle is, that each subject ought to contribute to the 
support of the government by which he or she is protected, 
as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abil- 
ities. No good citizen will consider it a burthen, or imposi- 
tion, thus to contribute. While it is contended that any ex- 
emption from taxation is wrong in principle, it is equally 
objectionable in practice. The exemption of one dollar 
from taxation, only opens the door for ten more to illegiti- 
mately evade. For instance, in this State, as shown and 
stated, the total property valuation for taxable purposes, 
is a fraction over eighty millions of dollars, while the fact 
is, there is not less than three hundred million dollars 
worth of property in the State, which should be made to 


yield revenue. With universal and equal taxation, promptly 
collected, the poor man, designed to be benefited by exist- 
ing' exemptions, will have by far less to pay than now; so 
small an amount in fact, that the tax gatherer will be un- 
able to make change. It is not persons of limited means 
who obtain the advantage of either exemptions or evasions; 
but they of more ample possessions. 

He said of the agricultural college: 

The policy of the State should be the better education of 
the industrial classes. Our future wealth is in the fertility 
of our broad acres. These demand skilled labor, that they 
may produce a maximum of commercial value, with a mini- 
mum of htiman labor. Only by calling to our aid every 
available means of cheapening productions, can we bring 
our products into successful competition with other states 
nearer the great markets. The work is fairly begun. It 
needs but your fostering care to make it an institution not 
only of pre-eminent utility in the development of the com- 
monwealth, but every way worthy the State and the age. 

While upon the subject of the state prison, he called attention 
to "a fact prevalent to-day, not only in this country, but through- 
out the world, that all well governed and successfully conducted 
prisons have ceased to be mere instrumentalities for the pun- 
ishment of offenders, but on the contrary partake of a reforma- 
tory character." 

Acting upon the principle that if "industry is a moral 
power outside of the prison, and morality is an economic 
power outside of the prison," they bear exactly the same 
relations to each other inside of the prison. And, further, 
the more a prison is made reformatory, the more profitable 
will it prove economically. While it is true some men are 
born thieves, in the great majority of cases they are not so 
from choice, but from misfortune. The innate criminal is 
treated as a diseased man. Incarceration simply serves to 
place those incapable of self-restraint, in safe keeping be- 
3 1 the power of injuring any one. The object, to im- 
part an education, intellectual, moral, industrial and eco- 
nomic, as will pm it within the power of the prisoner when 
liberated, to keep out of crime. Therefore, society is more 
interested in the reformation of a criminal, than in his pun- 
ishment. Again, in The great majority of cases of impris- 
"i nt, innocent and dependent families are the real suf- 


ferers, and should not be overlooked. To this end con- 
victs should, in the matter of labor, be paid a just and 
equitable compensation for labor performed, and after de- 
ducting sufficient to defray the actual expense of mainte- 
nance, the remainder be paid to the necessitous families, 
or in case of none such, reserved for the convict at the time 
of liberation. This would not only provide to an extent 
for families so often rendered destitute, but would awaken 
self respect and incite to good behavior and habits of in- 
dustry, that would follow, and lead to future usefulness. 
The system of leased labor of convicts, at mere nominal and 
speculative rates, as practiced in this State and some others, 
is wrong in principle and pernicious in all its tendencies. 
Labor, whether inside the prison walls, or outside, should 
be worthy of its hire. Properly stimulated and manipu- 
lated, the convict labor in our state prison, could be made 
to yield the State triple what it now does, and still leave 
a balance for the convict or his family more than the en- 
tire sum now inuring to the State, — the meagre sum of 
forty-two cents per day. 

The most embarrassing - , responsible, and difficult duty to 
perform devolving upon the chief executive, is the exercise 
of the pardoning power. None but the experienced can 
comprehend the situation. In nothing, nor even in all else, 
is he exposed to such censure. In almost every case he 
encounters acrimonious criticisms from those who know 
none of the facts, and have never given the subject a mo- 
ment's thought or consideration. Extremists argue that 
this high prerogative should never be exercised to set aside 
the verdict or sentence of a court, when the facts are, 
it was created and vested for that sole purpose and no 
other — can be used for no other. The framers of the con- 
stitution and the lawmakers, had that object directly in 
view. The courts themselves recognize and appeal to it as 
such. They convict and follow sentence with an immedi- 
ate application for executive aid, or clemency, to set aside 
what they have just enunciated, claiming that the law, in 
cases made and provided, is imperative, requiring strict 
observance of the form and letter. I am convinced, how- 
ever, as to the great impropriety of vesting this high power 
in any one individual, especially with such meagre regula- 
tions as are found in the statute books of this State. A 
pardoning board or council to act in conjunction with the 
executive, with power to command the attendance and pres- 
ence of papers, and administer oaths, would better meet 
the emergency. 


Before the railroad question had assumed all its subsequent 
importance he gave expression to the following views: 

There are those who, failing- to comprehend facts, are 
prone to charge all the ills with which business interests 
are afflicted, and of which they complain, to the railro^fl 
companies; and hence there is, just now, conflict in some 
portions of the country. While I wish it distinctly under- 
stood that in no way am I an apologist for any man, corpo- 
ration, or anything tending in the least to oppression or 
monopoly, I am free to assert what I conceive to be a well- 
founded belief, that railroads have made the West, and that 
their value is incalculable and universally conceded. True 
they have in instances become strong, powerful, and profli- 
gate organizations, resulting in wrong and oppression. This 
is the natural and inevitable tendency of the concentra- 
tion or aggregation of great wealth, it matters not whether 
in railroad, bank, or manufacturing organizations, individ- 
uals or in whatever capacity it may act. While it is the 
duty of "the people, in whom all power reposes" under our 
form of government, to protect against any and all reck- 
less and unscrupulous acts, let them come from what 
source they may, it is a mistaken idea that mere legislation 
will cure the ills with which business and morals are oft- 
times afflicted. 

These statements of fact and opinion may also be quoted: 

Our population has quite doubled itself within two years 
past, numbering now, without doubt, at least three hundred 
thousand souls. 

The balance on hand at date of last report, December 1st, 
1872, $198,287. Keceipts from that date to date of present 
report, $1,469,408, making total receipts from all sources, 
of $1,667,695. The total disbursements were $1,433,152. 

State warrants are now and have been for a year past, 
at par. The State has no bonded indebtedness. 

The state university, insane hospital, blind and deaf and 
dumb asylums and state normal school were all reported 
as well officered and in good condition. 

The fifth annual reports of the warden, inspectors, phy- 
sician, and chaplain, in detail, are transmitted, by which it 
will be seen that the number of prisoners incarcerated is 
fifty-four. The total current expenses of the prison for 
the two years, 1873 and 1874, are shown to be $58,000.43, or 
an average of about $538 per prisoner per year. The total 
amount of convict labor at forty-two cents per day is 
$4,343.64, or nearly forty dollars per prisoner per year. On 
this labor, there is now due from the contractor, unpaid, 


$3,418.45. Estimate for the coming two years, $45,000. But 
forty-one cases of sickness have occurred within the past 
two years, and but one death since the establishment of the 
prison. With the appropriation made by the legislature 
for that purpose, an excellent and well selected library of 
438 volumes is provided and in use by the prisoners. The 
chaplain reports favorably and encouragingly as to the 
moral improvement, and reformatory tendencies of inmates. 


There were donated by the general government, known 
as saline lands, seventy-two sections. From this there have 
been appropriated by legislative acts: for the benefit of the 
state normal school, twenty sections^ for the model farm, 
in connection with the agricultural department of the state 
university, two sections; for the use of the insane hospi- 
tal one-fourth of a section. There have been sold to various 
persons, as per deed record in this office, seventeen thou- 
sand five hundred acres, leaving a balance undisposed of 
and on hand, of twelve thousand seven hundred and forty- 
four acres. There remain to be selected and approved, to 
complete the seventy-two sections donated, four and one- 
sixteenth sections. 


There were donated and have been selected and confirmed, 
five hundred thousand acres. By acts of the legislature, 
the whole of these lands have been appropriated and con- 
veyed for purposes designated, to aid in the construction 
of railroads and bridges. In fact the records show, that 
by reason of hastily deeding before confirmation, thirty- 
one thousand four hundred and seventy-six acres have been 
deeded more than the State owned, or was entitled to. 


There have been received twenty sections designated as 
for public buildings. The whole of these lands were, by 
act of February loth, 1871, transferred, or appropriated to 
aid in the construction of the state penitentiary. 


There were donated for the erection of a state peniten- 
tiary, fifty sections, which, in addition to the twenty sec- 
tions before named, made seventy sections applicable for 
that purpose. Of these there have been sold and used in 
the erection of buildings, forty-three thousand one hundred 
and eighteen acres, leaving on hand, undisposed of, one 
thousand six hundred and seventy-six acres. 


I \ I \ I KSI'I 1 LANDS. 

Seventy-two sections were donated, selected and i 


Ninety thousand acres were donated and selected, of 
which eighty-nine thousand four hundred and sixty acres 
have been confirmed, leaving' five hundred and forty- acres 
yet unconfirmed. 

The school lands alone, if sold, would create a permanent 
school fund of over $20,000,000. 


The report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction 
for the years 1873 and 1874 is most gratifying to the friends 
of education. At the close of the fiscal year 1872, there 
were 538 school houses in the State, valued at about 
$700,000. The present report shows 1,345 school houses, 
valued at a fraction over $1,300,000. An increase of over 
eight hundred buildings, and $600,000 valuation in the two 
years. The total number of pupils at the close of the year 
1872 was 51,123; at the close of 1874, 72,991, showing an in- 
crease in the two years of 21,868. The total amount of 
school money apportioned by the Superintendent for the 
years 1871 and 1872 was somewhat over $370,000. The past 
two years the total amount apportioned was nearly $100,- 
000 of an increase. At the close of the year 1872 there were 
1,512 qualified teachers in the State. The reports for 1S7:> 
and 1874 show 2,200. 


The capital city, Lincoln, as originally platted, consisted 
of two hundred and eighty-seven blocks, or three thousand 
four hundred and forty-seven lots. Of these sixteen blocks 
were donated for imblic squares and railroad depot pur- 
poses. One hundred and fifty-five lots were deeded in con- 
sideration of lots in the old Lancaster town-site. Twelve 
lots were donated to the State Historical Society, forty to 
the various churches and benevolent societies, and twelve 
to the Lincoln Steam Mill Company. Two thousand nine 
hundred and thirteen lots were sold for the aggregate sum 
of two hundred and ninety-three thousand three hundred 
and fifty-eight dollars and seventy-five cents. Three hun- 
dred and fourteen lots remain unsold. The unsold lots are 
principally in the Salt Creek bottom, and of no considerable 
value at present. 


A report by Governor Furnas, January, 1873, revealed the dis- 
position made of 500,000 acres of land donated for internal im 
provements as follows: 

To Burlington and Missouri R. It. R 50,104 acres 

To Brownville, Fort Kearney and Pacific R. R.. 19,989 acres 
To Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley R. R... 100,030 acres 

To Midland Pacific R. R 99,973 acres 

To Omaha and Southwestern R. R 100,010 acres 

To Omaha and Northwestern R. R 80,069 acres 

To Sioux City and Pacific R. R 47,327 acres 

To Gage county for bridges 1,000 acres 

To Saline county for bridges 1,000 acres 

499,502 acres 
To Balance 1,384 acres 

500,886 acres 
On the first day of January, 1875, there were one thou- 
sand one hundred and seven and sixty-nine hundredths 
(1,107.69) miles completed railroads in the State: Union 
Pacific, 459.90 miles; Burlington and Missouri River in Ne- 
braska, 190.75 miles; Atchison and Nebraska, 110.78 miles; 
St. Joseph and Denver, 88.50 miles; Midland Pacific, 83 
miles; Omaha and Southwestern, 47.05 miles; Fremont, Elk- 
horn and Missouri Valley, 50.75 miles; Omaha and North- 
western, 40 miles; Sioux City and Pacific, 26.96 miles; 
Brownville and Fort Kearney, 10 miles. 

The promptness and self sacrificing' zeal with which Governor 
Furnas met and assisted to remedy a great state calamity, in- 
dependent of aid from the state treasury, merited the generous 
commendation of those who had hearts to feel and a willing 
ness to act. 


Our own State, like most other portions of the country 
at large, especially the West, has been afflicted the past 
season with short crops, by reason of drouth and grass- 
hopper devastation. While the injury has been ■ greater 
than for any and all causes heretofore in the history of the 
Territory and State, and can not be otherwise than dis- 
couraging, particularly to the agriculturists, there is no 
disposition manifested to abandon any portion of the State. 
As soon as satisfied as to results narrated, and as greatly 
exaggerated reports were in circulation as to probable 
wants and suffering that would follow to those in the new 


counties and on the extreme borders. 1 immediately placed 
myself in communication with the official authorities of 
each organized county, in order to ascertain, as near as pos- 
sible, the actual and true condition of affairs. Reports 
were promptly received from each, from which it was then 
thought by all conversant, that the emergency could and 
would be met within ourselves. No power being- vested 
in me to make expenditures, and desiring- to avoid the ex- 
pense of an extra session of the legislature, especially as 
the time for t lie regular session was so near at hand, I 
asked a number of well-known, reliable and responsible 
citizens from the various parts of the State to meet and ad- 
vise with me, as to the better and most effective mode of 
providing for the wants of those who had been rendered 
destitute. This committee met promptly at Lincoln, on 
the ISth day of September last, and after deliberation and 
consultation, organized, under provisions of the general in- 
corporation act, the Nebraska Relief and Aid Society. A copy 
of circulars issued, and convening the committee, proceed- 
ings and articles of incorporation, together with the de- 
tailed operations and labors of the society, to the 31st day 
of December last, are herewith submitted for your infor- 
mation. From these it will be seen that the active duties 
of the organization have devolved upon an executive com- 
mittee of five worthy gentlemen. General E. 0. C. Ord, 
Commander of the department of the Platte, chairman. 

The reports of the secretary and treasurer show the 
cash receipts from all sources to have been $37,279.73. Do- 
nations in kind, $30,800.73. Total receipts, $6S,0S0.46. 

Supplementing this voluntary action, Congress enacted an ex 
tension of time in behalf of homesteaders, and a cash appropria- 
tion of $30,000 for the purchase of seeds, to be distributed among 
the absolutely destitute for the succeeding year's planting. All 
persons who made settlement in Nebraska since 1875, are un- 
able lo understand the true import of "grasshopper devasta- 
tion." The firsl visitation of these terrible pests was in the fall 
of 1866, when a portion of the corn crop had matured and the 
later planted and fall wheat furnished their supply of food. 
Having deposited their eggs and died before the beginning of 
winter, the people lived in painful expectancy of greater destruc- 
tion when the genial rays of spring should give life to a new and 
ravenous brood, lint their subsequent experience taught them. 


that as soon as able to fly migration might ensue, or the drench 
ing rains of spring cause their destruction. Eight years there- 
after in the fall of 1874, again they came in clouds that almost 
eclipsed the sun and covered the ground as storms of snow, and 
stripping fields of all their fodder and eating into the husks of 
unripe ears, left them to must and rot upon the stalk. Early 
in May the fields of wheat and rye, of barley and oats and early 
planted corn promised luxurious crops, while orchards and 
gardens, with nurseries of fruit and forest trees were promising 
a most satisfactory growth. But hatching season being past 
the ground in parts of the State was literally covered, so that 
the foot and carriage wheel wherever moved crushed and ground 
their thousands. Trenches were dug around grain fields in order 
to entrap moving armies before prepared to fly, and when partly 
filled, straw distributed and burned. Low pans of sheet iron 
filled with coal oil were placed at points where they had to move 
along the sides of houses or board fences, into which they 
jumped and were destroyed. Large pans, with coal oil, drawn 
by horses, were passed over the fields of young grain, and as 
the insects rose and fell upon the fluid they were gathered by 
the bushel. But it was only necessary to make the experiment 
in order to realize how utterly futile must be the effort to control 
descending showers or falling snow. Powerless as children be- 
fore a tornado, as the promised crop vanished, and every hope of 
paying debts and taxes disappeared, and visions of wife and 
little ones pleading for food and clothing haunted him and of 
farm-stock starving, and of sheriffs and red flags abounding, 
many a toilsome farmer, despairing, shed tears of anguish. Not 
till the work of desolation was complete came the time of migra- 
tion, when about the fifteenth of June, 1875, the clouds lifted 
and floated westward. "Hoping against hope," at so late a day, 
wheat fields were plowed up for corn, corn fields re-planted, 
summer crops attempted as never before, of buck- wheat, turnips 
and potatoes, and under the smiles of a beneficent providence, 
Thanksgiving Day in November found a great majority of the 
people around frugal boards, and in places of public worship. 


One third of the corn crop hardened for market, two thirds 
made pork and beef, showing conclusively, that with a favorable 
fall, frost coining late, the crop can be matured between the 
first of July and October. . 

Of numerous and valuable recommendations we have the fol- 
lowing: that in voting for bonds for county and other purposes a 
mere majority should not obligate the property of a large minor- 
ity, but a two-thirds vote should be required; that nothing should 
be exempt from taxation, but every species of property should 
bear its due proportion, on its actual cash value; that the popu- 
lar demand for a constitutional convention be granted; and that 
in order to check fraud, all bonds issued in the State should be 
registered by the state auditor; and that inducements be of- 
fered to capital to invest in manufactures and developing im- 
provements; and especially, that measures be adopted for a state 
exhibit, of natural and artificial resources, at the anticipated 
national centennial exposition of 1876. In concluding a most 
comprehensive and critical message he said: 

I have now performed the last and most important offi- 
cial obligation devolving upon me, and am prepared to 
vacate the chair of state, and turn over the archives to a 
successor selected by the popular expression, and who, I 
know, will cheerfully and readily co-operate with you in 
every laudable effort to promote the prosperity and welfare 
of a people, for whom you and he are joint representatives. 




When Governor Garber became a citizen of Nebraska he pos- 
sessed all the training and experience necessary to adapt him to 
his surroundings. At that time he was thirty-seven years of age, 
having been born in Logan county, Ohio, in 1833. His education 
was principally acquired before reaching his seventeenth year; 
subsequent to which time he removed to Clayton county, Iowa. 
Entering the army in the war of 18G1-G1 as a private in the Third 
Missouri Regiment, he afterwards recruited Company D, Twen- 
ty-seventh Iowa Infantry, of which he became first lieutenant and 
afterward captain. His next experience was four years in Cali- 
fornia among the stirring scenes of that slaughter-house of hopes, 
and of thrilling adventures. Without fear of Indian depreda- 
tions, he took up, and maintained, an abode in Red Willow, Web- 
ster County, when he had only been preceded by two families. In 
the community that grew up around him, he became probate 
judge and representative in the legislature. From a year's ad- 
ministration of the register's duties in the United States land 
office in 1874, he was promoted to the governorship, and was re- 
elected in 1876. 

On assuming the duties of governor, January 12, 1875, Mr. 
Garber presented a clear, concise and sufficiently comprehensive 
inaugural. In this document he called the special attention of 
the legislature to the subject of economy. 

This commonwealth is in its infancy; but resources as 
yet undeveloped, and her wealth largely prospective. 
Her future depends greatly upon the discreet and prudent 
management of affairs. 

Deprecating hasty legislation, he said: 

The tendency of the age is toward over-legislation, over- 
taxation and extravagance. The lessons of history teach us 
that the greatest reforms consist, not in doin»' something 


new. but in undoing- something old; and the most valuable 
laws have been those by which some former laws hare 
been repealed. 

He would administer the affairs of the State as a prudent man 
his individual affairs, and congratulated the people upon the fact 
of no bonded debt and but a slight floating indebtedness. He ad- 
vocated a new constitution, that should be equal to the increas- 
ing demands of a new people and adapted to the experience of 
an elastic and progressive community. 

In conclusion, gentlemen of the joint convention, it will 
be mj' greatest pleasure to co-operate with you in any and 
all things pertaining to the welfare of the State. It is just 
that we cannot escape the record which we ourselves will 
make. It is a favorable omen that the public mind is more 
active, and the public conscience more sensitive than ever 
before in the history of the State. We have now within our 
borders the population and natural resources, sufficient to 
establish a state in fact as well as in name. This result 
will be best achieved by guarding the public credit as a 
sacred trust. 

Finally, impressed with a sense of dependence upon the 
Supreme Kuler and creator of all things, and iaindful of 
our responsibilities, let us dedicate ourselves 1o the work 
of executing faithfully the important public trust commit- 
ted to us by the partiality of a confiding constituency. 

The legislature of 1875, to which he delivered his inaugural, 
had just received the retiring message of Governor Furnas, and 
hence Mr. Garber's first annual message bears date January 5, 
1877, since the legislature only convened every other year. 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: 
I cordially welcome you to the capitol of the State. Since 
the meeting of the legislature, at its last regular session, 
there has been framed and adopted by the people, a new 
constitution, which went into effect on the first day of No- 
vember, 1875. This being the first i - egular session since it 
hecame-the supreme law, it is safe to say that it will be 
the most important one since our admission into the Union. 
Laws arc to he made and repealed; interests fostered and 
maintained, and in your deliberations yon may justly re- 
fleet that you are legislating for a people characterized by 
intelligence, energy, and a spirit of justice. 


Taking up the subject of state finances he showed: 

As appears from the report of the state treasurer, here- 
with transmitted, the balance in the treasury, November 
30th, 1ST4. was $234,543; and there lias been received up to 
November 30th, 1876, $1,459,306. making a total of $1,693,849, 
for two years. 

He also gave as delinquent taxes the amount of $765,815 of 
which not more than one-third was likely to be collected. 

The report of the superintendent of public instruction 
shows that our common schools are keeping 1 pace with the 
growth of the State in wealth and population. I doubt if 
any state in the Union can exhibit more gratifying results 
in this respect. There are sixty organized counties in 
the State, divided into two thousand five hundred and 
ten school districts. The total number of children of school 
age, is eighty-six thousand one hundred and ninety-one, be- 
ing an increase of thirteen thousand two hundred over 1874. 
Of this number fifty-nine thousand nine hundred and sixty- 
six attend the public schools. There are 3.361 teachers em- 
ployed receiving an average salary of $34.24 per month. 
We have 1984 school houses, valued at $1,585,736. The total 
receipts of the last fiscal year from all sources for common 
school purposes were $1,093,275. The total expenditures 
for the same period were $1,098,974. 

He highly commended the ''wise administration" of the uni- 
versity, and anticipated the time when it would "become the 
pride of the whole State." 

It appears from the regents' report, the cost of educating 
a single student in the state university of Nebraska, as 
compared with that in state universities and colleges of 
this character in other states, is almost unparalleled in 
economy." The attendance has increased from one hundred 
and thirty-two in 1874, to two hundred and eighty-two in 
1876; so that the legitimate expense of the institution must 
have increased. 

Of the institution for the blind the governor reported that 
there had been received by the trustees during the past two years 
$19,457, and all expended but two hundred and twenty dollars. 
A building of sufficient capacity to accommodate fifty pupils, 
had cost $9,795. He reported a new building for the Deaf and 


Dumb Institute under way, at a cost of $14,495, and during the 
past two years the number in attendance was fifty-three. 

This important branch of our educational system [Nor- 
mal School] seems to be in excellent condition. The bene- 
fits of the school are already felt in the State and the 
results that may be safely anticipated in the future fully 
justify its maintenance. The total enrollment of students 
for the year 1876 was two hundred sixty-eight, and the av- 
erage attendance per term was one hundred and forty-two. 
For the last term of the year the enrollment was one hun- 
dred and ninety-six. The average cost of the school per 
term as shown by the report of the principal, is $3,686. 

The working of this benevolent institution [Hospital for 
Insane] for two years prior to November, 1876, had ex- 
hausted an appropriation of $60,746, of which amount 
$26,962 had been charged to counties having patients in 
the hospital. During two preceding years one hundred six- 
ty-four patients had been under treatment. Fifty were 
reported as recovered; nine as improved; unimproved, six; 
escaped, one; died, five; and ninety-three remaining. 

The expense per w r eek for board and clothing of patients 
and board of officers was for 1876 $2.14. 

In the matter of the penitentiary convicts the governor sought 
for practical reforms and benevolent results, and reported a 
change of wardens in the interest of less severity and better per- 
sonal influence. His sensible and humane ideas can be best ex- 
pressed in his own words. 

The younger class of criminals have been separated from 
the more vicious and hardened and night schools during 
the winter have been established with excellent results, 
these reforms, in connection with the good time act giving 
prisoners an opportunity to shorten their terms of sen- 
tence by good conduct, have been productive of much good. 
There is sufficient room in the west wing of the building 
for a reform school, which could be conducted by the same 
ntlicers, and put in operation at small expense. This would 
completely separate the younger criminals from the older, 
and furnish better opportunities for educating and reform- 
ing them. The penitentiary being completed some branch 
of industry should be established at the prison for the pur- 
pose of utilizing convict labor. It is absolutely essential to 
the good government of the prison that the inmates be 
kept at hard labor for a certain number of hours each day. 


Early in his administration it became necessary to organize 
military companies on the western frontier of the State, and pro- 
cure from the general government arms and ammunition. In 
accomplishing this he gave bond in the sum of -$18,000, for the 
return of the guns when demanded. Another similar emergency 
arose in the case of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, the legis- 
lature having failed to make an appropriation. The governor as- 
sumed the responsibility of borrowing of banks a sufficient 
amount to enable the State to obtain a creditable showing and 
receive a premium on soil and apples. 

The message gave the population of the State in the spring 
of 1876 as being 257,719. Having submitted facts and opinions 
on the question of usury, of banks and bankers, a proper disposi- 
tion of the vast land endowment of the State, and amendment of 
laws, and submitted an elaborate statement of the necessity 
of a geological survey, with official reports of state officers, 
he concluded with a hearty promise of legislative co-operation. 

His last official communication was made to the legislature of 
1879, after four years of administration. From a glowing re- 
capitulation of past progress, he found additional sources of con- 
gratulation in the condition of the finances, which showed that 
the total receipt for the two years ending November, 1878, was 
$1,908,337 and that the assessed value of taxable property, 1878, 
was 174,389,535, being an increase of $3,077,957, over the pre- 
vious year, and that the condition of the common schools, of the 
normal school and state university had exceeded the most san- 
guine expectations, and the conditions of the charitable insti- 
tutions, "devoted to the care and education of our children of 
sorrow," were flourishing. 

These sources of commendation were supplemented by valuable 
recommendations. First, that provision should be made for leas- 
ing the salt springs and "utilizing the lands donated for their 
development;'' and that an agricultural bureau of reports and 
statistics should be established for distribution, such as to in- 
duce immigration; that fish culture should receive encouraging 
legislation; that the Indian control should be given over to the 
war department; and the laws receive a careful revision. 


His plea for a reform school for juvenile offenders was hearty 
and intelligent, containing references to the experiences of other 
states, and saying: 

In recommending the establishment of an institution of 
ihis kind in the State, I do so believing- that charity for our 
wayward youth invokes it and the full performance of a 
righteous duty to humanity demands it. 

I have an abiding faith in Nebraska's future. Indeed, 
who can not have, when we compute the value of the in- 
creasing flocks that dot her vast domain, and the pro- 
ductive wealth of her million acres once subdued and yield- 
ing golden harvests to enrich the husbandman. 

With a sound and wholesome code of laws for its corner 
stone, we may build up here a commonwealth in this center 
of the continent that shall swell the high wave of com- 
merce surging between, the mines of the West and the 
marts of the East, and, maturing as it advances in age, it 
shall stand prominent in the grand galaxy of states. 

I sincerely trust that your deliberations may be con- 
ducted in harmony and attended with those beneficial re- 
sults so confidently anticipated by your constituents. To 
those officers with whom I have been associated in the con- 
duct of public affairs, I extend my warmest thanks for 
their uniform kindness and courtesy. 

And now, in relinquishing the high trust committed to 
my charge four years ago, I desire to make my grateful ac- 
knowledgments to a most generous and indulgent people; 
and upon them, yourself, and the State, I invoke the 
continued favor of Almighty God. 




Iii the career of Albums Nance we have a splendid illustration 
of the energy and pluck of Young America. He was born in 
March, 1848, at Lafayette, Stark County, Illinois. At the age of 
sixteen years we lind him a soldier in the civil war. He passed 
through the war with only slight wounds, and was mustered out 
with his regiment. Next we find him in civil life, a student at 
Knox College, at Galesburg, Illinois, where the foundation for 
his professional life was established and where he was admitted 
to the bar in 1870, in the twenty-second year of his age. 

If his better genius should not fail him, all his past successes 
indicated early achievements in the future. Soon thereafter 
he graduated as a pre-emptor and farmer, and became a repre- 
sentative in the Nebraska legislature; was chairman of the state 
delegation in the Republican National Convention at Cincin- 
natti in 1876; and in the same year again elected to the legis- 
lature and made speaker of the house of representatives, while 
still under thirty years of age. With the dawn of 1883, in the 
thirty-fifth year of his age, he had added to his other triumphs 
and services, four years in the gubernatorial chair of his adopted 
state, and was retiring to private life respected for manly virtues 
and official integrity. 

The inaugural address of Governor Nance gave the population 
of the State in 1881 as over 400,000, with not more than one- 
tenth of its area under cultivation, and only about one-third of 
the State populated. 

The Great American Desert had receded as settlement ad- 
vanced, and he predicted that soon, as an agricultural state, Ne- 
braska, would have no superior, with a large amount of land de- 
voted to grazing in the western part. The time was most aus- 
picious, as good crops had been secured for several years and 
financially the people were exceptionally prosperous. He urged 


the claims of agriculture and horticulture, of equitable laws as to 
interest and capital, and placed the moral and intellectual cul 
tun- and protection of the people on an even higher plane than 
exemption from Indian and monopolistic domination. He made 
it a source of congratulation that a high standard of instruction 
had been attained in the schools, with an endowment of near 
$20,000,000. Four years thereafter, at the expiration of his sec- 
ond term of two years each, his statement of progress was very 

<>n the third of January, 1883, Governor Nance delivered his 
last message to the legislature, with the following introduction: 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: 
Legislative authority has been conferred upon you at an 
auspicious period in the history of the State. Since the 
last regular session of the legislature there has been a 
marked degree of prosperity in every department of indus- 
try, and our growth in population and wealth has been a 
marvelous event, even to those who had indulged the most 
sanguine anticipations in contemplating the possibilities of 
the future. A brief review of our state history may be 
profitably considered in this connection. At the date of 
admission into the Union in 1867, the population of Ne- 
braska was estimated at 70,000, and the aggregate value of 
taxable property of the State was $20,115,252. The popula- 
tion at the present time, as estimated on the basis of a 
moderate increase over the census of 1880, is not less than 
600,000. The total assessed value of property as shown 
by the grand assessment roll of 1882, on file in the office of 
the state auditor is $98,537,475. 

The sparse settlements in 1867 were remote from centers 
of trade and railroad connection, and were deprived of 
most of the comforts of life. The people of Nebraska are 
now brought into close relations with the commercial and 
social world, and it is a gratifying fact that every organ- 
ized county in the State, except eight, has railroad facili- 
ties. Two principal agencies have accomplished this trans- 
portation. The homesteaders, under the liberal policy of 
the general government, accepting a heritage which in itself 
was a valuable legacy, have toiled from year to year with 
untiring energy and splendid success in improving the lands 
thus secured. The capitalists of this and other countries 
having a degree of faith in our future which has been more 
than justified by results, pushed the work of railroad ex- 


tension in Nebraska with unexampled zeal, and thus 
opened the way for the large immigration which followed 
from the eastern states and the old world. The policy of 
the general government, in granting aid to railroads, as 
in giving homesteads to settlers, was designed to promote 
the general welfare, and it speedily gave us a railroad sys- 
tem which ha.5 been a potent agency in developing our nat- 
ural resources. The practical co-operation of the above 
mentioned agencies has brought us to a period of prosper- 
ity which is contemplated with feelings of pride by every 
citizen of Nebraska. 

Having given the treasury balance as $343,018 at the end of 
his first term, it was now, in 1883, $472,114. Inasmuch as $92,984 
were due the State as interest and rentals, on sales and leases 
of school lands, he recommended that school land contracts be 
cancelled in cases of default, believing that persons had bees 
holding these lands for speculative purposes. On schools he aaid: 

The school attendance in 1882 was 115,546, an increase 
of 14,770 over the number in attendance the previous year. 
The total value of school property is estimated at $2,054,049. 
The fund derived from this endowment has increased from 
year to year, in about the same proportion as the increase 
o* population, consequently the increase per capita has not 
materially changed. 

Tne friends of the University were congratulated that dis- 
tracting questions were beng settled in indication of enlarged 
usefulness and prosperity. His previous message gave the Nor- 
mal school 275 students while the one of 1883 reported 318. The 
state library numbered 21,487 volumes. The attendance upon the 
institute for the deaf and dumb, during his administration had 
increased from seventy-five to one hundred and twenty, at an 
expense per capita of $3.29 for maintenance per week. The pat- 
ronage of the institute for the blind remained about stationary, 
and at a cost of $5.33 per person per week. There had been no 
special increase in the number of penitentiary convicts and the 
number of deaths annually, there being but one during his in- 
cumbency. Under the fostering care of Governor Nance's admin 
istvation the Reformatory came into existence and had received 
thirty-seven inmates. On retiring he said in its behalf: 


The tendency of the reform school to repress and pre- 
vent the coin miss ion of crime is indisputable and if sup- 
ported on a liberal scale it will prevent large expenditures 
for the punishment of hardened criminals. If viewed only 
from a humane standpoint the school should have every 
encouragement, as it enables the State to rescue a large 
number of children from vicious surroundings and give 
them the advantage of a good education, together with well 
established habits of industry. 

The Home for the Friendless also dates back to 1881: 

The legislature of 1881 provided for the erection of a 
home for the friendless, and made an appropriation for 
that purpose, subject to the conditions specified in the act, 
in compliance with which the institution has been located 
at Lincoln. 

Conceding Hie great advantages to the State, by virtue of the 
stimulus imparted to settlement and traffic by railroad construc- 
tion, the governor gave prompt consideration to the compara- 
tively new question of legislative control: 

In the state of Illinois every phase of the question has 
been under consideration during the past twelve years, and 
by means of a board of Railroad Commissioners, equitable 
rates of transportation have been established and many of 
the abuses complained of corrected. I also invite your at- 
tention to the laws of Iowa providing for the organization 
of a board of railway commissioners and to their subse- 
quent reports and proceedings. The general results in that 
State have justified the acts of the legislature creating that 
board. The reports of the commissioners, both of Illinois 
and Iowa, contain a mass of valuable information, bear- 
ing upon every feature of the question, and may be studied 
with profit by all who are interested in securing impartial 
legislation upon this subject in our own State. 

After giving information relative to many items of business 
and enforcing many duties upon the legislators, Governor Nance 
came to his final conclusion : 

As my official term is about to close, 1 recall with pleas- 
ure the kindly relations which I have sustained toward 
those who occupy official positions throughout the State. 
To the stale officers and heads of state institutions with 
whom 1 have been associated during the past four years, I 


tender my sincere thanks for their earnest co-operation and 
uniform courtesy. I also desire to express the gratitude 
I feel toward the people of Nebraska for the steadfast sup- 
port which they have given me in my efforts to execute 
the laws with fidelity. The steady and vigorous growth 
of our young commonwealth during the period that I have 
occupied the position of chief executive, has been a source 
of continual satisfaction, and I ardently cherish the hope 
that the future of Nebraska may be one of uninterrupted 

During the summer and fall of 1882 an active canvass of the 
State was made in behalf of the "rights of suffrage," an amend- 
ment to the constitution being submitted to extend the right 
irrespective of sex. The discussion which followed the passage 
of the amendment was participated in by most of the dis- 
tinguished orators of the United States, such as Susan B. An- 
thony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mrs. Sewell, Mrs. Hinman, and 
numerous others. As early as 1856, by invitation of members, 
that pioneer worker, Mrs. Amelia Bloomer of Iowa, presented 
the cause before the legislature of Nebraska. The rejection of 
the amendment by the vote of 1882 argues nothing against the 
willingness of the people to keep step with the onward march of 
progress. All preliminary acts have been passed and heartily 
approved by them, and although they declined a place at the 
head of the column, they will finally occupy it. Already they 
have made woman the equal of man in the marriage contract 
and the divorce court, in trade and transferring and holding 
property, in the collection of wages, and the right to bring suit 
at law, whether married or single, and in the professions and 
trades, and clerical positions, limited only by ability, inclination, 
and taste. On the assumption that they who are specially inter- 
ested in a subject shall be allowed to discuss and control it, they 
have provided for women's votes in school meetings. Presently 
old-fogyism, prejudice, and ignorance, will cease to control, and 
the honestly conservative will decide that the rights of women 
to influence through the ballot should be conceded in county 
and state. The vote in behalf of the amendment was 25,756 and 
against it, 50,693. The manufacturers of spirituous liquors, the 


retailers, and many of the drinkers, were a united phalanx 
against it, on the ground that the ballot of women would be di- 
rected against the traffic and in behalf of sobriety, pure morals, 
and better government. 

As the high license or Slocumb liquor law was approved and 
signed by Governor Nance, it seems appropriate that the events 
preceding it should be recorded anions the results of his admin- 
istration. During the early administration of the Territory, Ne- 
braska could claim a devoted band of temperance workers. But 
while a large element of the population consisted of single men 
and families holding only temporary residences, with recent im- 
migrants from lands unacquainted with restrictive or prohibitory 
legislation, even a reform in a license system was difficult of ac- 
complishment. 80 early as 1861, an act was passed to amend one 
of 1858 requiring "an applicant for license to pay for the use of 
the school fund not less than $15.00 nor more than |200.00 at 
the discretion of the county commissioners." As the population 
became more settled and homogeneous, permanent associations 
were established. Delegates from thirteen local lodges organ- 
ized the "Good Templars" in 1867, and in 1881 the local bodies 
numbered 113 with a membership of 5,000. The organization of 
the Temple of Honor and the Red Ribbon Clubs date back to 
1877. This revival of interest, much accelerated by the splendid 
services of John B. Finch, antedated the failure to pass a pro- 
hibition bill in 1879. In 1881 the legislature, declining to pass a 
proposition for an amendment of the state constitution in favor 
of prohibition, did finally enact what was known as the "Slo- 
cnmb Law," in honor of its originator, Hon. C. B. Slocumb of 
Jefferson county, which was approved by (lovernor Nance Feb- 
ruary, 1881. In order to secure some semblance of prohibition, 
the law made it a penal offense to sell or give away intoxicating 
liquors in any precinct or township where- thirty freehold peti- 
tioners conld not be found; and in any case made it discretion- 
ary with county boards to decide the expediency of granting 
license. A prohibition county could thus elect a board to carry 
out their will. It prohibited utterly the sale to "minors, appren- 


tices or servants under twenty-one years of age; and to Indians, 
insane persons and idiots and habitual drunkards." The same 
principle was applied to the protection of about fifty-five days in 
the year, on Sundays and election days. The advocates of reform 
had contended, that the support of paupers, criminals, insane, and 
poor and the robbery of wives and children and community were 
largely due to the traffic in liquors and should not be borne by 
the unoffending and helpless, through public taxes and social 
charities. This proposition was conceded by provisions, that the 
retailer should pay all damages resulting to the community or 
individuals, and support all paupers, widows and orphans made 
so by the traffic; and pay for all civil and criminal prosecutions 
growing out of it. 

The amount of license was to be not less than f 500 nor more 
than $1,000, and a bond in a penalty of f 5,000 was to be given, 
with which to defray legal damages and costs. It was made 
a crime to treat or give away liquors to be drunk in any saloon 
or place where they were sold, or to obstruct the view of doors 
or windows with screens, paint, blinds, or other articles. -This 
law, under which the traffic was to live, if it existed at all, was 
the most fearful commentary on its infamy ever published, and 
was only accepted by the craft as more desirable for them than 
legislative prohibition. Bnt the almost utter impossibility of 
putting its provisions in practice, and the interested protection 
extended the saloon by unscrupulous politicians, and the paral- 
ysis of morals from replenished school treasuries, caused the 
friends of temperance to desire another effort at legislative pro- 
hibition. In 1885, an act passed the legislature, providing that 
after the first of January, 1880, "No certificate shall be granted 
to any person to teach in the public schools of the state of Ne- 
braska, who has not passed a satisfactory examination in physi- 
ology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcohol 
upon the human system." This was considered a valuable ac- 
quisition to reform literature. All necessary preliminaries hav- 
ing been arranged, a prohibitory amendment proposition was 
voted upon in November, 1890, but failed to receive a majority 




The fifth governor of Nebraska was bom at McConnellsville, 
Morgan county, Ohio, January 8, 1845, where the first eleven 
years of his life were spent. In 185G, by the removal of his 
father's family, he became a resident of New Port, Wisconsin. 
His father's health failed in the practice of medicine, and there 
was ample opportunity for an outlay of youthful energy on the 
land that had been purchased. 

Working on the farm during the season of cultivation, and 
attending common school in winter, supplemented with two 
terms in the preparatory department of Western Reserve Col- 
lege, Ohio, and a six months course in a business college in Mil- 
waukee, Wisconsin, constituted the extent of his agricultural 
and educational acquirements. The death of his father having 
rendered his graduation in college impracticable at this time, 
his self culture was continued during four years preceding Oc- 
tober, 1868, by the reading of law, while clerking in a store. 
Having determined upon the law as a profession, in 1869 he en- 
tered the office of John H. Dawes, of Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and 
was admitted to the bar in Januarv, 1871. 

The same year, 1871, in the month of September, he located 
at Crete, Saline county, or rather anticipated the coming of the 
beautiful little city, for a corn-crop had been cultivated upon 
the townsite the previous year. Work upon the Burlington and 
Missouri River railroad having reached the county and crossed 
the Blue River, enthusiastic immigrants fancied a railroad cen- 
tre, the home of manufactures and remunerative commerce. 
But immigration must produce business before litigation could 
furnish remunerative practice for the legal profession, and ac- 
cordingly we find the young attorney devoting himself to mer- 
cantile pursuits for the term of six years. In 1877 he opened a 
law office and has continued in the practice until recently. 


L5ut politics were always a certain and successful crop, and could 
be had for the gardening-, and a merchant of courteous address, 
an honorable trader, and a kind and indulgent creditor occupied 
an enviable position among public aspirants. Accordingly we 
find Mr. Dawes a member of a constitutional convention in 1875, 
four years after his advent to the State, and in 1876 a state sen- 
ator from Saline County, and from that date for six years chair- 
man of the Republican state central committee. For four years 
following 1880, he served his party as member of the national re- 
publican committee, having been a delegate to the convention 
of 1880 at Chicago. True to the traditions of his New England 
ancestry and from his own mature convictions, he welcomed and 
espoused the establishment of Doane college by the Congrega- 
tional denomination and has served it as a trustee and secretary 
for seventeen years. In 1882 he was elected governor, having as 
competitors J. Sterling Morton, Democrat, and H. G. Ingersoll, 
Independent; and was re-nominated and elected to a .second tenn 
in 1881, having again Mr. Morton as an opponent, with J. B. 
Miller, Prohibitionist. Without intending to trace the official 
career of Governor Dawes in these brief introductory allusions, 
it can not be out of place to suggest that his course and success 
should inspire the honest ambitious youth of the State who are 
not inheritors of wealth or aids in advancement to coveted cir- 
cles and official positions. 

On the fourth day of January, 1883, James W. Dawes deliv- 
ered his inaugural address: 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: 
Having been called by the people of Nebraska to serve them 
in the capacity of their chief executive, it is in obedience 
to time-honored custom that I appear before you to-day. 
In entering upon the discharge of the duties pertaining 
to the position, I am deeply impressed with its responsi- 
bilities and the magnitude of the trust placed in my keep- 
ing. It is my determination to devote my best efforts to 
the service of the people, and I shall serve them with all 
honesty of purpose and earnest endeavor. 

In obedience to the requirements of the constitution, the 
officers of the executive department and of all the public 
institutions of the State have severally reported to the 


governor. An examination of various reports will satisfy 
the most critical that the affairs of the State are in a sat- 
isfactory condition; and they furnish ample evidence of the 
fact that the interests of the Stale have been in able and 
trust worthy hands. For a detailed statement of the con- 
dition of affairs yon are referred to the message of my pre- 
decessor that has just been read to you and to the reports 
above mentioned, which are full of valuable information 
concerning- public affairs. I would ask for them all a care- 
ful and painstaking- examination at your hands, and that 
the various suggestions and recommendations therein con- 
tained may receive the consideration to which their merits 
entitle them. This examination should be early and careful 
and you will find that economy has characterized public 
expenditures and efficiency and faithfulness been manifest 
in all the state departments and institutions. I submit 
the following suggestions and recommendations. 

He then suggested such a course of legislation as should at- 
tract immigration to the State, stimulate every agricultural and 
horticultural interest, advance common school education, sustain 
the state university, invigorate all benevolent institutions com- 
mensurate with the demands of advanced humanity, develop our 
hidden resources by a geological survey, organize a sufficient 
and available militia, and protect the people against the sale 
of fraudulent patents and bogus stocks. 

Taking up the railroad question where his predecessor had 
advanced it, he gave it a reasonable and prudent presentation, 
as follows: 

In this connection I will quote from article eleven (11) 
entitled corporations, of the constitution of Nebraska, sec- 
tions numbered four (4) and seven (7): Section '/. Railways 
heretofore constructed or that may hereafter be constructed 
in this State, are hereby declared public highways, and shall 
be free to all persons for the transportation of their per- 
sons and property thereon, under such regulations as may 
be prescribed by law. And the legislature may from time 
to time pass laws establishing reasonable maximum rates 
of charges for the transportation of passengers ami freight 
on the different railroads in the State. The liability of rail- 
road corporations, as common carriers, shall never be 

Sect'.Oll 7. The legislature shall pass laws to correct 


abuses and prevent unjust discriminations and extortions 
in all charges of express, telegraph and railroad companies 
in this State, and enforce such laws by adequate penalties 
to the extent, if necessary for that purpose, of forfeiture 
of their property and franchises. 

These citations are made for the reason that I wish to 
bring before your minds directly, and in the most forcible 
manner, the fact that by virtue of these provisions in our 
fundamental law the people have reserved to themselves 
absolute power in all matters pertaining to the correction 
of abuses, extortions or unjust discriminations upon the 
part of railroads or other corporations. 

Railroads may be justly regarded as among- the most im- 
portant factors in the rapid development of our State, and 
it is of vital importance to all interests that they be sus- 
tained and encouraged, for it must be remembered that 
such corporations are indispensable to the material pros- 
perity of the State. They have in the past been dealt with 
generously by both the Nation and the State; and there is 
to-day no sentiment among our people such as demands 
that the railroads should be either destroyed or crippled to 
the extent of impairing- their usefulness or so restricted as 
to deprive them of a legitimate return upon capital invested. 
If the railroads have been unjust, the people will not in 
turn be unjust. The people can not afford to be unjust to 
any interest, but will be careful that the rights of the public 
as against corporations are protected by efficient law. It is 
only asked that such control and regiilation be had as will 
be just and fair considering the respective rights of both 
the people and the corporations. This is no unreasonable 
demand. It is such a demand as keeps steadily in view the 
important fact that with our resources as yet all but unde- 
veloped, Ave must not repel capital by legislation such as 
would hazard our best interests. 

The custom of granting passes, on the part of railroad 
corporations, to state officials and members of the state 
legislature, is one of long standing, and I might say, of 
almost universal practice. While I do not believe that 
passes have been given or intended in the nature of a bribe, 
or for the purpose or with the expectation of improperly 
influencing the action of individuals, or that they have been 
considered by those who may have taken and used them as 
placing- them under any obligation, direct or indirect, the 
fact yet remains that a pass represents value, and its ac- 
ceptance is for that reason of doubtful propriety. To the 
end that the representatives of the people may be enabled 
to avoid even the bare suspicion of having been improperly 


influenced in their action or in the faithful discharge of 
their public duties, it is recommended that a law be en- 
acted prohibiting 1he "ranting of passes to officials of the 
executhe department of the State, members of the legis- 
lature, and to any of the class of officials who, by reason 
of their public position, may have it within their power 
either to confer or withhold favors or benefits to railroad 

In conclusion I wish to assure you, that in all matters 
calculated to promote the honor, property and general wel- 
fare of the State, you will have my earnest co-operation, 
and that entering upon the discharge of the duties of the 
executive department it is in the firm belief that you will 
extend to me your generous aid and counsel. 

When Governor Dawes delivered his first biennial message 
January 8, 1885, he gave the balance of funds on hand in the 
treasury at $442,816, and the assessed value of taxable property 
of the State at $123,615,886. He declared that all of the public 
institutions of the State were in excellent hands. Of the hos- 
pital for the insane he reported "410 received during the past 
two years, which added to the former number of 273 made a 
total of 683. Of the number treated, 323 have been discharged, 
144 of whom were restored to mental health, 69 much improved, 
63 unimproved were returned to their counties, and forty- 
three died during the two years." 

He said of the Home of the Friendless: 

The Home was opened to receive inmates January 1st, 
1882, and since that time has received, adults 95, children 
133 — making a total of 228. There have been surrendered to 
the Home 75 children and of this number 57 have been 
placed in good homes in this State. 

It appeared from the reports that during his first term of two 
years, 141 had attended the Deaf and Dumb School, and numer- 
ous applications had been made for the reception of feeble- 
minded persons, of whom we had in 1880, as shown by the cen- 
sus, 356; and hence the recommendation of a separate institution 
for their benefil. During the same time thirty-six pupils had 
been in attendance upon the School for the Blind. To the credit 
of the school, its industrial department had an exhibit at the 
New Orleans Exposition. 


There bad been during tbis term 131 discharged from the Pen- 
itentiary and 178 received, leaving 259, of whom 23 were in for 

The State Keform School is entitled to special notice, of which 
the governor said: 

& v 

Under the law regulating- the management of this institu- 
tion, boys and girls under sixteen years of age found guilty 
of any crime except murder or manslaughter may be re- 
ceived. This school was established and intended not for 
punishment, strictly speaking-, but rather for education 
and reformation; a place of restraint and correction for 
those for whom such treatment may suffice to restore them 
to an upright life and fit them for future usefulness. Stand- 
ing- between the youthful offender and the institution pre- 
pared for and which should receive only hardened criminals, 
the interests of society demand that a liberal policy should 
be pursued in carrying out and promoting the objects for 
which it was created. The school has at present 63 inmates. 
In August, 1883, the contract was let for an additional build- 
ing, at a cost of $37,410. This building has been completed, 
and is now ready for use, and I am informed that applica- 
tions for admission, now on file, will exhaust the increased 
accommodations so furnished. I would impress upon you 
the great importance of the work we have undertaken in 
the organization of this reform school, and would recom- 
mend for it reasonable support and encouragement. 

The educational exhibit showed a constant and healthy prog- 
ress : 

Nebraska is justly proud of her common schools, and 
much of their efficiency is due to the wise planning and well 
directed effort of our present state superintendent of public 
instruction. The following statistics will be found of inter' 
est as showing the development of our State in the direc- 
tion of her dearest educational interest, the common school. 
Total number of school age, 209,403; boys, 108,998; girls, 
100,405; total enrollment, 137,618; boys, 71,680; girls, 65,938; 
total number of teachers employed, 6,055; males, 1,906; 
females, 4,144; school houses built in 1884, 309; total num- 
ber of school houses, 3,662; total value of school property, 
$2,786,385; permanent school fund, $3,977,216; temporary 
school fund, $1,021,228. 

He gave the attendance at State Normal School at 470 for past 


two years, and graduates 89. The library contained 2,000 vol- 
umes, and the attendance was increasing at the rate of 20 per 
cent. The dove of peace once more hovered over the University, 
and the whole attendance last year was 282. The announcement 
that an industrial or agricultural college had been established, 
with a practical farmer in charge, was accompanied with the 
recommendation that liberal appropriations be made. 

Agriculture is the leading - and most important industry in 
the State. An examination of the report of the State Board 
of Agriculture, which gives a detailed statement of their 
proceeding's, plainly shows that their work has-been well 
done, and that the aid given this board has been well be- 
stowed. While the prices received for our farm produce 
are not as remunerative as at other periods in our history, 
yet speaking in general terms our agricultural interests, 
as shown by crop statistics, were never in a more prosper- 
ous condition. The horticultural interests of the State are 
in a flourishing condition, and it has been established be- 
yond a doubt that Nebraska is a fruit state. The matter of 
successful fruit culture is one that enters largely into the 
economy of home life, and I am safe in saying that no one 
thing has done more to attract favorable attention to our 
State than the magnificent displays made by our Horticul- 
tural Society at the different competitive exhibitions, in 
which, in a majority of cases, they have received for Ne- 
braska the first prize for their display of fruits. The Agri- 
cultural and Horticultural societies deserve your fostering 
care as most serviceable agents in developing our State, 
and as aids in placing' her in the rank to which she may 
justly aspire. 

The governor reported the second case of escheat, in which 
no heirs to the estate of Peter Anderson being found in Kearney 
county, the amount of $246 was turned over to the state super- 
intendent of education and by him deposited in the treasury for 
the benefit of the school fund. He also remembered the State 
Historical Society approvingly, complimented the economical 
methods of the Pish Commission, and reported the State Library 
at 23,308 volumes and in good condition. He urged the import- 
ance of keeping pace with sister states in the organization of the 
militia, stated that the contract for the main building of the 


new capitol was closed at $439,187, that the contractor's bond 
had been filed in the sum of $300,000, and further that $500 
had been transmitted to the Lincoln Monument Association at 
Springfield, Illinois, in accordance with the act of February, 1883. 
In recommending an additional appropriation for the New Or- 
leans Exposition the governor paid a. high compliment to ex- 
Governor Furnas for his part in preparing an exhibit and said: 

As it was deemed of greatest importance to the interests 
of Nebraska that she should be represented, .... at 
a joint meeting of the State Agricultural and Horticultural 
societies they agreed to advance $1,000 each from the funds 
at their disposal and look to the legislature to reimburse 
them. The remainder, $3,000, was obtained from the banks 
at Lincoln and Omaha upon the personal notes of myself 
and members of the above societies, for which you will be 
asked to provide. 

A new feature of the message involved the creation of a board 
of state charities, and health. Of the former he said: 

The creation of a board of this character will be a step 
in the direction of securing a more just, humane, and eco- 
nomical administration of public charity and correction. 

Of the latter: 

A communication has been received at this department 
from the National Board of Health, setting forth very fully 
the danger that menaces the people of this country in the 
apprehended appearance of Asiatic cholera, and earnestly 
requesting that the attention of the legislature be called 
to this subject, and to the urgent necessity of appropriate 
legislation providing means whereby the most thorough 
sanitary service, state and local, may be immediately or- 

Attention was also called to the necessity of such laws as 
would guard against the spread of "infectious or contagious dis 
eases among the stock of the State." The doctrines of his in- 
augural were reiterated on the subject of railroad supervision. 
The statement of revenue from educational lands, December 30, 
1884, was very satisfactory and cheering: 


There were under lease 953,038 acres, appraised at $2,375,- 
744, and bearing- an annual rental of $160,919 at an average 
valuation of $2.49 per acre. There were under sale 461,407 
acres, the unpaid principal of which is bearing - six per cent 
on $3,112,542 and amounting to $186,752. There were 
$1,160,267 of the permanent funds invested in securities, the 
annual interest on which is $84,585, making in all a tempo- 
rary fund from land receipts alone, of $432,257 per annum. 
There are still vacant and unappraised 1,478,086 acres of 
common school lands, or about one-half of the original 

The whole number of acres of land owned by the State De- 
cember 1st, 1884, were: Common school, 2,746,582; Agricultural 
College, 89,080; University, 44,906; Normal School, 12,562; Saline 
lands, 13,368; Penitentiary, 676; total, 2,907,177. 

Having officially called legislative attention to the question of 
railroad supervision, and clearly elucidated the fact that the 
constitution gave full and adequate power in that behalf, it must 
have been very gratifying that the legislature so promptly met 
the question. The act passed provided for a Board of Railroad 
Commissioners consisting of the attorney general, secretary of 
state, and auditor of public accounts, with a secretary for each, 
to represent him, and granted as complete control of railroads 
as if they had been the personal property of the Board, sale only 
excepted, and limited only by the terms of charters and state 
laws and "the safety, convenience and interest of the public." 

To protect the young and throw safe-guards around the de- 
pendent and unfortunate, in the humane spirit of the governor's 
message, acts were passed, first, that all employers of female 
help in stores, offices and schools should furnish chairs, stools 
or seats on which to rest when duties permitted relaxation; sec- 
ond, providing for a female assistant in the medical department 
of insane hospitals; third, that no censorship should be exercised 
over the correspondence sent from or addressed to the inmates 
of insane hospitals, but every facility should be furnished for 
free correspondence; fourth, that "every person unable to earn 
a living on account of bodily infirmity, idiocy, lunacy or other un- 
it voidable cause," should be supported by certain relatives spec- 


ified in the law; fifth, that bodies of unclaimed paupers might 
be given up for dissection to medical colleges under bonds, and 
by an order of a court, to be used within the State only, and "in 
a manner that shall be private and in no wise shock the sensi- 
bilities of the community where procured or dissected"; and 
sixth, that tobacco in none of its forms, nor cigarettes, shall be 
given or sold to any minor under fifteen years of age. In a spirit 
of reform and economy grand juries were to be convened under 
the discretion of the courts. In simple justice, females having 
property taxed for school purposes and children of school age 
were allowed to become voters in school district meetings; and 
by another act, all persons were declared entitled to the same 
civil rights in inns, public conveyances, barber shops, theatres, 
and other places of amusement. 

In compliance with his recommendation an appropriation of 
$500 was made, to be annual, in aid of the State Historical Soci- 
ety; and it was declared to be a "state institution" and entitled 
to have its reports printed and distributed as other public docu- 

There has never been a more valuable set of joint resolutions 
passed by a legislature than by that of 18S3, memorializing Con- 
gress. Considering the. fact that many politicians were arguing 
that "the duty of tariff tax," imposed by the general government 
on imported articles, was not paid by the consumer, but by the 
foreign importer, it became a matter of exultation with revenue 
reformers, that Congress was implored to place the material, of 
which barbed-wire was made, on the free list, because if not, 
the people had finally to pay the duty. In the same spirit, and 
for the same purpose of cheapening transportation upon produc- 
tions carried over railroad bridges which cross navigable streams 
of the United States, Congress was called upon to demand the 
abolition of all tolls upon those spanning the Missouri River in 
Nebraska. And, inasmuch as railroads having land grants were 
delaying to receive patents for such lands, in order to escape 
taxation upon them, the importunate demand was made, that 
they be compelled to receive patents as fast as due. 


On the delivery of his final message, of January <>, 1X87, at the 
end of an official term of four years, he discovered no state in- 
terest impaired; but a steady advance in all material concerns. 
The benevolent and other state institutions added the usual per 
cent of healthy advancement to their statistical statements of 


The assessed valuation of the taxable property of the 
State in 1885 was $133,418,699, an increase of $9,802,212 as 
compared with the assessment of 1884. The assessment of 
1S86 gave the value of the property of the State for the pur- 
poses of taxation as $143,932,570, giving' a total increase for 
two years of $20,316,683. 

The organizations of the counties of Dawes, Logan, Sheridan. 
Chase, Blaine and Sioux, were announced during the two pre 
ceding years. The recommendation of two years before, in regard 
to a State Board of Health, was re-affirmed, in behalf of "the 
health and life of the citizens of the State." Favorable reference 
was made "to the time which is not far distant, when Nebraska, 
following the example of other states, will feel the necessity of 
establishing a Soldiers Home, for the care and support of the 
aged and disabled veterans of the late war." The amount of 
$66,687 had been received by the general government and placed 
to the credit of the state treasury. While the state census of 
1885 had cost $39,774, all of that amount excepting $5,015 had 
been paid by the general government. 

From a t horough understanding of the school system and the 
administration of its landed estate, Governor Dawes affirmed 
that its condition "may well excite the envy of others, who hav- 
ing received the same munificent grants, have managed them less 

In the matter of railroad supervision he approbated the recent 
legislation, looked to Congress for interstate legislation, and 
• ailed for conservative and just disposition of the question. 

This sketch may close with his farewell to his constituents and 
the executive office: 

Nebraska, passing throng-h the days of infancy and youth, 
long since entered into the period of vigorous life and 


stands to-day among- the prosperous and prominent com- 
monwealths of the Nation. In material progress and upon 
all lines of development the strides of improvement have 
been without precedent. The changes that have been in- 
wrought into her history are marvelous and far-reaching. 
The throb of progTess filling all occupations, stimulating 
all industries, intensifying all activities, is strong and con- 
stant. To those, who in the bestowal of their confidence 
have so honored me, from whom this great trust was re- 
ceived, I wish, before closing my relation with the executive 
office, to make profound acknowledgment; and in conclud- 
ing my message, to express the wish and hope that the fu- 
ture of Nebraska may, under continued guidance of the 
Ruler of Nations, be that of peace, happiness and prosper- 
ity uninterrupted. 




As governor, be delivered his inaugural January 6th, 1887, 
from which, by liberal quotations, it is easy to create his ideal 
citizen. Such an one measuring up to his standard, would, in 
education, clearly illustrate the value of "thoroughness instead 
of quantity" and the worth of "practical studies more than orna- 
mental," and the infinite utility of "the languages of the present 
instead of the aged past." As a legislator he would enact "such 
laws as the public interests demand, to protect the rights of all 
the people." He would affirm "that there is no condition of 
human beings on this earth so pitiable, so deplorable, as is the 
condition of those from whom the light of reason has forever de- 
parted, and who linger in life, driveling idiots or raving maniacs." 
And inasmuch as they are shut in from the world, he would de- 
mand that all penitentiaries, jails, almshouses, houses of correc- 
tion, reform schools, homes for the friendless and poor houses 
should be subject of careful inspection. He would demand a 
"uniform system of taxation according to values and not accord- 
ing to ownership." 

As between railroads and the people, his theory would be, 
that while "railroads are a necessity to the people, the people are 
also a necessity to the railroads." He would respond cheerfully 
to the declaration, "our sympathies should ever lie with those 
whose lives are devoted to daily toil"; and in the exercise of the 
elective franchise he would not fail to act upon the declaration, 
"the purchase and sale of votes is a crime of the most heinous 
character against the State, against society, against civilization." 
Among his political maxims would be prominent, "No one has 
any right to make money at the expense of the State." Seated in 
the shade of his own artificial grove, hear him exclaim, "One of 
the pleasing features of civilization in this State is the planting 


and growth of trees''; and caressing his beautiful live stock and 
receiving their submissive returns, and remembering how often 
they are neglected and abused, with what noble emphasis he ex- 
claims, "There are human brutes as well as dumb brutes." 

At the time the governor delivered his first biennial message, 
the following statement showed the condition of the treasury: 

Balance in treasury November 30, 1886 $944,352 76 

Keceipts, December 1, 1886, to Nov. 30, 1888 4,236,528 94 

Total receipts 5,180,881 70 

Disbursements, December 1, 1886, to November 

30, 1888 4,244,582 89 

Balance in treasury November 30, 1S88 936,298 72 

At the end of his second elective term it stood as follows: 

December 1, 1888, cash on hand $936,298 72 

November 30, 1890, receipts since December 1, 

1888 4,686,328 42 

Total receipts 5,622,627 14 

.Vovember 30, 18S9, disbursements since Decem- 
ber 1, 1888 4,023,378 94 

November 30, 1890, balance on hand 1,599,248 20 

The Auditor's Report gave in 1888: 

The assessed valuation of the taxable property of the 
State in 1SS7 was $160,506,266.25, being- an increase of $16,- 
573,695.74 as compared with the assessment of 1886. The 
assessment of 18S8 gave the value of the property of the 
State for the purpose of taxation as $176,012,820.45, giving 
a total increase for two years of $32,080,249.94. 

From the next Auditor's Report the following is taken for the 
years 1889 and 1890 : 

The assessed valuation of the taxable property of the 
State in 1889 was $182,763,538.41, being an increase of $6,750,- 
717.96, as compared with the assessments of 1888. The as- 
sessment of 1890 gave the value of the property of the State 
for the purpose of taxation as $184,770,304.54 giving a total 
increase for two years of $8,757,484.09. 

These two reports covered the assessments of four years or 
two biennial terms. During his term of four years he received 


and deposited in tin- treasury of the State five per cent on sales 
of government lands, and otherwise, $281,246.20. 

If the message, closing the year 1890, delivered to the legis- 
lature of 1891, had been specially intended as a monumental doc- 
ument, to separate between the first and fiftieth years of state 
life, marking the half-way period between them, it could scarcely 
have abounded in more complete statistical statements of public 

The total enrollment of students in the University has 
been steadily growing from year to year. In 1887-8 there 
were, all told, 406 students; in 1888-89 there were 427; in 
1889-90 there were 475. For the current year of 1890-91 there 
are already enrolled 513 students in all departments al- 
though but one-third of the year has passed. Of this num- 
ber 208 are young women, and 305 are young men. In the 
first two years the students are preparatory, and during 
this time the work is nearly the same for all. After this the 
student pursues the studies which are peculiar to his 
course. It is found that twenty per cent of the young men 
and young women pursue the classical course; 35 per cent of 
the men and 65 per cent of the women the literary course; 
45 per cent of the men and 15 per cent of the women the 
industrial course. 

From the biennial report of the principal of the Nebraska 
State Normal School, it appears that during the year end- 
ing December, 1SS9, there were in attendance in the Normal 
School proper 572. Of these 370 were ladies and 192 gentle- 
men. Fifty-nine graduated in June of that year irom the 
two courses, the elementary and the higher. 

For the year ending December, 1890, there were 555 in at- 
tendance, of whom 395 were ladies, and 160 gentlemen. One 
hundred and twenty-eight graduated from the two courses, 
of whom seventeen were of the higher course. Nearly all 
of these graduates, and many of the undergraduates, are 
now engaged in teaching or in school work. As a significant 
fact bearing upon this point, it was ascertained that at the 
late assembly of teachers which was held in Lincoln, the 
largest in the history of these meetings of the State, about 
one-sixth of the entire enrollment were persons that had 
been connected with the Nebraska State Normal school, 
most of them graduates of either the elementary or higher 

The public schools in this State are in a prosperous condi- 
tion. The continued faith and confidence of the people in 


our public school system is shown by the fact that the sum 
of $4,215,463.41 was contributed to their support for school 
year 1889-90. Of the common school land 225,419.43 acres 
have been deeded, and 517,902.89 acres are still vacant. 
The annual interest upon sales now amounts to $226,- 
006.95, and the annual rental charged is $190,927.96, making 1 
a total annual income from these lands of $416,934.91, to be 
apportioned to the school districts of the State in addition 
to the revenues derived from the investments of the per- 
manent school funds already in the treasury. During- the 
past two years the State has received from these lands in 
principal, interest, lease rental and added interest, the sum 
of $1,141,211.00, which already exceeds the receipts of any 
previous biennial period since the establishing of this de- 
partment in the state government. 

The report of the warden of the Penitentiary presents 
the following statement: 

Total number of convicts received since the organization 
of the prison up to November 30th, A. D. 1890, 1,857; total 
number discharged since organization of the prison up to 
November 30, A. D. 1S90, 1,445; total number of deaths dur- 
ing the same period, 26; number in the prison November 
30th, 1890, 387; number in prison December 1st, 1888, 338; in- 
crease in last two years, 49; received in last two years, 394; 
discharged in the last two years, 296; died, 4. The manage- 
ment and discipline of the prison is deserving of the highest 

The biennial report of the Nebraska Hospital for the In- 
sane shows that there were in the hospital November 30th, 
1888, three hundred and ninety-two patients; that there have 
been received during the two years three hundred and 
ninety-eight; that there have been under treatment during 
the period seven hundred and ninety patients; that there 
have been discharged and recovered one hundred and fifty- 
five; improved, sixty-one; unimproved, seven; not insane, 
eight; transferred to other state institutions, one hundred 
and sixty-three; died, fifty one; and that there remain in 
the Hospital at the close of the period, three hundred and 
twenty-six, with sixteen absent on parole; a total of three 
hundred and forty-two patients, therefore, still on the rolls 
of the Hospital. You will note from the very complete re- 
port of this institution that there have been discharged as 
recovered 39 per cent of all cases admitted, and that the 
death rate has been only 6^, per cent of the whole. 

The report of the Superintendent of the State Industrial 
School, located at Kearney, shows that since the organiza- 


tion of the school 471 boys, and 149 girls have been com- 
mitted there by the courts. Of this number, 281 boys and 
67 girls have been paroled, pardoned, discharged by legal 
process and otherwise. Ninety per cent of those who left 
were regularly discharged, and at least eight out of every 
ten of these are doing well; many of them holding respon- 
sible positions. The present enrollment is 275. The educa- 
tional, physical, and moral training has been carried on as 
'thoroughly as possible. Each inmate attends school from 
four to five hours each day during nine months in the year. 
Statistics show that at the time of commitment 61 per cent 
of the boys were idle, 23 per cent were attending school, 
and 18 per cent were at work. Of the girls 33 per cent were 
idle, 19 were at work, 32 were at school. 

The report of the Superintendent of the Home for the 
Friendless will make known to you the condition and oper- 
ations of this institution: 

Number of inmates in Home December, 188S, 116; admitted 
since December, 1S88, 402; surrendered to friends, 102; 
placed in homes, 130; returned to friends, 34; number for 
whom work was found, 54; absent to other institutions, 10; 
deaths, 77; number in Home December, 1890, 111; total, 518. 
The Home for the Friendless is accomplishing' a great 
amount of good. 

In the message of 1889 he said : 

In this institution the waifs of humanity find comfort- 
able homes, and kind motherly care. It is conferring- a 
blessing upon the State, and upon humanity. Those in 
charge are imitating the example of their Divine Master 
in relieving human suffering. They are gathering in and 
saving the abandoned; their institution is in reality the 
home of those who have no home. I trust you will regard 
it with favorable consideration. 

In anticipation of the report of the State Board of Agricul- 
ture, Gov. Thayer echoed the universal opinion of patrons in 
the following language: 

While nearly all the conditions and environments of the 
work for the year 1890 were of adverse character, extraor- 
dinary efforts on the part of the management, exhibitors 
and patrons were crowned with unusual success. For rea- 
sons well known to all, crops were short, and the people, 
in many instances, discouraged. Still there was never be- 


fore so grand a presentation of the products, resources and 
possibilities of the State. This was true more particularly 
in the matter of direct products of the sod, thus showing 
in a marked degree our wonderful capabilities as well as 
the characteristic energy and industry of our people. At 
the State Fair, the Horticultural Society succeeded in bring- 
ing together the best exhibit of fruit which has ever been 
on the grounds, and it was thought to be as good a one 
as was made by any state fair in the United States last 

In addition to the stereotyped items of Governor's message, 
Gen. Thayer had many new subjects thrust upon him, as the 
result of the marvelous progress and changed condition of the 
State from her infancy to majority; for in reality the end of his 
second term closed the first quarter century of her existence as 
a state in the Union. In his biennial message of 1889, he said of 
the Union Pacific Railroad: 

The kind of settlement, which the Union Pacific makes 
with the government, does not interest the people of Ne- 
braska nearly as much as the question of lower and reason- 
able rates. In regard to all railroads in this State, this 
principle, this right, must be asserted and maintained, 
namely, that no higher schedule of rates shall exist in Ne- 
braska than prevails in Kansas or Iowa, or other states. 
The board of transportation now possesses full power. If, 
however, anything is wanting, it should be given them. The 
members of the board should be chosen by the people. 

In 1891 he expressed the following sentiments: 

Observation cannot have failed to convince any one that 
there is a growing disregard for the sanctity of the ballot. 
Too many regard it as merchantable instead of being the 
grand right of American citizenship. Too stringent enact- 
ments can not be made for guarding the purity of the ballot. 
There are many who seem to have no proper conception of 
its value. They look forward to the election when they 
may offer their votes for a price just as the farmer looks 
forward to the coming of the harvest time. What is known 
as the Australian Ballot System evidently comes nearest 
to preventing frauds on the elective franchise. The testi- 
mony from those states where it has been tried is that it 
has accomplished the purpose for which it was designed, 
and has given general satisfaction. I, therefore, unhesi- 
tatingly advise its adoption in this State. 


The experience of the last two years has made it apparent 
that public warehouses are a necessity in order to protect 
the interests of the farmers. A year ago the price of corn 
was 14 cents a bushel. It is now selling - at an average of 
45 cents per bushel. Had a warehouse law similar to that 
of Illinois and other states been on our statute book, its 
beneficial results would have been of almost incalculable 
value. I, therefore, recommend the passage of a law with 
an emergency clause providing for public warehouses with 
suitable provisions for holding grain and other products by 
compelling - the warehouse men to receive, ship, store and 
handle the same without discrimination. Warehouse re- 
ceipts taken for the grain thus stored are equal to the best 
commercial paper. 

The Governor had an opportunity of testing the practical util- 
ity of the National Guard, which was mustered and officered 
under his own administration, when they were called upon in' 
aid of the Eegulars in suppressing an Indian outbreak. 

I cannot too strong-ly commend the promptness and patri- 
otic zeal manifested by the officers and members of the 
National Guard when the order was issued for them to take 
the field. It reminds one of the days of '61 when loyalty 
and patriotism seemed to inspire all hearts. Fortunately 
the Indian war on our northern borders has been brought 
to a close, and the National Guards sent forward for the pro- 
tection of the settlers have been returned to their respect- 
ive homes. It gives me great and sincere pleasure to say 
that all the reports from the region where they performed 
their service commend them in the hig-hest terms for their 
soldierly bearing, and their faithful discharge of the duties 
devolving upon them. The service to them was new, and 
it was rendered in severe weather, subjecting them to cold 
and privation, yet their duties were performed without a 
murmur, and they rendered most valuable service to the peo- 
ple in shielding them against the probable attacks from hos- 
tile Indians and in restoring; confidence to all. General 
Colby and all his command have won for themselves the 
unbounded respect of the people of the State, and have 
made a reputation in which all citizens will take just and 
laudable pride. 

He thus refers to the work of the Live Stock Sanitary Com- 
mission in 1889: 

At the beginning of the work of the board Texas fever ex- 
isted in nearly every county in the State. The fight against 


its insidious ravages has been, and is still a determined one, 
and so far successful that at the present time forty coun- 
ties are reporting 1 no cases. The law, as amended by the last 
legislature, allowing payment of indemnity of animals de- 
stroyed by the State, has greatly facilitated the' reporting of 
suspected cases and prevented the secreting of the disease. 
It has proved a blessing to poor and deserving farmers, 
'many of whom are entirely dependent upon their horses 
and mules for means of support, and to whom the payment 
of this indemnity is a boon, while the State is being relieved 
of a terrible scourge, dangerous alike to man and beast. 
Several persons have died of it in the past two years in this 
State, having contracted it in caring for afflicted animals. 
Eight hundred and thirty horses and mules have been de- 
stroyed by the live stock commission since November 30, 
1886, to December 1, 188S. The amount of 'indemnity al- 
lowed for the same was $36,071.50, averaging $43.50 per head. 
These animals were destroyed in sixty-six counties, showing 
an immense amount of labor prosecuted in all seasons of 
the year, and it has only been by the most energetic efforts 
on the part of the board that such a result can be shown. 
The work is most satisfactory to the people of the State 
whose interests are directly connected therewith. 

After asserting the energy and success of the Fish Commis- 


sion and the building of a large, roomy, two-story house for a 
hatchery, he outlined the situation as follows: 

The fish car also provided for by the last legislature has 
been procured. It is a neat, substantially constructed car 
of the usual size, and furnished with the best facilities for 
distributing and handling- fish. Its cost has not exceeded 
the sum appropriated for that purpose. The work of the 
distribution of fish to remote parts of the State has been 
greatly facilitated and with less cost than heretofore sus- 
tained by the old methods of transporting the,> young fish 
in cans by express and baggage cars, and express companies 
especially, in handling yearling trout and black bass; also 
a saving in expense, with the co-operation of the railway 
companies hauling the car and its attendants free of ex- 
pense to the State. Large improvements have also been 
made at the state hatchery by the construction and im- 
provements of the ponds, new apparatus, and improve- 
ments to the old apparatus. In the year 1889 the commis- 
sion procured fish eg-gs, successfully hatched them, and also 
raised in the state ponds a larger number of different 
species of fish than at any former time, and successfully 


distributed them into the waters of the State. The total 

number of fish of all ages thus given to the water in that 
year was 15,2:21 ,0 10. In the year 1890, the total distribution 
of all ages amounted to 21,731,295. The introduction into 
our waters and cultivation of German carp has been at- 
tended with very gratifying - results. This excellent food 
fish has hitherto been underestimated as to its intrinsic 
value. Its successful and profitable cultivation has been 
fully demonstrated. The fish hatchery is an establishment 
of great advantage to the people. 

Of objects of interest, and not yet consummated, or of recent 
date, may be added, Banks, Trusts, Deep Water Harbor, Ir- 
responsible Detectives, Boards of Pharmacy and Pardons, and 

Recent occurrences have drawn attention to the condition 
of state banks and banking institutions. I respectfully re- 
commend the enactment of legislation which shall provide 
for frequent examination of these institutions and which 
shall secure protection to depositors and stock-holders. 

The governor advocated the continuance of the sugar bounty 
on the grounds that others might engage in the manufacture and 
then competition would prevent a monopoly. 

Since the session of the last Legislature, and as a result 
of the liberal action of that body, there has been estab- 
lished in this State a most important industry. I refer to 
the making of sugar from sugar beets. It is my firm con- 
viction that this will prove to be one of the great industries 
of the future in the West and in Nebraska especially. The 
Oxnards have put in a plant in Grand Island at a cost of 
nearly three quarters of a million dollars, and have during 
the last three months turned out about one million pounds 
of the very finest quality of sugar. The starting of the es- 
tablishment at Grand Island was an experiment. The sea- 
son has been an unfavorable one on account of the dryness. 
The business was new to the farmers. But the experiment 
has merged into a complete success, so much so that the 
Oxnards are now putting in a similar plant at Norfolk. In 
ten years you may expect to see Nebraska the leading sugar 
producing <state of the Union. Other states will take hold 
of this new agricultural pursuit, and the West will supply 
the sugar of the country, and the price to the consumer will 
be reduced from twenty-five to thirty per cent. I earnestly 


advise against repealing the law granting a bounty on the 
manufacture of sugar. That bounty was given as an in- 
ducement to open up that industry in the State; to induce 
parties to come here and put in plants and encourage the 
manufacture of sug-ar. To repeal this law at this time 
would be an implication of bad faith. It would, in effect, 
be an act of repudiation. Let the bounty remain and other 
establishments will follow those alread}* started. 

Among other things of note we find the following concerning 
the report of the Commissioner of Labor: 

A great deal of trouble existing between employer and 
employee would be avoided if an honest effort was made 
by the former to show that he had other than a monetary 
consideration of his welfare. It is to be regetted that there 
are very few employers compared to the number, who ever 
cross the threshold of their employees' homes, with a pur- 
pose of inquiring into their circumstances. Whenever this 
has been done it has been marked with good results. Chap- 
ter II. deals with the question of loan and building associa- 
tions. Any process that will assist the man of limited 
means to secure a home should be supported and thoroughly 
advertised. Local loan and building associations have done 
very much in this respect. Statistics on this subject will in- 
terest the wage workers and others anxious to secure 

The following excerpts are of general interest: 

If wisdom and statesmanship can devise legislation which 
shall suppress and destroy a gigantic evil which has grown 
up in these latter days under the name of trusts, whereby 
the strong oppress and destroy the weak, I pray you to ex- 
ercise that wisdom and statemanship. and blot out the great 

The subject of a deep harbor on the Texas coast has re- 
cently received much attention in the trans-Mississippi 
region. The establishment of such a harbor into which 
ships of the heaviest draft could come without obstruction 
would remove the most serious obstacle to commercial 
traffic over the Gulf of Mexico, and would open a new and 
competitive route to the sea. I advise that you forward a 
memorial to Congress, asking it to lend a helping hand to 
the accomplishment of this important purpose. 

I recommend the enactment of a law prohibiting the in- 
troduction of a body of Pinkerton men, so called, into the 


State, or any other body of men not residents of the State, 
for the purpose of police and protection duty. 

The provisions of the law at the last session creating a 
Board of Pharmacy are now in successful operation and are 
proving to be a source of great benefit. The result is that 
we now have educated pharmacists. No one can serve as a 
druggist clerk unless he has had a thorough training in the 
druggist's profession and passed a thorough and successful 
examination. This is a matter which concerns the life and 
health of all the people. The Board of Pharmacy is a most 
beneficial institution. There are now 1,509 educated phar- 
macists in Nebraska. 

It is within the bounds to say that the business of the 
executive department has doubled within the last four 
years. It is true in the department of the chief executive, 
• as I can verify from experience. One-fourth of the time at 
least, and probably one-third, is taken up in the considera- 
tion of applicants and 'appeals for pardons. The executive 
ought to be relieved of a larg-e portion at least, of this 
labor. A board of pardons would reach this result, and the 
creation of such a board is recommended. 

Very general attention is being given to this subject of 
irrigation in the western part of the State, and I commend 
it to your favorable consideration. I would further re- 
spectfully recommend that a joint resolution and memorial 
be passed by the Legislature urging- Congress in favor of 
the adoption of further necessary measures for irrigating 
the arid lands of the West. 

To the list of benevolent and educational institutions in the 
State were added, or opened during the term of his incumbency, 
five in number, the first in order of time being the Institution 
for Feeble Minded Youth at Beatrice, Gage County, the cost of 
the building being $18,218. 

The result of the work in the school rooms can be seen 
in detail by reference to the superintendent's report. Man- 
ual training, such as farm and house work, with sewing for 
the girls and brushmaking for the boys lately added, has 
been carried on as circumstances would allow. From a per- 
sonal inspection of the children's work, I consider the in- 
dustrial department worthy of full equipment. This work 
demonstrates the usefulness of such an institution, and 
that many of these persons can be made sulf sustaining, 
who, without a course of proper training, would be depend- 


ents, if not a dangerous element in society. There are on 
file at the institution 254 applications for admission, and 
on December 1st, 134 inmates, thus leaving many applicants 
unprovided for. The superintendent has knowledge of 843 
feeble minded persons in Nebraska. The State has made 
less provisions for this class, in proportion to their num- 
ber, than anj r other. These helpless children make an 
urgent appeal to the humanity of the State, and I recom- 
mend that your body make provision for their proper care 
and training. I commend the management of the institu- 
tion as being painstaking and economical. 

In the same year, 1887, the Norfolk Hospital for the Insane, 
costing $84,292, was opened for patients. 

The main building of this hospital was erected in 18S5, 
♦ and in 18S7 it 'was opened for patients. Since the meeting 
of the last Leg-islature two wings to the main building have 
been erected. The report of the superintendent shows that 
during the two years from December 1st, 1888, to November 
30th, 1890, there were admitted as new cases, two hundred 
and nineteen, one hundred and thirty-seven males, and 
eighty-two females. Total under treatment for the two 
years, three hundred and forty. The percentage of recov- 
eries, based on the total number under treatment for the 
last two years, has been over forty. 

In 1888, the Home at Grand Island was completed for the re- 
ception of soldiers and sailors. 

The report of the commandant of the Soldiers' and Sail- 
ors' Home shows that there have been 23S members admit- 
ted to the Home during its existence. Of this number there 
are at present 150 members on the rolls of the Home ros- 
ter. Of these forty-eight have been honorably discharged, 
twenty summarily, and four dishonorably discharged. Six- 
teen have died at the Home. There has been an average 
attendance for twenty-eight months, or since the Home 
was opened, of 68. Appreciating the hardship of separation 
of husband and wife, and actuated by a humane instinct, a 
provision was inserted in the law for the admission of the 
wives, and children under fifteen years of age, of the sol- 
diers "who were compelled by their straitened circum- 
stances to seek homes within its walls. Seven double cot- 
tages were erected accommodating fourteen families. 
Congress enacted a law providing for the payment to each 
state which has a soldiers' home $100 a year for each in- 


mate of that Home. This will aid largely in payment of 
the running expenses of this institution. 

By an act of the Legislature of 1887 a Nebraska Industrial 
Home was established, to be under the supervision of the "Wo- 
men's Board of Associate Charities." 

The institution was located and opened for the admission 
of inmates May 1, 1889. Whole number admitted to Novem- 
ber 30, 1890, is fifty-nine, thirty-eight of whom were of 
American parentage and seventeen of foreign. The average 
number of adults present in each year is twenty-eight. 
Average number of children cared for in each year is twen- 
ty-three. Good homes have been found for seventeen. 
There are now in the Home thirteen children. The object 
of the Home is to reclaim the fallen, to bring them under 
good, wholesome, Christian influences, and thus secure 
their reformation. I believe it is fully accomplishing the 
purpose for which it. was created. It is in consonance with 
the spirit of true philanthropy and good will, and should 
be encouraged. 

On account of the over-crowded condition of the asylums for 
the insane at Lincoln and Norfolk, and the policy of separating 
the incurable from the more hopeful, another building was pre- 
pared at a cost of $03,900 located at Hastings. 

This institution was opened for the reception of patients 
August 1st, 1889, at which time were received forty-four 
patients from Lincoln; November 12th, 1899, fifty patients; 
and again April 26th, 1890, thirty-two patients, making a 
total of one hundred and twenty-six patients received from 
Lincoln. November 12th, 1889, there were received from 
Norfolk twenty-two patients. There have been received 
since August 1, 1889, from the different counties twenty- 
six patients, making a grand total of one hundred and 
seventy-four received. There are at present one hundred 
and sixty patients in the institution, one has been dis- 
charged as cured, one is out on parole, and one has escaped. 
Since August 1st, 1889, there has been eleven deaths. 

To a Governor who feels himself the head of a great family, . 
every member of which was entitled to his official and humane 
attentions, in case of unforeseen calamity, the drouth sufferers of 
1890 appealed with painful demands. On the first intimation of 


privation and suffering he recommended the county commission- 
ers of the stricken district to organize means of relief. By No- 
vember he called upon the public to give heed to the Macedonian 
•cry, "Come over and help us"; and in order to add to his knowl- 
edge and make it critical, sent two agents to traverse the coun- 
ties. The result was his organization of a Relief Committee, 
with which the contiguous railroads co-operated by carrying sup- 
plies free of charge. In his message to the Legislature of 1891, 
he said: 

It is safe to conclude from the information thus obtained 
that six thousand and eleven families will require fuel and 
provisions during- the winter and spring-, and nine thousand 
nine hundred and thirty-eight families will need grain and 
seed. Those people in the portions of the State in which 
crops have been blasted by hot winds and the drouth, have 
become the victims of misfortune from no fault of their 
own. They are worthy, honest, and industrious as any 
people in Nebraska or any other state in the Union. They 
are our own kith and kin — they are our own fellow citizens. 
This question of relief is of such a magnitude that it has 
become a state affair; Nebraska cannot afford to permit 
the report to go abroad that any one within its borders 
had died of cold and hunger. It is rich enough, it is able 
enough to take care of its own people. We want no help 
from abroad. T most earnestly recommend an appropria- 
tion with an emergency clause of two hundred thousand 
dollars ($200,000) for their' relief. Further appropriations 
will be necessary. The necessities of those people require 
it; in the highest sense, Christian duty sanctions it; human- 
ity dictates it, and God Almighty commands it. The in- 
junction, "Remember the poor and the needy" is as bind- 
ing - now as when uttered by the Holy One two thousand 
years ago. 

The subjoined recommendation closed an earnest appeal to the 
Legislature in behalf of the Columbian Exposition. 

I recommend an appropriation of $150,000 with an emerg- 
ency clause, for the purpose of inaugurating and maintain- 
ing our exhibits. Citizens of Nebraska who attended the 
Paris Exposition were humiliated by the small and insig- 
nificant exhibition of its products made there. I trust Ne- 
braskans who shall attend the Chicago Exposition, and all 
should attend it, will not be subjected to a like humilia- 


tion. The display from this State should be such as will 
make every dweller within its borders more proud of it 
than ever before. The display should be such that every 
one can exclaim with exultant satisfaction: "That repre- 
sents my State." 

Ordinarily, Governor Thayer would have been called upon for 
his retiring message as soon as the Legislature of January 6, 
1891, was organized and ready in joint session, to receive it; 
which would have been followed by the inaugural of his succes- 
sor. But, inasmuch as the speaker of the house, on account of a 
contest pending, on the part of J. H. Powers, Independent candi- 
date for Governor, against James E. Boyd, refused to examine 
and proclaim the result of the election till such contest was 
settled, and only did it by virtue of a mandamus issued from the 
Supreme Court of Nebraska, and as the contest was not aban- 
doned till the latter part of January, his message was not called 
for until the following day. Thus Governor Boyd delivered his 
inaugural just one month after the commencement of the Leg- 
islative session. 

In the meantime, on the 13th of January, John M. Thayer com- 
menced proceedings, in the State Supreme Court, to oust Gov- 
ernor Boyd from office, charging that he was not a citizen of 
the United States when elected, having been born in Ireland, and 
never naturalized in the United States. The case having been 
argued March 12th, 1891, and the opinion of the court having 
been announced May 5th, reinstating Thayer and ousting Boyd, 
which was just one month after the adjournment of the Legis- 
lature, these officials changed places once more — Thayer to act 
as Governor till a successor should appear, "elected aud qual- 
ified," and Boyd to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United 
States. After nine months, in the highest tribunal known to 
our laws, an opinion in favor of Governor Boyd was delivered 
by Chief Justice Fuller, reinstating him, and retiring Governor 
Thayer to private life. 

The contest waged by Governor Thayer against James E. Boyd, 
was upon the basis that if naturalized, the laws of the United 
States, in that behalf, had been the instrument by which he had 


attained to citizenship; and that he should be able to show court 
records establishing the fact. Admitting the correctness of this 
position the Supreme Court of Nebraska decided that James E. 
Boyd was not a citizen when elected Governor. 

But the Supreme Court of the United States gave Mr. Boyd 
an equivalent for court naturalization, in "collective naturaliza- 
tion" by the admission of the State of Nebraska, and from the 
"legal presumption" that his father had been naturalized during 
the son's minority. If that mode of gaining citizenship had been 
previously amplified as the Supreme Court gave it prominence 
in this instance, it might be a question whether this action would 
ever have been filed, on the decision obtained from the Supreme 
Court of the State. Prior to this time the legal profession had 
never been furnished with so voluminous a digest of sporadic 
•cases of naturalization. These are fully set forth in the state- 
ment of Governor Boyd's administration, in this volume. 





No man has reached the Governor's chair of Nebraska with 
more real pioneer experience than James E. Boyd. Nine years 
a citizen of Buffalo county as farmer and ranchman, at a time • 
when warring tribes of Pawnees and Sioux claimed the same 
region as individual hunting ground, and only had a coerced re- 
spect for the Wood River settlement, on account of its near loca- 
tion to Fort Kearney, inured him thoroughly to the privations 
of a new and undeveloped region, a capricious climate and fre- 
quency of Indian alarms. During the same period he superin- 
tended a store for a time, at Kearney, and as a railroad con- 
tractor graded three hundred miles of Union Pacific track. Be- 
fore the frontier experience, from 1856 to 1859, he had resided in 
Omaha as a carpenter and contractor, and when he returned in 
1868 he entered at once into city improvements,, and organized 
the Northwestern railroad to Blair, building it and acting as its 
president. In the meantime he was engaged in cattle grazing on 
the plains of western Nebraska and subsequently in Wyoming. 
Since 1872 he has been banker and pork packer on a large scale, 
employing as high as 170 men. Before his election as governor 
his legislative training was in the state legislature and in two 
different constitutional conventions. He was member of the 
board of aldermen for the city of Omaha, while as a presiding 
officer twice mayor of Omaha and president of the city board 
of trade, he had become familiar with the duties of an executive 

Before the city of Omaha had outgrown her modest halls, he 
anticipated her coming wants with the beautiful and artistic 
Boyd opera house, and as soon as the flood tide of population 
demanded wider borders the "New Boyd" supplanted the old, 
as the beautiful edifice overshadows the cabin. 

At the time of his election as governor he was fifty-six years 



of age, having been born in Tyrone, Ireland, in 1834, whence he 
came to Ohio in 1844, and thence to Nebraska in 1856. Of state 
governors, the arrival of General Thayer in 1854 ante-dates him 
by two years, while Governor Furnas also claims 1856 as his 
advent; Butler 1858; Garber 1870, and Nance and Dawes 1870. 
Thayer and Dawes are of New England ancestry, Butler and 
Garber of Virginia, Boyd of Irish, Furnas of South Carolina, 
and Nance of French parentage. Furnas, Garber, and Dawes 
were born in Ohio, Boyd in Ireland, Thayer in Massachusetts, 
Butler in Indiana and Nance in Illinois. At the time of election 
Nance was thirty years of age, Butler and Dawes thirty-seven 
each, Garber forty-one, Furnas forty-eight, Boyd fifty-six and 
Thayer sixty-six. 

In the campaign of 1890, the People's party or Independents, 
often called the Alliance, as most of them were members of the 
Farmer's Alliance, became a formidable rival of the old parties 
and elected a majority of the legislative members, while the dem- 
ocrats elected the governor and the Kepublicans the balance of 
the state officers. The Independents also elected two members 
to Congress and the Democrats one. As soon as the result of 
the 4th of November election was known, contests were com- 
menced against the democratic candidate for governor and 
against the republican candidates for the other state offices. 
When the legislature convened on the 6th day of January, 1891, 
the Independents contended that no inauguration of officers 
should take place till contests were decided, and of course no 
canvass of votes in joint session and proclamation of the same 
be made before such final decision. After a conflict of authority 
between the newly elected speaker of the House, Hon. S. M. 
Elder, and the lieutenant governor, president of the senate, the 
chief justice of the supreme court caused a writ of mandamus 
to issue to Speaker Elder, commanding him to "open and publish 
the returns, and declare the persons shown by said returns to 
have the highest number of votes for each of said executive of- 
fices, duly elected." In this manner James E. Boyd was declared 
duly elected. 



This mandate, of course, did not intend to annul the pending 
contest, but to place in power the "prima facie" elected officers 
subject to all future contingencies. Accordingly the 20th day 
of January, 1891, having been fixed for a joint meeting of both 
branches of the general assembly to count and declare the votes 
and election of officers, the contestees including Hon. James E. 
Boyd, the Hon. T. J. Majors, republican, elected as lieutenant 
governor, and the balance of the state officers, entered their pro- 
tests against the legality of the joint assembly, in this, that the 
concurrent resolution ordering it was never presented to or 
signed by either the governor or lieutenant governor of the State. 
To settle the question of the legality of this joint convention, 
the supreme court was called upon to answer whether, when 
the governor and lieutenant governor were both contestees and, 
of course, personally interested in defeating the joint convention, 
was it necessary to ask their signatures to the resolution, to 
which the court gave an opinion that their signatures were neces- 

This decision having been delivered seven days after the time 
of the intended joint convention, and other complications aris- 
ing, the contests were finally abandoned and the Hon. J. E. 
Boyd, who had superseded Gen. John M. Thayer, delivered his 
inaugural address Feb. 6th, 1891, one month after the beginning 
of the legislative session. 

As this inaugural message was the first democratic utterance 
of the kind since state organization, it was subjected to close 
scrutiny and was warmly endorsed by the party and people gen- 
erally, excepting those of his own party and others who were 
as honestly, intelligently and patriotically devoted to prohibition 
as he could be to its rejection. The characteristics of the mes- 
sage were directness, clearness and a critical examination of 
new themes and living issues. Brief in extent and breathing 
pure democracy, conciliatory in spirit and exceptional in style, 
to present it in fragments would do alike injustice to author and 
reader. But with positive assurance that the lavishly decorated 
vestibule is worthy of the beautiful structure it adorns, the 


reader is introduced through the portal of the exordium and left 
with a desire for the unabridged message. 

Assembled here by direction of the people of this great 
and growing commonwealth of Nebraska, to promote their 
interests and render obedience to their expressed will, I 
hope that in all things concerning the dignity of citizen- 
ship and the public weal, we may go hand in hand toward 
the faithful fulfillment of our accepted trust; guided by 
our best wisdom, ambitious in the performance of our 
labors, and at all times true to the honor and the escutch- 
eon of the State. We meet here instructed by the public 
voice, you in your sphere and I in mine, different in action 
yet the same in end. As public servants, with express com- 
mands, Ave will be held to strict account by those who sent 
us here. Subterfuges and stratagems and weak expedients 
will all be swept away when we are called upon to explain 
the record made within these walls. Our principles aband- 
oned and our pledges unperformed, the people disregarded 
and the State betrayed, means to-morrow, as it meant yes- 
terday, swift and complete political death. In all that per- 
tains to blooming fields and prosperous homes, in all that 
brings the people of the prairies in close alliance with the 
people of the towns; in the promotion of their welfare, in 
the protection of their rights, the redress of their wrongs, 
in lifting their burdens, and the speedy granting of their 
appeals, and finally in strict and even-handed justice to all, 
I herewith extend you my hearty approval in advance. 

On the 20th day of March, 1891, house bill No. 12, "For an 
act to regulate railroads, to classify freights, to fix reasonable 
maximum rates to be charged for the transportation of freights 
upon each of the railroads in the State of Nebraska, and to in- 
crease the powers and further define the duties of the board of 
transportation, and to punish violations thereof," was put upon 
its passage in the state senate. A call of the senate being or- 
dered, a deadlock ensued, which lasted for three days, while 
a motion could not be entertained for a "suspension of further 
proceedings under the call," although one senator (Taylor, of 
Loup county) was permanently absent. Of this state of affairs, 
after seventy-five hours of continuous session, Senator Stevens 

The public feel that such a policy is a part of the tactics 
of the railroads of the State to prevent any legislation 


regulating' the charges of these common carriers. Will the 
chair unlock the entanglement and afford the senate a 
means of escape by overruling or rather correcting the 
former ruling, or shall this foolishness at the expense of 
the State go merrily on? 

Pending this obstruction to business a self-constituted com- 
mittee of democrats and republicans, twelve in number, offered 
a compromise to the independents who were pressing the bill. 
In the first place they claimed that the railroad bill was uncon- 
stitutional; to which it was replied, "If the railroads really 
thought it was invalid, it is strange that they should offer $5,000 
apiece for senatorial votes to defeat it." They further asserted: 

In other words we favor a bill which would provide a 
reasonable rate on the following articles: wheat, flour, mil- 
let, flax-seed, corn, oats, barley and other grains; mill- 
stuff, hard and soft lumber, lath, doors, shingles, sash, 
blinds, salt, lime, cement, stucco, horses, mules, cattle, 
hogs, sheep, hard and soft coal. And also a provision 
against increasing through freight rates, and that on all 
articles not mentioned the rate shall not exceed the tariff 
in force on January 1st, 1891. 

To which sixteen Independent senators made reply, 

We had rather suffer defeat at your hands when we are 
fighting the uneven battle of the people against the cor- 
porations, than to gain an apparent victory by passing a 
measure prepared and placed in our hands by the very cor- 
porations which we seek to control. A maximum rate bill 
embracing only the articles of live-stock, grain, lumber and 
coal would bring no relief to our people, for the reason 
that those articles would all be controlled by interstate 
rates. Nebraska produces no coal or lumber, and would 
be required by the roads of this State to pay local rates 
on both of these commodities, which local rates are higher 
than the present through rates, and the revenue of the 
roads would thereby be increased rather than diminished. 
The railroad companies have already tried to frighten us 
by threatening to refuse to give Nebraska through rates 
in case the Newberry bill becomes a law, and we believe 
they would not be slow to take advantage of an oppor- 
tunity to charge local rates on the four commodities in 
which the farmers are interested, if we should accede to 
your request. 


After three days of suspense and strife, the sergeant-at-arms 
failing to find the absconding senator (Taylor), who had fled 
from the State, Mr. Shumway, a Republican, moved that further 
proceedings under the call be dispensed with, and explained his 
motion as follows: 

Ample time has been given all parties interested in this 
bill to try and persuade one missing member to return. 
But he is still absent. I do not think it wise that the ac- 
tions of this body be further delayed on account of the 
absentee, therefore I make the motion. 

The motion prevailed and the bill passed. 

The belief that Taylor was bribed to leave the senate and the 
State, to defeat railroad legislation, produced the most intense 
excitement throughout the State, and even the house chaplain, 
the day after the senate deadlock was broken, emphasized the 
general feeling in his prayer before that body: 

We thank Thee for Nebraska, for her enlarged borders, 
for her citizens and her brotherhood, but rejoice that her 
borders are not large enough to enclose, nor her brother- 
hood sweet enough to embrace a traitor recreant to her 
interests. Help him to flee farther and yet farther from an 
outraged and indignant people, until he shall stand upon 
the brink of a moral volcano, behold the forked tongues of 
fiery flames, the seething sea of lurid lava, hear the mut- 
tured thunder of hidden forces, and feel the nausea of 
mental hell, until he shall awake from mental death, repent, 
believe and be saved. And what we ask for discovered trea- 
son and uncovered traitors, we ask for all covert treason 
and covered traitors. 

When the railroad bill was presented to Governor Boyd for 
bis signature he returned it with a veto message, in which he 


The rate in this bill is supposed to be based on the Iowa 
rates. In Iowa the rates are fixed by a commission and are 
chang-ed from time to time as circumstances and the course 
of trade seem to require. In that state the various roads 
are classified so that the rates are higher on the weaker 
roads and lower on the stronger ones which have a greater 
volume of business. 

The justice of such a classification is apparent. It is 


evident that a road doing- a large business can afford to 
carry freight at a less rate than one which has but little 
traffic. This bill places the same Iowa rate on all the roads 
in the State without regard to the volume of business car- 
ried, and the rate fixed by the bill is based upon the lowest 
classification in Iowa. The latter state has double the 
acreage under cultivation and almost twice the population 
of Nebraska, with only about two-thirds its extent of terri- 
tory, and less than double its railroad mileage. The volume 
of freight transported by the railroads in Iowa is more 
than four times as great as that transported by the rail- 
roads of Nebraska. It is manifest injustice to apply to the 
Nebraska roads the lowest rates in force in Iowa. 

He strongly combated the idea that the railroads were mak- 
ing exorbitant profits at the present time: 

In my judgment there is not a mile of railroad west of 
the sixth principal meridian, except the trunk lines, that 
is paying its running expenses today. The products of our 
State in some form are almost entirely consumed in the 
East and must be carried upon interstate rates. These 
interstate rates upon grain particularly are but very little 
above the rates from Iowa points. These rates will not 
be reduced by this proposed law, and may, and can be 
very materially advanced by the railroad companies in self 
defense and for self preservation. 

The interstate rates referred to above are those upon traffic 
between and beyond states, under laws of Congress, and not the 
business done within individual states, and governed by their 
local laws. The governor approved of the "rate on live stock 
in the eastern part of the State," and "attributed the best inten- 
tions and motives to the framers and supporters of the bill," 
and conceded "that the railroad corporations have, in many in- 
stances, exacted unjust tribute from the people," but believed 
the law lacked careful consideration, was unconstitutional, and 
would stop railroad construction, deter capital from entering 
the State for improvements, and in the reduction of wages and 
discharge from railroad services produce a dangerous competi- 
tion in other branches of labor. On account of the condition of 
affairs in the State he also argued that the bill was inopportune: 


Owing to the crop failure of last year there will be but 
meager shipments of agricultural or live stock products 
from our State until after another crop shall have ma- 
tured; and hence the carrying trade within our borders 
will be reduced to the minimum, and with such a condition 
confronting us I deem it unwise, as well as unjust, at the 
present time, to enforce such sweeping reductions as are 
provided for in this bill. 

Remembering that each party platform demanded restrictive 
legislation, and that the retiring governor's message recom- 
mended it and his own inaugural address made it prominent, he 
knew full well that the temporary political consequences of his 
own official act were impending. 

I am well aware that my refusal to sanction this bill will 
meet- with the disapproval of many. Dissatisfaction may be 
expressed and harsh criticism will follow. Be that as it 
may, I feel that I have a plain duty to perform, a duty 
which I owe to the interests of this great State, and what- 
ever censure or criticism may result, this duty I will per- 
form in the consciousness that I am acting for the best 
interests of the State of Nebraska. I therefore withhold 
my approval of this bill. 

Inasmuch as the majority in each house was not large enough 
to pass the bill over the veto, it failed to become a law, and since 
the Independent party had redeemed its pledges by passing it 
they returned to their constituents vindicated, while several 
other members had voted for it under protest. 

Two other acts were passed and signed by Governor Boyd, 
relative to railroads, the one providing for naming stations after 
the towns in which they may be located, and the other for secur- 
ing the safety of operatives by requiring railroads, corporations 
and companies to equip engines and cars with proper, efficient 
and safe automatic couplers and brakes, so that brakemen shall 
not be required to go between cars, or on top of them, in the dis- 
charge of their duties. 

If the governor could not co-operate with the Independent 
party fully as to the details of railroad legislation, it must have 
given him pleasure to find the general recommendations of his« 


message upon suffrage so completely incorporated in the secret 
ballot law. If it secures the freedom of the voter, shields the 
poor man of talent and integrity against the competitor of mere 
wealth and assumptions, and results in purity of elections and 
the education of manly voters, and relegates bribes and bribery 
to the rear, all concerned in its establishment will have cause to 
rejoice in an honored citizenship and a digDified state. 

Having called the attention of the legislature to the fact that 
"the warehouse system now in vogue in the State of Nebraska 
is wholly in the hands of private parties and corporations, un- 
controlled by and not responsible to any statute of the State, 
relative to public warehouses," the body took prompt action and 
gave form to a statute. The scope of the law required a license 
for keeping a warehouse, for reception, storage, and sale of 
grain, under penalty of a $10,000 bond and a fine of from one to 
five hundred dollars for every day's business transacted without 
such license, obtained from the State Board of Transportation. 
Owners of property were to have access to the same and all the 
books and records of the warehouse; receipts were made trans- 
ferable by endorsement; the issue of fraudulent receipts made 
punishable with imprisonment for not more than ten years in 
the penitentiary, in addition to all other penalties, and provis- 
ions were made for a chief inspector, with all such safeguards 
and restrictions as the experience of other states had found 
necessary and practicable from absolute test and experience. 
This act was followed by another giving new duties to the Board 
of Transportation, among which was the appointment of a com- 
mittee of appeals for each city and town in which a warehouse 
was located, the members of which were placed under bonds of 
$5,000 each, having first taken the oath of office. 

The recommendation for cheaper school books was met by a 
law allowing the district boards to purchase a supply to be 
loaned to pupils of the school or sold at cost to patrons for the 
use of their children. 

Having signed a bill in aid of drouth sufferers of 1890 appro- 
priating $100,000, before delivering his inaugural, he therein 


said, "If further aid is required, I will sanction such appropria- 
tion as may be necessary," and accordingly was called upon to 
sign a law for an issue of $100,000 in state bonds. Such were 
his views of the value of an adequate exhibition of Nebraska's 
products at the Columbian Exposition, it would have given 
greater pleasure to be permitted to sign a bill for $100,000, 
rather than as passed for $50,000. Bills also passed his in- 
spection and received his signature amending the law governing 
the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home; admitting members of the 
Women's Belief Corps to the visiting and examining board; a 
bill for a Girls' Industrial School for juvenile delinquents; for a 
State Board of Health; for prohibiting the sale of firearms and 
ammunition or intoxicating liquors to Indians not citizens; for 
establishment of two experimental stations in the interests of 
agriculture; for the loaning and safe keeping of state funds; 
and for the government of cities, with numerous other acts in 
the interest of economy and progress. 

The last recommendation of his message, though not incorpo- 
rated in law, is receiving public attention from politicians and 
statesmen, and in the progress of intelligent reform will yet be 
adopted, when presidential electors will be chosen in congres- 
sional districts, and a "quartette of so-called pivotal states no 
longer monopolize the honor of electing the chief magistrate of 
the entire country." 

A majority of the legislative members being farmers from the 
two old parties, banded together to resist all forms of monopoly 
and railroad extortion, having much to learn of parliamentary 
strategy, they were often embarrassed but never discouraged. 

In addition to the local acts for Nebraska, the discussions em- 
braced many subjects of interest of national character, and ac- 
cordingly we find the House passing instructions to the delega- 
tions in Congress, on the subject of the Paddock pure food bill, 
and also in favor of the election of United States senators by 
the people, while the United States Senate was complimented 
for refusing to pass the Force Bill, "the boldest stroke of cen- 
tralization and imperialism since the establishment of the Be* 


public," and affirming their opposition thereto, because Ne- 
braska believed in "local sovereignty and federal unity and the 
secrecy of the ballot." Democrats voting with independents in 
affirmation of these principles caused a member to exclaim, "The 
lion and the lamb have at last lain down together. Let us have 
peace." The "free coinage of silver" was recommended, and the 
$6,200,000 appropriation for a deep water harbor at Galveston, 
Texas, was approved, a committee appointed to attend the con- 
vention of states, and an elaborate report received of its great 
■value to the Northwest. As a matter of reciprocity and adver- 
tisement, the City of Galveston presented the Nebraska legisla- 
ture fifteen barrels of oysters, which eventuated in a state oyster 
supper and a gastronomic bond of union. Other episodes re- 
lieved the monotony of the daily duty, as the presentation of a 
gavel to the speaker, S. M. Elder, of the House, made from the 
"lone tree" that served the early emigrants as the beacon light 
served ocean mariners. In reply to a speech of presentation, by 
Judge Morris, Mr. Elder said, in conclusion: 

Eemember that the tree from which this gavel comes 
could be seen from Buffalo Peak to Little Blue River. One 
evening at six o'clock, together with some comrades, I was 
traveling through this section. The ground was covered 
with snow, and the storm increased. For hours we trav- 
eled through the storm. Wearied and worn, I remember 
I desired to lie down and sleep; my companions refused, 
and we traveled on and on until at 12 o'clock at night we 
ran against a tree; we knew it was "lone tree," and that we 
were saved. It afforded us shelter that night as it had 
many others. I thank my people for this gavel. Moving 
along under this gavel, let us enact such laws as will be 
of great and lasting benefit to the great Commonwealth 
of Nebraska. 

On the last day of the session, Mr. Watson, of Otoe county, 
arose and addressed the speaker, complimenting him on his ad- 
ministration of the rules of order: 

Mr. Speaker, I desire to say further that sometime in 
your history, before the meeting of this legislature, Prov- 
idence has appeared to be unkind to you and deprived you 
of a useful appendage of your body, your strong arm, 


making you physically incapacitated as knight and warrior. 
When it was proclaimed on Mount Sinai that man was fear- 
fully and wonderfully made, your friends, wishing that you 
should be physically intact as you are mentally capable, 
herewith present you an arm, and while it is not as nature 
formed you, it is an expression of our good will and honest 
intentions of the donors who address you as brave and 
fair minded, in all the elements of man, an able, impartial, 
presiding officer, a true and trusted friend, an elegant and 
a splendid gentleman. And in conclusion let me say, that 
it is the desire of your friends and well wishers that your 
future life may be happiness, and the conclusion thereof 
peace and comfort. 

Mr. McKesson arose and said: 

Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House — As a further 
token of respect and appreciation on the part of the mem- 
bers of this House, for the fair and impartial manner in 
which you have presided over its turbulent deliberations, 
I have been requested to present, not to you, but through 
you to your esteemed wife, this beautiful crayon portrait of 
yourself. Novelists depict fancy painted pictures, poets 
sing of "Arms and of Heroes"; but it remains for the artist 
to put upon canvass, lifelike and real, living characteristics 
of man. It was said of Oliver Cromwell, England's illustri- 
ous Commoner, who led the mediocrity of that nation 
triumphantly against Charles the First to the throne, that 
when asked by his artist that he be allowed to remove a 
defect of nature from the face of his picture, exclaimed, 
"Paint me as I am." So we, Mr. Speaker, have painted you 
as you are, without compliment to your beauty; and as you 
go forth from the arduous duties of this chair to com- 
moner walks of life, be assured we carry the reflex of your 
picture stamped in pleasant memory, with best wishes for 
your success. 

The Speaker in response said: 

Mr. Chairman, members of the legislature, and citizens 
generally: For me to say at this time that I am embar- 
rassed would be superfluous. These presents will long be 
remembered by me. I have never sought a position higher 
than I had before. I came here to do my duty as a man, and 
if I have not done my duty it was because I did not know 
how and not because I did not want to do it. I go from 
Lincoln with ill will toward none. I will never forget this 


legislature, and I am sure there are many here who will 
likewise not forget it. I will always remember you all. 
Once more, I thank you. 

In the matter of state politics, the three parties differed so 
little on many questions of prime importance that the strange 
fact is revealed by official documents, that both the retiring and 
incoming governors, in several important cases, recommended 
action upon the same identical questions, while the independ- 
ents responded in approving legislation. 


On the 13th day of January, 1891, leave was granted to John 
M. Thayer by the Supreme Court of the State of Nebraska, to 
file an information against James E. Boyd, to establish the re- 
lator's right to the office of governor of the State and to oust 
the respondent therefrom. 

These proceedings were commenced five days after Boyd was 
officially declared governor of Nebraska and sworn into office. 
The information set forth the following state of facts: the elec- 
tion of John M. Thayer as governor, in November, 1888, and his 
oath requiring him to hold office "until his successor should be 
elected and qualified"; the subsequent election of November, 
1890, in which 214,000 votes were cast, of which James E. Boyd 
received 71,331, J. H. Powers 70,187, and L. D. Richards 68,878; 
and the fact that James E. Boyd was not at the time of the 
election of 1890 a citizen of the United States, having been born 
in Ireland in 1834 and brought to the United States in 1844 by 
his father, who never went further in the matter of naturaliza- 
tion than to file a "declaration of intentions" (1851) prior to the 
son's becoming fifty-six years of age. The information contained 
many specifications of corroborating facts sustaining the leading 
propositions. The information closed with the demand that 
James E. Boyd be ousted from office and that John M. Thayer 
be declared entitled thereto, and that he be protected in office 
by an injunction restraining the said Boyd from interfering with 
the relator as governor of Nebraska. 


In answer, a motion to dismiss having failed, the respondent, 
James E. Boyd, admitted numerous allegations, put in issue 
everything tending to cloud his title to the office, on account of 
want of citizenship, and gave a full and accurate account of the 
acts of his father and himself as citizens and office holders, in 
the states of Ohio and Nebraska. But inasmuch as the facts 
will appear in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, they may be omitted in this connection. A demurrer to 
respondent's answer having been argued before the Supreme 
Court of Nebraska on March 12, 1891, an opinion was announced 
on the following May 5, ousting respondent, James E. Boyd, and 
reinstating the relator John M. Thayer. One judge of three dis- 

Thereupon, Governor Boyd, giving place to General Thayer, 
carried his case to the supreme court of the United States on a 
writ of error, where the Nebraska court was reversed and he 
was reinstated Feb. 1, 1892. In delivering the opinion of the 
United States court, Chief Justice Fuller gave first attention 
to the question of citizenship, and quoted the definition given it, 
by Chief Justice Waiter 

Citizens are the members of the political community to 
which they belong. They are the people who compose the 
community, and who in their associated capacity, have es- 
tablished or submitted themselves to the domination of * 
the government for the promotion of their general wel- 
fare, and the protection of their individual as well as their 
collective rights. 

The 14th amendment reads, "All persons born or nat- 
uralized in the United States and subject to the jurisdic- 
tion thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the 
state wherein they reside." The supreme court [of Ne- 
braska] decided that James E. Boyd had not been for two 
years next preceding his election a citizen of the United 
States, and hence that under the constitution of the State 
he was not eligible to the office of governor; and that he 
was not a citizen of the United States because during hia 
entire residence in the Territory from 1856 to 1867 and in 
the State from 1867 to November 4, 1890, the date upon 
which he was elected governor, he was a subject of Great 
Britain and Ireland. Arrival art; this conclusion involved 
the denial of a right or privilege under the constitution and 


laws of the United States, upon which the determination of 
whether Boyd was a citizen of the United States or not de- 
pended, and jurisdiction to review a decision against such a 
right or privilege necessarily exists in this tribunal. Mis- 
souri vs. Andriano, 138 U. S., 496. Each state has the power 
to prescribe the qualifications of its officers and the manner 
in which they shall be chosen, and the title to offices 
shall be tried, whether in the judicial courts or otherwise. 
But when the trial is in the courts, it is a "case," and if a 
defense is interposed under the constitution or laws of the 
United States, and is overruled, then, as in any other 
case decided by the highest courts of the State, this court 
had jurisdiction by writ of error. 

We do not understand the contention to involve directly 
a denial of the right of expatriation which the political de- 
partments of this government have always united in assert- 
ing (Lawrence's Wheaton, 925; Whart. Confl. Laws, sec. 5; 
8 Op. Att'y Gen., 130; 9 Op. Att'y Gen., 356; act of Congress 
of July 27, 1868, 15 Stat. 223; B. S., Sec. 1999), but that it 
is insisted that Boyd was an alien upon the ground that 
the disabilities of alienage had never been removed, be- 
cause he had never been naturalized. 

Naturalization is the act of adopting a foreigner, and 
clothing him with the privileges of a native citizen, and 
relator's position is that such adoption has neither been 
sought nor obtained by respondent under the acts of con- 
gress in that behalf. Congress in the exercise of the power 
to establish an uniform rule of naturalization has enacted 
general laws under which individuals may be naturalized, 
but the instances of collective naturalization by treaty 
or by statute are numerous. 

Illustrating the doctrine of collective naturalization, numer- 
ous references were made to Indian treaties and treaties with 
governments, and to organic acts when ready for admission as 

Thus, although Indians are not members of the political 
sovereignty, many classes of them have been made citizens 
in that way. 

As an instance of this process we give the following: 

By the act of March 3d, 1843, it was provided that on 
the completion of certain arrangements for the partition 
of the lands of the Stockbridge tribe of Indians, each 
and every one of them shall then be deemed to be and from 


that time forth are hereby declared to be citizens of the 
United States, to all intents and purposes, and shall be en- 
titled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of such 
citizens. By the 8th article of treaty with Mexico in 1848, 
those Mexicans who remained in the territory ceded, and 
who did not declare their intentions to remain Mexican citi- 
zens, were to be deemed citizens of the United States. 

Treaties with France for Louisiana and that with Spain for 
Florida were noted, and of the latter it was quoted : "This treaty 
is the law of the land, and admits the inhabitants of Florida to 
the enjoyment of the privileges, rights and immunities of the 
citizens of the United States." 

At the second session of the twenty-seventh congress, 
in the case of David Levy, who had been elected a dele- 
gate from the Territory of Florida, where it was alleged 
that he was not a citizen of the United States, it was held 
by the house committee on elections, "It matters nothing 
whether the naturalization be effected by act of congress, 
by treaty or admission of new states, the provision is alike 

By the annexation of Texas, under a joint resolution of 
congress, March 1, 1845, all the citizens of the former re- 
public became, without any express declaration, citizens of 
the United States. 

Speaking of the admission of states of Ohio, Indiana and Illi- 
nois, the chief justice said: 

The inhabitants, or people who were empowered to take 
part in the creation of these new political organisms and 
who continued to participate in the discharge of political 
functions, included others than those who were originally 
citizens of the United States. 

After numerous other citations illustrative of collective nat- 
uralization, the following general conclusions were announced: 

Congress having the power to deal with the people of 
the territories in view of the future states to be formed 
from them, there can be no doubt that in the admission of 
a state a collective naturalization may be effected in ac- 
cordance with the intention of congress and the people ap- 
plying for admission. Admission on an equal footing with 
the original states, in all respects whatever, involves the 


adoption as citizens of the United States of those whom 
congress makes members of the political community, and 
who are recognized as such in the formation of the new 
state with the consent of congress. 

The next question in the chain of investigation was, in the 
admission of Nebraska, who were made "members of the polit- 
ical community"; and from a thorough examination of the or- 
ganic act, the enabling act, the state constitution and laws, to- 
gether with the act of congress for the State's admission, it ap- 
peared that in addition to citizens of the United States, all others 
who had declared intentions to become such were made members 
of the political community. On this point the opinion of the 
court is most emphatic. 

It follows from these documents that congress regarded 
as citizens of the Territory all who were already citizens of 
the United States, and all who had declared their intention 
to become such. Indeed they are referred to in section 3 of 
the enabling act as citizens and by the organic law the 
right of suffrage and of holding office had been allowed to 
them. Those whose naturalization was incomplete were 
treated as in the same category as those who were already 
citizens of the United States. What the State had power 
to do after its admission is not the question. Before con- 
gress let go its hold upon the Territory, it was for congress 
to say who were members of the political community. So 
far as the original states w^re concerned, all those who 
were citizens of such states became upon the formation 
of the Union citizens of the United States, and upon the 
admission of Nebraska into the Union "upon an equal 
footing with the original states, in all respects whatso- 
ever" the citizens of what had been the Territory became 
citizens of the United States and of the State. 

As remarked by Mr. Chief Justice Waite in Minor v. Hap- 
persett: "Whoever, then, was one of the people of either 
of these states when the constitution of the United States 
was adopted^ became ipso facto a citizen, a member of the 
nation created by its adoption. He was one of the persons 
associating together to form the nation, and was, conse- 
quently, one of its original citizens. As to this there has 
never been a doubt. Dispute has arisen as to whether 
or not certain persons or certain classes of persons were 
part of the people at the time, but never as to their citi- 
zenship if they were." 


But it is argued that James E. Boyd had never declared 
his intention to become a citizen of the United States, al- 
though his father had, and that because, as alleged, his 
father had not completed his naturalization before the son 
attained his majority, the latter cannot be held to come 
within the purview of the acts of congress relating to the 
Territory and the admission of the State, so as to be en- 
Titled to claim to have been made a citizen thereby. 

The act of March 26, 1790, provided for the naturalization 
of aliens and then that "the children of such persons so 
naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under 
the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturaliza- 
tion, shall also be considered citizens of the United States." 

The third section of the act of January 29, 1795, provided 
"that children of persons duly naturalized, dwelling within 
the United States, and being under the ag'e of twenty-one 
years at the time of such naturalization, and the children 
of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and 
jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as 
citizens of the United States," etc. 

The fourth section of the act of April 14th, 1S02, carried 
into the revised statutes as section 2172, was: "That the 
children of persons duly naturalized under any of the laws 
of the United States, or who, previous to the passing of any 
law on that subject, by government of the United States, 
may have become citizens of any one of the said states, 
under the laws thereof, being under the age of twenty- 
one years at the time of their parents being so natural- 
ized or admitted to the rights of citizenship, shall if dwell- 
ing in the United States, be considered as citizens of the 
United States." In Campbell v. Gordon, 6 Cranch, 176, it 
was held that this section conferred the rights of citizen- 
ship upon the minor child of a parent who had been duly 
naturalized under the act of 1795, although the child did 
not become a resident of the United States until she came 
here after that, but before the act of 1802 was passed. The 
rule was to be a uniform rule, and we perceive no reason 
for limiting such a rule to the children of those who had 
been already naturalized. In our judgment the intention 
was that the act of 1802 should have a prospective opera- 

By the second section of the act of March 26, 1804, if any 
alien who had complied with the terms of the act should 
die without having completed his naturalization, his widow 
and children should be considered citizens upon taking- the 
oaths prescribed by law; and this was carried forward into 
section 2168 of the revised statutes. 


I'.\ i he first section of the act of May 26, 1824, carried 
forward into section :.!l(>7 of the revised statutes, any alien, 
being a minor, who shall have resided in the United States 
three years aexl preceding his arrival at majority and con- 
tinued to reside therein, may, upon reaching the age of 
twenty-one years and after a residence of five years, in- 
cluding the three years of minority, be admitted a citizen 
ni i he United States, without having- made during minority 
the declaration of intention required in the case of aliens. 

The statutory provisions leave much to be desired, and 
the attention of congress has been called to the condition 
of the laws in reference to election of nationality; and to 
i he desirability of a clear definition of the status of minor 
children of fathers who had declared their intention to be- 
come citizens, but had failed to perfect their naturaliza- 
tion; and of the status gained by those of full age by the 
declaration of intention. 

Clearly minors acquire an inchoate status by the declara- 
tion of intention on the part of their parents. If they at- 
tain their majority before the parent completes his natural- 
ization, then they have an election to repudiate the status 
which they find impressed upon them, and determine that 
they will accept allegiance to some foreign potentate or 
power rather than hold fast to the citizenship which the 
act of the parent has initiated for them. Ordinarily this 
election is determined by application on their own behalf, 
but it does not follow that an actual equivalent may not 
be accepted in lieu of a technical compliance. 

•Tames E. Boyd was born in Ireland, of Irish parents, in 
1834, and brought to this country in 1844 by his father, 
Joseph Boyd, who settled at Zanesville, Muskingum County, 
Ohio, and on March 5, 1S49, declared his intention to be- 
come a citizen of the United States. In 1855 James E. Jioyd, 
who had grown up in the full belief of his father's citizen- 
ship and had been assured by him that he had completed 
his naturalization by taking out his second papers in 1854, 
voted in Ohio as a citizen. In August, 1856, he removed to the 
Territory of Nebraska. In 185? he was elected and served 
as county clerk of Douglas County; in 1864 he was sworn 
into the military service and served as a soldier of the fed- 
eral government to defend the frontier from an attack of 
Indians; in 1866 he was elected a member of the Nebraska 
legislature and served one session; in 1871 he was elected 
a member of the convention to frame a state constitution 
and served as such; in 1875 he was again elected and served 
as a member of the convention which framed the present 
state constitution; in 1880 he was elected and acted as 


president of the city council of Omaha; in 1S81 and 1885, 
respectively, was elected mayor of that city, serving in all 
four years. From 1856 until the State was admitted, and 
from thence to this election, he had voted at every elec- 
tion, territorial, state, municipal and national. He had 
taken prior to the admission of the State the oath required 
by law in entering upon the duties of the offices he had 
rilled, and sworn to support the constitution of the United 
States and the provisions of the organic act under which 
the Territory of Nebraska was created. For over thirty 
years prior to his election as governor, he had enjoyed all 
the rights, privileges and immunities as a citizen of the 
United States and of the Territory and State, as being - in 
law, as he was in fact, such citizen. 

When he removed to Nebraska, that Territory was to a 
large extent a wilderness and he spent years of extreme 
hardship upon the frontier, one of the pioneers of the new 
settlement and one of the inhabitants who subsequently 
formed a government for themselves. The policy which 
sought the development of the country by inviting to par- 
ticipation in all the rights, privileges and immunities of cit- 
izenship those who would engage in the labors and endure 
the trials of frontier life, which so vastly contributed to 
the unexampled progress of the Nation, justifies the applica- 
tion of a liberal rather than a technical rule in the solution 
of the question before us. 

We are of the opinion that James E. Boyd is entitled to 
claim that if his father did not complete his naturalization 
before his son had attained majority, the son cannot be 
held to have lost the inchoate status he had acquired by the 
declaration of intention, and to have elected to become the 
subject of a foreign power, but, on the contrary, that the 
oaths he took and his action as a citizen entitled him to 
insist upon the benefit of his father's act, and placed him 
in the same category as his father would have occupied if 
he had emigrated to the Territory of Nebraska; that in 
short, he was within the intent and meaning, effect and 
operation of the acts of congress in relation to citizenship 
of the Territory, and was made a citizen of the United 
States and of the State of Nebraska under the organic and 
enabling acts and act of admission. 

(2) Another and shorter course of reasoning leads to the 
same conclusion: — 

The respondent, in his answer, after stating that his 
father, on March 5, 1849, when the respondent was about 
fourteen years of age, made before a court of the State of 


Ohio his declaration of intention to become a citizen of the 
United States, and averring "that his father for forty-two 
years last past has enjoyed and exercised all of the rights, 
immunities and privileges and discharged all the duties of a 
citizen of the United States and of the State of Ohio, and 
was in all respects and purposes a citizen of the United 
States and of the State of Ohio"; and particularly alleging 
his qualifications to be a citizen, and his acting as such for 
forty years, voting and holding office in the State, fur- 
ther distinctly alleges "on information and belief, that 
prior to October, 1854, his father did in fact complete his 
naturalization in strict accordance with the acts of con- 
gress known as the naturalization laws so as to admit 
and constitute him a full citizen of the United States there- 
under, he having exercised the rights of citizenship herein 
described, and at said time informed respondent that such 
was the fact." 

As the allegation last quoted sets up a right and priv- 
ilege claimed under the laws of the United States, this 
court must determine for itself the question of the suffi- 
ciency of this allegation, and is not concluded by the view 
taken of that question by the supreme court of Nebraska. 
In the words of Mr. Justice Miller, speaking for this court : 
"The question whether a plea sets up a sufficient defense, 
when the defense relied on arises under an act of congress, 
does present, and that necessarily, a question of federal 
law; for the question is and must be, Does the plea state 
facts which under the act of congress constitute a good 

It is true that naturalization under the acts of congress 
known as the naturalization laws can be completed before 
a court, and that the usual proof of naturalization is a 
copy of the record of the court. But it is equally true 
where no record of naturalization can be produced, evi- 
dence that a person having the requisite qualifications to 
become a citizen, did in fact and for a long - time vote and 
hold office and exercise rights belonging to citizens, is suf- 
ficient to warrant a jury in inferring that he has been duly 
naturalized as a citizen. And by the constitution of Ohio 
of 1851, none but white male citizens of the United States 
were entitled to vote or hold office. 

Such being the settled law, we can have no doubt that the 
fact that the respondent's father became a naturalized cit- 
izen of the United States before October, 1854, is well 
pleaded in the allegation in question, and is therefore ad- 
mitted by the demurrer. The allegation "that prior to Oc- 
tober, 1854, his father did in fact complete his naturaliza- 


tion in strict accordance with the act of congress known 
as the naturalization laws so as to admit and constitute 
him a, full citizen of the United States thereunder," neces- 
sarily implies that he had been duly naturalized before a 
court as required by those laws. Specific allegations of 
the time and place at which, and of the court before which, 
he was so naturalized, or setting forth a record of his nat- 
uralization, would have been superfluous, and, in view of 
the respondent's imperfect information, as manifest upon 
the face of the allegation, of a transaction taking place so 
long ago', hardly possible. 

Under this allegation, and the earlier allegations leading 
up to it, if traversed, a jury would have been warranted 
in inferring that the respondent's father became a citizen of 
the United States- before October, 1S54, and consequently 
that the respondent himself was likewise a citizen. 

For this reason, without regard to any other question 
argued in the case, the respondent was entitled to judg- 
ment upon the demurrer. 

Mr. Justice Harlan, Mr. Justice Gray and Mr. Justice 
Brown concur in the conclusion of the court upon the lat- 
ter course of reasoning only. 

All of the justices, except Mr. Justice Field, unite in hold- 
ing that this court had jurisdiction of the case, and that 
upon this record, James E. Boyd has been for two years 
next preceding his election to the office of governor, a citi- 
zen of the United States and of the State of Nebraska. 

The judgment of the supreme court of Nebraska is re- 
versed, and the cause remanded to be proceeded in accord- 
ing- to law and in conformity with this opinion. 

The message of Governor Boyd, closing his official term, dated 
January 13, 1893, disclosed thorough analysis of the situation, 
with evidence of practical reform. He enumerated as objects 
to be remedied, first: 

The last legislature greatly increased the appropriations, 
but made no provision for an increased levy to meet the 
additional expense. 

He estimated the deficiencv that would result therefrom, for 
two years, at $750,000. Second: 

That, while the law explicitly states that property should 
be listed for assessment at its actual value, it is notorious 
that this is not done. In fact it is safe to say that the pre- 


vailing average of values assessed is about one eighth of 
the actual value and there is. in consequence, a correspond- 
ing high rate of levy required for the raising - of the neces- 
sary revenue, the same being almost invariably tip to the 
limit established by Law. 


That as the constitutional amendment, for the investment 
of the permanent school fund, was undoubtedly defeated by 
the heedlessness of voters it should again be submitted for 
public approval. 

Fourth, inasmuch as a saving of f 40,000 had been secured in 
administering the affairs of a few of the state institutions, he 
argued the necessity of allowing governors to appoint all their 
superintendents, believing that "their running expenses could 
be reduced 30 per cent over amounts heretofore consumed.*' 
Speaking of an investigation which he had the honor to institute 
he said: 

The investigation which followed developed such a state 
of affairs as warranted an investigation by the grand jury, 
with the result that a number of criminal indictments were 
found, with which the courts have yet to deal. 

Commenting on the report of the commissioner of public lands 
and buildings relative to the school fund he said: 

The report further shows that there is now invested in 
United States bonds, state securities and registered county 
bonds belonging to the permanent school fund the sum of 
$2,525,872.35, and cash in the state treasury amounting to 
$490,39S.39, making a total of $3,016,270.74, an increase in the 
permanent school fund during the past two years of $270,- 
063.53. The common school lands now under lease produce 
an annual rental of $90,716.08. This with the annual inter- 
est and unpaid principal on said contracts, amounts to 
$239,170.11, which with the added interest amounting to 
$5,542.31 makes a fund of $335,428.50 to be annually appor- 
tioned to the school districts of the State in addition to 
the revenue derived from the investment of the permanent 
sehool fund in the slate treasury. 

This is a magnificent showing for the educational ad- 
vantages of our State and reflects great credit upon those 
founders of our State who in the early days conserved its 
school interests. 


Of the State University he uttered the following: 

The report of the Board of Regents of the State Univer- 
sity makes a particularly gratifying showing. The growth 
of The University during the last biennial period has been 
phenomenal. The attendance has more than doubled, the 
present enrollment being 957. This registration represents 
twenty states besides Nebraska and sixty-four Nebraska 
counties. The close connection of the University with the 
public school system is shown by the fact that 387 pupils 
come from hig-h schools and 315 from public schools. The 
advanced standing of the University and its strong hold 
upon all who are seeking the best facilities for higher edu- 
cation is manifested by the fact that 125 of the students 
came from other colleges and universities, largely within 
this State. That it is ministering- in a helpful way to the 
great mass of the people of the State and not to any pre- 
ferred class is shown by the fact that 243 of its students 
are children of farmers while the remainder are scattered 
with a large degree of equality among every occupation 
known in the State. 

He gave the following facts: 

I have the honor to report the granting by me of thirteen 
pardons, twelve commutations and five remittances of fines. 

The different sums of money received by me and paid into 
the State Treasury, as evidenced by receipts on file, amount 
to $14,166.80. 

Speaking of the Adjutant General's office he said: 

A demand was made for the return of this money ($1,- 
440.36) which demand was complied with. 

On the subject of the Nebraska Relief Commission: 

Relief was afforded in about ten counties which had suf- 
fered from the drouth of the season of 1890. Provisions were 
supplied to an average of S,000 families averaging five 
in a family, from four to six weeks. Great g - ood was done, 
and many discouraged settlers were thus enabled to hold 
their homes, and have since been rewarded with good crops. 

Though the last legislature had appropriated $25,000 for the 
National Guard. Gov. Boyd asked but $10,000 for an equal 
length of time, two years; and recommended that artillery and 
cavalry be mustered out. and "that the strength of the com 
panies be increased to conform with the new tactics, and that 
each company have a maximum of 100 enlisted men." 


Od the subject of extortions, he stated: 

I think there is a demand for the regulation of rates 
charged by the express companies within this State, to the 
end that charges unreasonably high may be reduced to a 
reasonable cost. There is no justification of the high rates 
:it present exacted by the express companies of this State. 

He had the following on insane convicts: 

I would further call your attention to the advisability of 
a law which would authorize the executive to parole con- 
victs who become insane in the prison for transfer to 
an asylum. Under existing conditions, to transfer an in- 
sane convict to an asylum, the governor must issue a par- 
don and an insanity board must then pass upon the unfor- 
tunate person. Should the prisoner, however, become cured 
of his insanity, he cannot be returned to the state prison, 
a defect in the law which should be remedied. 

Two important recommendations related to libraries and to 
the State Historical Society. 

I believe that the law relating to the establishment of 
public libraries should be amended so as to extend like priv- 
ileges to each school district in the State, as I think the 
establishment of free libraries in conjunction with the 
• public schools would be a wise and judicious thing. 

The State Historical Society calls upon the legislature for 
an increase of the amount appropriated allotted to it, ask- 
ing for $7,500 for the ensuing - two years. I believe this de- 
sirable and therefore recommend it. 

Recurring to his veto of a railroad freight bill in the session 
of 1892, he said: 

I am still of the opinion that a reasonable reduction in 
freight rates shoidd be made, but from year to year con- 
ditions vary so much that an inflexible rate on all schedule 
articles would be liable to work injustice, and, in my judg- 
ment should not be established by statute, except, perhaps, 
upon staple commodities, such as grain, live stock, coal, 
lumber, and like commodities in car-load lots. The adjust- 
ment of rates should, I believe, be left to a commission 
composed of men capable of dealing intelligently with the 
question and affording means to thoroughly inform them- 
selves as to the merits of each separate case brought be- 
fore them for adjustment. 


In view of the fact, that an appropriation of $50,000 would 
fail to present the state's capabilities and demands, in an ade- 
quate manner, in the World's Fair at Chicago, an equal addi- 
tional appropriation was recommended. 

The warehouse bill of last session, now a law, received hearty 
commendation, with such additions suggested as would give it 
greater efficiency. The new election law known as the Aus- 
tralian System, and the Michigan mode of choosing presidential 
electors, by congressional districts, came in for approval, on 
the basis of successful experiment, and needed only certain 
specific additions to bring them up to the governor's standard 
of democratic excellence. 

In his official term, having navigated a stormy sea, his ex- 
cellency hailed a quiet port with an honest concession: 

There are many agreeable things connected with the 
Governor's office, but at the same time, I may say, it is 
with a feeling- of pleasure and rejoicing that I relinquish 
unto my successor the duties, cares and responsibilities per- 
taining thereto. 




Governor Lorenzo Crounse delivered his inaugural January 
i:'». ix<>::, in which he congratulated the legislature upon State 
prosperity, as contrasted with the drouth of two years before; 
affirmed the fact of Nebraskans being- a plain, toiling people, 
averse to "extravagance which begets extravagance"; and ex- 
pressed the positive opinion that "the appropriations made by 
the last legislature" were f 750,000 too high, and that f 50,000 
more could be saved by the legislature dispensing with unneces- 
sary employees; that the management of state institutions 
should be so thorough that guilty officials, if in existence, 
should be exposed; that "corporations not only have no right to 
unjustly take millions, but they should not be allowed to take 
an unjust dollar from the people," and yet "their property rie- 
serves the same consideration as that accorded to any other," 
and while the Populist party had control of the legislature ami 
he would have preferred one in harmony with his own views, 
still it was their dutv "to advance the welfare and glorv of the 
State in which we all have such a just pride." 

It was at this session of the legislature that Judge William 
V. Allen, Populist, was elected United States Senator for a term 
of six years. 

Message, January 3, L895. 

Two years after the delivery of his inaugural, he was com- 
pelled to review a period of great financial depression and fail 
ure of crops in the western part of the State, causing him to re- 
vive i he relief commission of 1891, and giving an opportunity 
of thanking the people of Oregon and others for substantial aid. 
and the railroads for free transportation for donated supplies. 
Said he: "My idea is that the several counties should care for 
their own needy." He believed this would produce economy and 



honesty in distribution, and if the State would invest the per- 
manent school fund in relief bonds of counties, it would be 
safer and cheaper than outright appropriations; besides the 
State indebtedness had reached the constitutional limit. 


He declared the State's financial condition bad, inasmuch ;is 
there were outstanding warrants of two classes, equal to $608,- 
538, with only $28,503 with which to pay. He found the prop- 
erty of the State $1,275,685,514, assessed at less than 15 per cent 
of its value. He demanded better security for State funds de- 
posited with banks; and gave ample evidence of a painstaking 
aud intelligent care over the investments of the permanent 
school fund. By securing obedience to the law requiring officers 
of state institutions to make semi-annual reports of receipts 
and disbursements, he was able to see order evolved from con- 
fusion and economy made the rule rather than the exception. 
While the monthly demand for coal at the Lincoln Insane Hos- 
pital under Thayer's administration for two terms was 546 tons, 
and under Boyd's 233 tons for 'one term, it was only 181 tons 
during the term of Mr. Crounse. 

It was his good fortune to have administered his term on 
$'667,000 less of an appropriation than the allowance for the 
previous years. 

By allowing an officer of a. prominent institution to retain 
position irrespective of politics, he honored the doctrine of pro- 
motion for merit, and said in his message: "Sound legislation 
should not be avoided for fear of the loss of some partisan ad- 
vantage." In cases where malfeasance and embezzlement were 
suspected he promptly aided the officers of justice. In the mat- 
ter of $236,364 he ordered suit to be brought upon a retired 
treasurer's bond. He was able to show a decided decline in in- 
sane hospital expenses in these words: 

These three hospitals, located at Hastings, Lincoln, and 
Norfolk, tinder the superintendency of Drs. Johnston, Hay. 
and Little, respectively, have been ably managed, and I de- 
sire to testify to the hearty co-operation and sympathy of 


1 liese gentlemen, and the stewards under them, in niy ef- 
forts to reduce the expenses of these institutions to the 
minimum. A reference to the table furnished you will show 
that the annual per capita tax expense was reduced from 
$270.04 in the year 1892 to $152.65 in 1894 at Hastings, from 
$229.72 to $193.05 at Lincoln, and from $270.34 to $258.04 at 
Norfolk during the corresponding period — all excellent 
showings and about equally good considering the difference 
in population of each, which of course affects the result. 


In dealing with his immediate fellow-citizens and the outside 
world he was equally explicit and fair: 

The fact that nearly or quite half of the lands within the 
State lie west of the line of humidity sufficient to insure 
an unbroken succession of crops, renders irrigation neces- 
sary to protect the people against disaster in unusually dry 
years. The partial failure from drouth in 1890-92-93, and 
the almost total failure of 1894, has awakened the people 
to the necessity of providing for watering* the growing crops 
by artificial means. The soil of western Nebraska, where, 
to some extent, want now prevails, is as fertile as that of 
any portion of the United States, and in the years past has 
yielded abundant harvests in response to the efforts of in- 
dustrious settlers. 


Thoroughly impressed with the fact of the State's adaptation 
to the cultivation of the sugar beet and of the value of that great 
industry, he suggested a bounty where a specific price had been 
paid the cultivator of the beet, but which should stop as soon as 
the TTnited States government gave the sugar industry protec- 
tion. He declared the court decision "disappointing and un- 
satisfactory,- in admitting the constitutional power to legislate 
upon freight rates, and then nullifying the law for want of 
adaptability and the financial ability of the railroads, and sug- 
gested an appeal to the court of last resort. During his admin- 
is! ration he had specially received and turned into the state 
treasury #36,595. 

With a carefully prepared and condensed message, and in a 
spirit of kindness he made his official bow. 



In relinquishing an office which came to me in a manner 
highly complimentary I do so with the consciousness of hav- 
ing- tried to be of service to the people of the State who 
have so frequently honored me. How well I have succeeded 
they must decide. I shall carry with me pleasant recollec- 
tions of the kindly relations which have existed between 
myself and those with whom I have associated or had to 
deal with in an official way. 




Hon. Silas A. Holcomb was born in the state of Indiana in 
the year 1858, and is, consequently, 37 years of age, in this 1895. 
His early education was obtained in the common and Normal 
school before his 17th year, when he assumed the duty of 
teacher. During four years of teaching he was preparing for 
college; but his plans were seriously deranged on account of 
the death of his father in 1878. One year thereafter he arrived 
in Hamilton County, Nebraska, with his mother and younger 
brothers and sisters. Thoughtful, industrious and persevering, 
he accepted the first honorable opening for employment, work 
upon a farm, for one year, and in 1880 entered the law office of 
Thummel & Piatt, at Grand Island, and came to the bar in 1882. 
In 1883 he removed to Broken Bow, and in 1891 was elected 
Judge of the 12th Judicial District. 

Though a populist and allied with the silver democrats, he 
was elected Governor in 1894, while the State went republican 
by pluralities of from twelve to twenty-five thousand. 

The election of Silas A. Holcomb, of the Populist party, in 
1894, took place during the 40th year of our congressional rep- 
resentation (the limit of these sketches). He has been pre- 
ceded by Burt of South Carolina, Izard of Arkansas, Richmond 
of Illinois, and Black of Pennsylvania, all democratic terri- 
torial governors, and Saunders, republican, from Iowa; also by 
elected governors of the State, Butler, Furnas, Garber, Nance, 
Dawes, Thayer and Crounse, republicans, and Boyd, democrat. 
Governor Crounse, his immediate predecessor, had been inaug- 
urated by a populist legislature, while he was inducted into 
office by a republican one. In the great political upheaval of 
1894 the populists lost the legislature and gained the Governor, 
while the republicans, losing the Governor, gained the legisla- 
ture, and consequently the United States Senator, John M. 


Thurston. The canvass had been one of exceeding bitterness. 
Cleveland democrats had been charged with being allies of Wall 
Street bankers, bondholders and brokers; republicans with 
being in the same boat, and pandering to capital by high protec- 
tive tariffs; while populists were denounced by both of the old 
parties, as the destroyers of state credit, advocates of vagaries 
and extremists generally. Silly opponents fancied the inaug- 
ural of Governor Holcomb would give forth sulphur, be lurid in 
war paint and intimate scalpels and daggers. Populists, silver 
democrats and independent republicans, who had supported 
him, had no fears of the result and were delighted with the 
effort. Exceptional in taste, pure in style, and admirable in 
scope, dealing onty in living issues, the production carried its 
own vindication. Almost the first subject treated was 


I regret the necessity demanding - a careful consideration 
of the actual want of a great number of our people caused 
by the drouth of last year. Nature has bountifully blessed 
Nebraska. Her climate is unexcelled and her soil responds 
generously to the labor of the husbandman. For years 
prior to 1890 there was an uninterrupted era of good crops. 
Rapidly the domain of the rancher was encroached upon by 
the farmer. From various states came an energetic class 
of good citizens to make their homes in western Nebraska. 
Generally they were poor and depended upon the first sea- 
son's crop to supply themselves and families with all the 
immediate necessities of life, and until 1890 they never relied 
in vain. Then came one season when the accustomed rains 
failed to fall and hot winds swept over the country, carry- 
ing devastation to the fields of growing grain. Since then 
there have been alternating good and poor crops culminat- 
ing in the general drouth of 1894. 

While this drouth extended practically over the entire 
country, it was particularly disastrous in the .western por- 
tion of the State. Distressed by combats with previous par- 
tial crop failures, many farmers with only moderate means 
were wholly unprepared to meet the drouth. Many had 
been unable, on account of the short time of their residence, 
to store up grain sufficient to meet the exigencies of this 
extraordinary occasion. Some removed from the State, but 
the great majority, possessing the utmost faith in the coun- 
try, remained, determined to hold on to their possessions 


in the drouth-stricken district. If patience and long-suffer- 
ing make people deserving, the harvest of is<)5 should be 

Our great Slate is able to take care of its own poor and 
many of the county boards have, with commendable energy, 
provided work with compensation for the able-bodied needy 
in their own counties, but there is still necessity for quick 
relief to be extended to many portions of the State, so that 
all her people may be comfortable during the present win- 
ter and have an opportunity to seed and work their ground 
for the coming harvest. I know some claim the legislative 
body has no right to make the people donate to the needy 
and that such work should be left to individuals who are 
charitably inclined, but every government is in duty bound 
to provide at public expense the necessities to sustain life 
to its own needy inhabitants, and especially is this the case 
when the needy are without fault on their part. 


After dwelling upon the success of irrigation upon small 
scales, he broached the bold and comprehensive theory of Na- 
tional aid: 

The great water ways in the State and on its borders 
have heretofore in early spring run bankful of water. In 
the early summer they have joined with the waters of the 
Mississippi and Ohio, and many seasons have spread devas- 
tation over the fertile bottoms of Illinois. Missouri, Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana, while 
the vegetation of a portion of Nebraska was in many places 
withering and drying for want of water. The government 
has seen fit to expend millions of dollars in the construc- 
tion and maintenance of great levees to protect the prop- 
erty and lives of the people residing along the rivers in the 
south. Would it not conserve a double purpose and be pro- 
ductive of inestimable good to both sections if the gov- 
ernment would direct its efforts towards turning the waters 
of the western tributaries of the Mississippi Eiver into 
great reservoirs and thence into irrigation ditches for the 
development of sections of the country which now produce 
very little? 

A proper sj'stem of irrigation would doubtless make the 
fertile plains of Nebraska and similar states produce an 
inexhaustible supply of the sweetest vegetables and best 
cereals, and thus by spreading the water in the springtime 
would reclaim the great river bottoms of our southern 
neighbors and make them kings of corn and cotton coun- 




Instead of denouncing railroads per se, or urging government 
control, he declared: 

It is an erroneously conceived idea, and quite prevalent, 
that the interests of the railways and the people of the 
State are inimical. In fact the success of each lies princi- 
pally in the prosperity of the other. 

I am of the opinion that if a constitutional amendment 
creating a board of railroad commissioners, with ample 
power in the premises, could be submitted to the people 
it would receive their approval by an overwhelming major- 
ity, and I believe this vexed question could be nearer set- 
tled satisfactorily in that than in any other manner. 


But with temporary relief, and permanent aid for irrigation, 
with fair and ample facilities for transportation, he urged in- 
telligent economy and the freest exercise of the elective fran- 
chise as the great conservator of human freedom : 

It is your duty to sacredly guard this right to your fel- 
low electors and to reduce to the absolute minimum any 
infringement of it. Especially does it seem to me that the 
employees of the larger corporations should, by wise legis- 
lation, have such protecting care thrown about them that 
they may in the exercise of the right of suffrage act with- 
out any fear whatsoever from the displeasure of their em- 
ployers, whose political convictions may be different from 
their own. 

It is undenied that the Australian ballot law was a needed 
reform and has done much toward purifying elections in 
Nebraska, but I am confident it would grant a privilege 
without mischief if the law should be amended by you so 
that the elector can designate, where it is possible, his 
choice of candidates and at the same time express by his 
ballot his political convictions. 

I would respectfully suggest that each political party 
having a fair percentage of the vote in any district should 
have representation on the election board, and that not 
more than two judges should be selected from any one po- 
litical party. 

There can be no more important subject for the careful 

consideration of lawmakers than the protection of the 

purity of the ballot, and I would most respectfully call 

your attention to our existing election laws and invite a 



comparison -with those of other slates, to the end thai 
amendments may l>e made rendering bribery and undue in- 
fluence of the voter more nearly impossible and facilitating 
the more rapid and accurate counting of votes. 

If the legislature and he himself shall be so fortunate ns to 
measure up to his standard of duty, his message two years hence 
will have joyful acceptance. 

Although possessing various political beliefs we as legis- 
lators and executive should have but one great object in 
view — to discharge the duties incumbent upon us in a good 
businesslike manner for the common good of all. Each of 
you as a legislator has been elected as the advocate of the 
principles of some political party, but today you represent 
all the people of your district. In my capacity I shall 
earnestly endeavor to be the governor of all the people. 



The territory of Nebraska was organized by act of congress 
May 30, 1854. 

January 11, 1860, Nebraska passed an act to submit the ques- 
tion of railing a state constitutional convention which was de- 
feated at an election March 5, 1860. 

April 19, 1864, congress passed an act to enable Nebraska to 
submit a constitution to a vote of the people, with reference to 
admission as a state of the Union, and the legislature framed 
and submitted such an instrument, which was adopted at an 
election June 2, 1866. Thereupon a bill for her admission passed 
congress July 27, 1866, which was held by President Johnson and 
neither signed nor returned during the session. January 16, 
1867, another bill passed and was vetoed by the president and 
passed over his veto on the 9th day of February, 1867. 

The state constitution thus placed before congress provided 
for the exercise of suffrage by white male citizens only, but 
since emancipation had taken place and the 15th amendment 
was in process of adoption, an injunction was placed upon us, 
requiring that before admission the state legislature should 
agree, in behalf of the people, "that there shall be no denial of 
the elective franchise to any person, by reason of race or color," 
in the State of Nebraska. To secure this pledge, Governor 
Saunders convened the territorial legislature on the 20th day 
of February, 1867, when the fundamental condition was 
adopted, and President Johnson issued a proclamation March 
1, 1867, declaring Nebraska a state in the Union. 

There being but four days of the second session of the thirty- 



ninth congress remaining, the Hon. T. M. Marquett, having been 
elected as member of the expiring congress, took the oath of 
oflice as the first member of congress for the new state. Three 
days thereafter, on March 4, 1867, began the session of the 
fortieth congress, with Gen. J. M. Thayer and T. W. Tipton as 
senators, and the Hon. John Taffe member of the house of 
The following extract from the senate journal explains itself: 

Mr. Trumbull: I have the pleasure of presenting to the 
senate the credentials of the Hon. John M. Thayer and Hon. 
T. W. Tipton, elected senators from the new state of Ne- 
braska. I ask that their credentials be read and that they 
be sworn. 

The President pro tempore: The senators from Ne- 
braska will now come forward and be qualified. 

The senators elect were conducted to the desk of the 
president pro tempore by Mr. Sumner and Mr. Chandler, and 
the oaths prescribed by law having been administered to 
Mr. Thayer and Mr. Tipton, they took their seats in the 

Mr. Trumbull: I offer for adoption the following reso-' 

Resolved, That the senate proceed to ascertain the classes 
• in which the senators from the state of Nebraska shall be 
inserted in conformity with the resolution of the 14th of 
May, 1789, and as the constitution requires, and that the 
secretary put into the ballot box three papers of equal size, 
numbered 1, 2, 3. Each of the senators from Nebraska shall 
draw out one paper. The paper numbered 1, if drawn, shall 
entitle the senator to be placed in the class of senators 
whose terms of service will expire the 3rd day of March, 
1869; the paper numbered 2, if drawn, shall entitle the sen- 
ator to be placed in the class of senators whose terms of 
service will expire the 3rd day of March, 1871; and the 
paper numbered 3, if drawn, shall entitle the senator to 
be placed in the class of senators whose terms of service 
expire the 3d day of March, 1873. 

The resolution was adopted. 

Three papers were accordingly put into the ballot box; 
the senators advanced to the secretary's desk and each drew 
one paper. Mr. Thayer drew the paper numbered 2, and was 
placed in the class of senators whose terms will expire 
March 3d, 1871. 

Mr. Tipton drew the paper numbered 1, and was placed 
in the class of senators whose terms will expire March 3d, 


Now that I am a member of the senate, and propose some of 
my reminiscences for the amusement of the old, and instruction 
for the young, I shall adopt the pronoun "I," for directness and 

And I here pause upon the threshold and contemplate our sur- 

I find Massachusetts represented by Charles Sumner and 
Henry Wilson. The former well read in the law, polished in 
letters, enjoying a world-famed acquaintance, and distinguished 
as the champion of slave emancipation. The latter, the John 
the Baptist of the toiling masses and adorning the shoemak- 
er's bench with the senator's commission. While men could 
admire Sumner for his persistency and acquirements, they could 
love Wilson for his success and nobility of soul. 

As chairman of the committee on foreign relations Sumner 
could not be equaled, and the great success of the military com- 
mittee during the war of the rebellion was a feather in the cap 
of Henry Wilson. To the roll-call of Ohio responded Sherman 
and Wade, the former to direct the finance legislation, with an 
experience dating back to years in the house before his accession 
to the senate. "Old Ben Wade" seemed retiring from business, 
since there were no bombs to be cast into the slave-holders' 
camps, nor demands to be made for "rifles for two." With 
Trumbull, of Illinois, to preside over the judiciary committee, 
having as his associates Edmunds, Conkling, Hendricks, and 
Reverdy Johnson, the legal department approximated perfection. 

To the standard of Kentucky rallied James Guthrie and Gar- 
ret Davis; the first-named seventy-five years of age, a flat-boat 
trader to New Orleans, a college student, a lawyer, fifteen years 
a Kentucky legislator and railroad president, and secretary of 
the treasury for President Pierce. Mr. Davis was in his sixty- 
sixth year; a Kentucky gentleman of the old school, pure in life, 
the soul of honor, a worshiper of Henry Clay and the peculiar 
institution for the African's good and the safety of the Anglo- 
Saxon. If a stranger in the gallery asked an Indianian to point 
out the greatest man in the senate, the reply would be, if from 
a democrat, "Tom Hendricks, of course"; while the republican 


retorted, "When you muster your war governors we enter Oliver 
P. Morton." Rhode Island was represented by William Sprague 
and Henry B. Anthony; the former a governor at 30 years of 
age a senator at 32, and subsequently known as the husband 
of -Miss Kate ( 'base. 

The newer states were represented by comparatively new 
men, including reconstructed Tennessee. Among them Nye of 
Nevada was the general champion, the amusing orator, the 
bishop in Biblical quotations, and amidst the clinking of glasses, 
the festive inspirer. But as my intention is not to furnish a 
biography of the senate, I must pass over many of the fifty-four 
senators, equally worthy of mention, for during the war the 
states were admonished to place only on guard "the tried and 
the true." 

Never was a body of men better acquainted with a system of 
legislation, for under their scrutiny and moulding influences the 
legal superstructure had arisen. 

The war just ended had demanded a new currency and a sys- 
tem of revenue, and "war legislation" and constitutional modi- 
fications, and centralization of power and the fostering of the 
dominant political party by congressional enactments. Of the 
fifty-four senators seven had been elected as democrats and 
forty-seven as republicans; but of the latter many had been 
before the war democrats on the subjects of tariffs, and the 
construction of the constitution, and others had been whigs, 
agreeing with them as to the true doctrines of state rights. It 
was evident, therefore, that as soon as the government should 
be prepared to return to a peace basis again, unless the return 
was unanimously conceded, some republican methods would be 
repudiated and old cherished doctrines revived and made prom- 
inent. This defection had already commenced, and Dixon of 
Connecticut, Norton of Minnesota, and Doolittle of Wisconsin, 
were frequently joined with the opposition. 

But the most conspicuous opponent of radical republicanism. 
during the fortieth congress and subsequently, was Andrew 
Johnson, president of the United States. Mr. Johnson had been 
a lifelong democrat, a devoted union man, of a very combative 


nature, and of most uncompromising individuality. In his 
youth he had never gone to school, and yet he acquired a fair 
English education. At seventeen years of age we find him a 
tailor by occupation; at twenty the Mayor of Greenville, Tenn.; 
at twenty-seven in the legislature of the State, and at thirty- 
three in the State senate. He was in congress ten years, begin 
ning in 1843, and twice elected governor prior to 1857 in which 
year he was elected to the United States senate. 

Amidst the fury of the rebellion he left the senate to become 
military governor of his state, and received the nomination for 
vice-president in 1864. Mr. Lincoln had been assassinated April 
14, 1865, and Mr. Johnson sworn into office on the 15th of the 
same month, only six days from the date of General Lee's sur- 
render to General Grant. 

On the 26th of May, 1865, the last army of the confederacy 

V 7 7 t/ t/ 

having surrendered, and congress not being in session, Mr. 
Johnson began the work of reconstructing the rebel states, ac- 
cording to what was known as (his) "My Policy"; and which 
gave ex-rebels an opportunity of controlling completely the 
legal white element and freemen. Congress claimed the power 
over the whole territory subdued bv war, and stood ready to 
comply with the 4th article of the constitution which declares 
that "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this 
Union a republican form of government." 

When, therefore that body assembled in the next session, 
the struggle began in earnest between the president and con- 
gress. On the second of March, 1867, an act w r as passed for 
the "■reorganization of civil government in the ten rebel states," 
and another to "govern the tenure of civil office," both of which 
were promptly vetoed by the president, and as promptly passed 
over the veto. Thus stood the question on the day of our ad- 
mission to the senate. 

As General Thayer had made an honorable record in the army 
and had experience in Indian affairs, it was very proper that he 
should be assigned to duty on the military and Indian affairs 
committees, while he also secured an assignment to that of 




Thomas W. Tipton was born upon a farm, near Cadiz, Har- 
rison County, Ohio, August 5th, 1817. His father, Rev. William 
Tipton, was, during fifty years, minister of the M. E. Church. 
His parents were pioneers to Ohio, from Huntington County, 
Pennsylvania. He attended common school during winter- 
seasons, more or less interrupted by farm work until seventeen 
years of age. Subsequent to his eighteenth year he spent one 
year in a select school in Waynesburgh, Pa., two years in Alle- 
gheny College at Meadsville, and two years in Madison College 
at Uniontown, Fayette County, Pa., and graduated in Septem- 
ber, 1840, delivering the valedictory. 

Before graduation, as a representative of a college society, he 
utterly refused to appear in a joint debate, unless the faculty 
would allow him to argue against the "'utility and policy' , of 
the established devotion to the "dead languages," in the usual 
course of study. In this he displayed that trait of character, 
"the courage of his convictions,'' which stamped his personality 
during life and led him to change church relations and political 
associations in accordance with increased experience and 

Leaving college and returning to Ohio for a time, he engaged 
in teaching and reading law, being admitted to the bar in 1844. 


Though a Whig, he was not able to vote for Gen. Harrison in 
1840, having lost his residence in Ohio, while a student in 
Pennsylvania. In 1844 he delivered fifty speeches for Henry 
Clay; in 1848 seventy-five for Gen. Taylor; in 1852, resigned a 
clerkship in the General Land Office in Washington, D. C, and 
gave four months to the campaign for Gen. Scott; in 1856 ad- 


vocated Gen. Fremont as the first Republican candidate; in 
1860, being - in the Territory of Nebraska, could not vote for Mr. 
Lincoln, nor yet in 1864; in 1868 voted for General Grant; in 
1872 for Horace Greeley, and canvassed extensively in the 
states of Nebraska and North Carolina; in 1876 canvassed in 
New York and Indiana for Mr. Tilden, and in 1S80 in Illinois 
for Gen. Hancock, and in the same year was candidate for Gov- 
ernor of Nebraska and in 1884 worked and voted for Grover 

In 1845 Mr. Tipton, then 28 years of age, was elected to the 
Ohio House of Representatives. In 1860 was a member of the 
territorial council of Nebraska, which answered to the state 
senate. In 1866 was elected to the United States Senate by the 
legislature of Nebraska and re-elected in 1869. In 1885 was com- 
missioned Receiver of the United States Land Office at Bloom- 
ington, Nebraska. 

From the above it appears that he cast his presidential votes 
for three Whig, two Republican, and four Democratic candi- 
dates, Mr. Greeley being an independent Republican endorsed 
by the Democratic party. 

During his connection with the General Land Office in 1850, 
an opportunity for self-assertion and vindication drew from the 
young subordinate an emphatic refusal to answer questions rela- 
tive to the conduct of a fellow-clerk who had fallen under the 
displeasure of the Honorable Secretary of Interior. 

Hon. Secy, of Interior — Dear Sir: Before I could answer 
your interrogatories I would have to sink the dignity of 
the man in the subserviency of the slave. Kespectfully, 

T. W. Tiptox. 


At a time when slavery was making its last desperate stand 
against freedom in the territories, and blood was freely flowing 
in Kansas, he made an effort to lay aside his political armor 
and enter the M. E. pulpit. Being then in his 38th year, a public 
speaker of much experience, allowing no man to think or act in 
his stead, he soon found what an utter failure he must become 


in attempting to submit to the surveillance of presiding elders, 
or in approving the manipulating strategy of the episcopacy in 
ministerial assignments. 

Soon, therefore, wheu called on to explain the mode of ad- 
ministration over his charge, and requested to be silent on the 
current topic of the times, his answer to the former question 
was: "My official members do as they please and I sustain them, 
and I do as I please and they sustain me." And to the latter: 
"I could not promise that to my father in his shroud." To a 
congregation he said: "While I occupy this desk you will have a 
free preacher, and all my words shall be free speech, and when 
you can no longer endure it, you may install a slave in my stead, 
and substitute for the Bible the Books of Mormon or Koran of 

While between him and his people there was the most perfect 
accord, he deemed it prudent to decline orders, and requested 
the Conference to make up the record, "Discontinued at his 
own request," and at once adopted the democracy of the Con- 
gregational church government. 

Coming to Nebraska in 1858, and elected president of Brown 
ville College, an institution on paper, he organized a Congrega- 
tional society of sixteen members, out of new and old school 
Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists, 
which was dissolved by mutual consent when the war of 1861-4 
unsettled residences on the border. Eligible to a chaplaincy, he 
entered the 1st Nebraska Infantry in 18G1 and was mustered out 
of Veteran Cavalry in 1865, and on the same day was appointed 
United States Assessor of Internal Revenue by President 

During the war he was often in charge of subsistence and 
transportation for loyal refugees within the Union lines, and of 
applications for military emancipation of slaves. 

<>n the 13th of February, 1864, at Batesville, Arkansas, Mr. 
Tipton addressed the Free State Convention ordered by Mr. 

Chaplain Tipton was mustered out of service in July, 1865, 


and on the same dav commissioned bv President Johnson as 
Assessor of Internal Revenue for Nebraska. He championed 
the cause of immediate state organization in the political cam- 
paigns that followed, and when the state constitution was 
adopted and the legislature met in special session on July 4, 
1866, he and Gen. John M. Thayer were made the nominees of 
the republican party for the two United States senatorships. 
The journal of the joint session held on July 11, 1866, shows 
that a motion to proceed to election of U. S. senator for South 
Platte having carried, the first ballot resulted: T. W. Tipton, 29 
votes; J. Sterling Morton, 21 votes. A motion prevailing to 
proceed to election of U. S. senator for North Platte, the first 
ballot resulted: John M. Thayer. 29 votes; Andrew J. Poppleton, 
21 votes. SO Nebraska came into the Union with two republican 
United States senators. 


On the second day of the senate session, the following March, 
before the organization of the senate was completed, Mr. Sum- 
ner presented resolution No. 1. "Tendering the thanks of con- 
gress to George Peabody, with a gold medal, for having donated 
large sums of money to states and corporations for educational 
purposes." During the day he called it up and asked its immed- 
iate passage, which was objected to because it had not been to 
a committee, and there was no evidence before the senate on 
which the case was founded. 

On the fourth day of the session Mr. Sumner delivered a 
speech, highly eulogistic of the donor, who had been in Massa- 
chusetts, lived in Baltimore and made most of his immense 
fortune by banking iu London. In this he was followed by 
Johnson of Maryland, one of the ablest democrats of the nation. 

Mr. Tipton was well aware that an opinion obtained, that a 
new senator should "sit at the feet of (JamaHoU during a pro- 
bation and not dare to dissent from the great leaders on the or- 
dinary (juestions; but in the case before the body he saw plainly 
a tendency to discriminate between private citizens, and to be- 


stow honors and medals where wealth was able to purchase, and 
he further believed that no jurisdiction should be taken by con- 
gress over any subject that was not national; and that the 
money from the treasury should never be taken and bestowed 
as gifts upon favorites. Up to this time he had not yet voted, 
and much as he desired to observe a modest silence, and acquire 
a knowledge of rules and precedents before appearing before 
his superiors in parliamentary knowledge and legislative ex- 
perience, yet he could not consent to cast a silent vote and sub- 
mit to an unfair criticism. Besides, Nebraska had not yet 
spoken in that august presence, and it was of the first moment 
that her representative should not place her in a false position. 


His impromptu speech was as follows: 

Mb. Tipton: It is not astonishing-, Mr. President, that I 
should be solicitous in regard to the manner in which I 
should cast my first vote in this body. I acknowledge that 
solicitude on this occasion, and regret exceedingly that I 
feel impelled to say anything on this question at this time. 
Before I could vote for this resolution I should desire to 
understand most emphatically the position that was occu- 
pied by the donor during the time of our recent struggle 
for national existence. I am inclined, however, because of 
the source whence this resolution comes, to infer that all 
was right in that behalf; but I ask for no enlightenment on 
that point, because I am against the adoption of this reso- 
1 ion, not on account of any consultation with any member 
of this body, but from principle. 

If I need any justification for my course on this occasion 
I desire it to be understood that, if I am the representative 
of any body on the floor of this senate, I am the representa- 
tive of an humble constituency; with such a constituency 
on the frontier I have been and shall hereafter be identi- 
fied; and when I know positively that I have constituents of 
as pure intentions in behalf of education and science and 
art as the grantor of this charity can be, and when I re- 
member that some of them have done all that men could 
do in a private capacity, and when I see this gentleman 
making a munificent grant in a private capacity, I can not 
consent to shower on him the thanks and honors of the 
senate when T am not able to vote to the humblest of my 


constituency who have done equally well, having done what 
they were able to do; and he has done no more. 

I hope now that on that subject I am understood, and will 
be understood hereafter in all my future actions as a mem- 
ber of this body. So far as the munificence of this grant, 
as regards the amount is concerned, I concede it. Other 
wealthy men of our country have granted by thousands and 
tens of thousands, for educational purposes; and they have 
received the thanks of the corporations, and the thanks of 
states, and they will receive them again. If this grant had 
been for educational purposes in Nebraska I should not 
have come for a national endorsement for the grantor, but 
should have secured that from the recipients of the charity, 
from my own constituency in Nebraska. 

-:«■ * * * * * -x- 

If this were a national gift, if it stood on the basis of the 
Smithsonian grant, I would, as a matter of course, be will- 
ing to vote the thanks of congress of the United States; 
but it stands on no national position whatever and there- 
fore that can not be claimed for it. In making this grant 
the donor, I understand, declared that he did it as a duty. 
If it is done as a Christian charity, as a Christian duty, he 
has his reward hereafter, and the consciousness of it here, 
and I am not disposed to doubt the ability of the Almighty 
to reward him to the utmost, and I do not suppose it is nec- 
essary for me to help the Deity out by granting a gold 
medal here. I prefer to leave him to his golden reward 
hereafter. I think he also says he regards it as a privilege 
to make this gift. Sir, it is a privilege, a privilege that few 
men will ever have; and the benefits of the privilege are 
great— distinction among men here, honor after death, for 
having granted so much for so great a charity. 
• With this view of the question, impelled to it from a 
sense of duty, I cannot and will not make any distinction 
between the giver of a dollar and the giver of a thousand, 
and the giver of a million, when each in his sphere and in 
his capacity has done all that it was possible for him to do 
in behalf of education, science and general literature. 

On the final passage of the resolution the only votes in the 
negative were those of Grimes of Iowa and Tipton of Nebraska. 


Eight days from this date Mr. Tipton showed his willingness 
to stand by a democratic utterance and as promptly to retort a 
republican sarcasm, while he forecast radical sentiments intensi- 


tied by four years with the army. The question before the senate 
was, whether more than a majority of the registered votes 
should be required to readmit a rebel state. 

Mi:. Tipton: I have this to say: that the more this ques- 
tion is discussed the more I feel an interest in it, and the 
senator from Indiana (Mr. Hendricks) spoke the demo- 
cratic truth when he said that such a rule as that now pro- 
posed, so subversive of the principles of democracy, would 
have kept a recent state out of the Union. That is true 
You have never required it of the people of a territory. 
I represent a people who were permitted to come here, in 
case they could show a majority in favor of a state organ- 
ization, and I will not therefore under any circumstances 
cast a vote by which some other constituency shall not 
come here by a single one of a majority. This is my democ- 
racy on a question of this kind. 

The conclusion of his remarks was as follows: 

Sii-. we went to a loyal minority when we went with our 
arms in our hands to release them; and I propose to go to 
that loyal minority now, and a majority perhaps that would 
be willing to give as good attention to the poor remarks I 
should make as many of the senators here just at this pres- 
ent speaking. 

I go to that loyal minority, and I say a majority of them, 
so help me God, shall control the destiny of the south, and 
the destiny of the rebels of the south. For four years we 
have done without the representatives of disloyalty in this 
chamber; for four years more we can do without the dis- 
loyal in organizing states at the south; and loyal white men 
and loyal black men will come to our aid in this matter. • 

I am not willing that the disloyal, by any classification 
or any mathematical calculation, shall be permitted to stay 
at home and assist in defeating the loyal men of the north. 
This may be called spurious morality and philanthropy. I 
would suggest for the benefit of the senator from the state 
of New York (Mr. Conkling) that when he goes on a ped- 
dling mission with his "fine-toothed combs" he may find as 
much necessity for them in the purlieus of the city of New 
York as in the humblest freedman's cabin in the whole 
state of South Carolina. 


The senate convened on the 3rd of July, 1807, having' ad- 
journed from March 30, in order to supervise the actions of the 


president on the question of reconstruction of the states lately 
in rebellion. At that time an Indian war was desolating wes- 
tern Kansas and Nebraska, and a portion of the senators had 
as much denunciation for our frontier settlers as for the mur- 
derous savages. But others than senators from the West ad- 
mitted the importance of the crisis. Still there was an indis- 
position to act in our behalf, and a resolution was passed in 
caucus and offered in open senate to exclude action on all sub- 
jects at that session, excepting reconstruction. The omnipo- 
tence of the caucus was asserted b\ one senator as follows: "No 
senator can be superior to the decrees of caucus," and it was 
charged that men of honor must abide its decisions. To this 
replied Mr. Tipton: 

Before the vote is taken, at whatever expense to myself 
in the opinion of the senate, I have a word to say. The sen- 
ator from Maine asserts, as I understand, that he is warned 
in regard to future actions with men who differ in regard 
to what is honorable on a question of this kind. I was a 
member of that caucus. When my colleague in that caucus 
suggested that if we passed the resolution we might be 
precluded, possibly, from doing something, if an oppor- 
tunity should offer, in behalf of our suffering frontier citi- 
zens and those of Kansas, I, taking that view of the ques- 
tion, from that moment voted against the resolution. 

After voting against it in the caucus, I came into the sen- 
ate. The senator from Kansas notifies the senate by a 
proclamation from the governor that the glorious little 
state calls upon her citizens, who cannot give amine pro- 
tection to her own citizens, to go and help the government 
protect the United States property — the Union Pacific Rail- 
road. Seeing the conditions of things there in a more pre- 
carious light than I did see them day before yesterday in 
the caucuses, I felt that under these circumstances I would 
not be true to my constituents and my state were I to al- 
low the behests of any body, any organization, to cause me 
now to step aside from Kansas and her troubles, and Ne- 
braska and her troubles, and say we will not entertain a 
proposition in your behalf. I should not be a man of honor 
if I permitted myself to act thus, and I say no senator here 
could claim that he acted honorably if he had gone back 
upon his constituency under these circumstances. I am 
very free to hear from any senator that he disapproves of 
my course, and says I am not bound by as high a principle 


of honor as ever animated his breast, when with that ad- 
ditional notification from Kansas, I say here, neither caucus, 
nor senator, nor power, shall prevent me from introducing 
;i measure, if necessary, for my own state. Charged dis- 
tinctly with that, I part hands with any man, and all men, 

His colleague, Gen. Thayer, being on the Indian committee, 
was amply able to present the question of relief with zeal and 
intelligence, and favored a removal of the predatory savages 
beyond the limits of Union Pacific Railroads; and the organiza- 
tion of frontier settlers into a military force for local protec- 
tion. Exasperated with the sentiments of the East and in- 
sulted with the assumptions of the caucus, Mr. Tipton was in 
no humor to mince matters, and hence found the outside limit 
of parliamentary etiquette in the subjoined remarks: 


I have all faith in the secretary of war, and all faith 
in the chairman of the military committee of the senate, 
as to their good and kind intentions toward us on the 
frontier; and yet I do not believe that our present system 
of warfare is worth anything; and I mean more than is 
couched in that word "anything" when I utter it. It has 
done nothing for us on the frontier. For the last three 
years our people have been slaughtered every day, and this 
day, as it is now about the hour of half past one o'clock, 
undoubtedly has had its victims also. 

If I could wield the legislative power of this Nation to-day, 
I would so remodel the whole system, that I would make 
it a high crime for a regular army officer to cross the Mis- 
souri River for the next twelve months; I would offer a 
premium for savage scalps; I would enlist the men of the 
frontier; I would appoint as commanders of that army the 
men who understand Indian warfare, if it is to be under- 
stood at all. 

Our present system is inefficient. We never have success- 
fully combatted with savages. We may worry them out by 
the power of this Nation; but we want an experiment at 
relief of some kind. And now leaving the balance that I 
ought not to say, for probably I should not have said what 
1 have said in this latitude, — it is true, however, — I yield 
to my colleague. 



Immediately the chairman of the military committee entered 
his protest against the sentiments of the senator from Nebraska, 
as in his opinion equally as far from Christian civilization as say- 
age warfare. To which Mr. Tipton replied: 

The senator from Massachusetts understands me in this: 
that so far as tribes will be bound by treaty stipulations, 
we will act in the utmost fairness with them. The mur- 
derous, tribes now plundering - and desolating - our frontier 
will be bound by no treaty. They have no faith to keep 
with us. They cannot be intimidated but by an exhibition 
of power. You cannot speak to them about the inhumani- 
ties of life. You cannot utter to them one single word 
of Christian civilization. All is powerless but an exhibition 
of power on the part of the government. Until you can 
cause them to fear and tremble in your presence; until 
They understand that you will deal with them just as they 
are dealing with you, you cannot save the lives of your 
women and children; and when it comes to that I would 
authorize war upon these savages that cannot be ap- 
proached. I would save the lives of our Christian women. 
God help the country, and the reputation of the country, 
when a senator is to stand in his place here and dare not 
be permitted to talk of the massacres, and worse than mas- 
sacres of the women of his constituency, and not also to 
talk about premiums on savage Indian scalps. 

I trust I understand the amenities of Christian society. 
I trust I understand something - of Christian civilization. 
Y\ ny, certainly the light of Massachusetts has visited us 
long since upon that subject, and we are trying to practice 
puritanism as best we may be able to apply it to practice 
even in the very far West. 

Our people are in their cabins today; they are in their 
dirt-covered hovels today, and they are looking from their 
loop-holes for some relief, and therefore I stand here 
proudly to vindicate the doctrine, with regard to those 
Indians who can hold no faith with you — premiums, any- 
thing, paid in gold for those savage scalps. 

Such was the condition of affairs in the West in June, 1867, 

that General Sherman said, writing from Fort McPherson, Neb., 

to the secretary of war: "Fifty hostile Indians will checkmate 

three thousand soldiers." He said in an order: "We must act 



with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their ex- 
termination." The result in congress was a commission ordered 
to attempt a treaty. 

In the foregoing and a few other casual utterances counter to 
popular prejudice, and discarding mere conciliatory policy, ap- 
peared the senator from Nebraska, upon the skirmish line of 
parliamentary discussion, at the end of the first session of the 
40th Congress. 

This session was the most peculiar of any that had ever pre- 
ceded it, inasmuch as it kept in perpetual session, by an adjourn- 
ment from time to time. Meeting on March 4th, 1867, and on the 
30th of the same month adjourning until the 3rd of July and on 
the 20th of July adjourning to the 21st of November and con- 
tinuing to December 2nd, being the first day of the second 
session. The object being that no harm should come to the re- 
public during a recess, from aggressive acts of President John- 

president Johnson's mode of reconstruction. 

The basis on which he attempted to reorganize the rebel stales 
provided that the persons taking part therein should have taken 
an oath of allegiance to the United States, according to his 
amnesty proclamation, and were qualified as voters according to 
the laws of the state before secession. And the convention or 
legislature should have power to "prescribe qualifications of 
electors and the eligibility of persons to hold office." 

This left it possible for the rebels then in power to perpetuate 
i liemselves in office, through the formality of a convention and a 
new election, unless they were ruled out by the 14th amendment 
to the Constitution of the United States. Once in power again, 
the Freedinen were at their mercy, as to the elective franchise. 
As a result of this mode of reconstruction, senators and repre- 
sentatives for Congress were mostly taken from a class of men 
who had held office under the Confederacy; from those also who 
had abandoned seats in the Congress of the United States to levy 
war against the government, while legislative and state officers 


were mostly taken from the ranks of the army of the Confed- 

Persons of that class could not take the test oath, and hence 
could not have been admitted at Washington, even if the recon 
structed states were approved. Having appointed governors at 
his pleasure, and settled the amounts of their salaries, and hav- 
ing declared peace and recognized states, he went so far as to 
assign Agricultural College scrip to North Carolina, assuming 
functions belonging to Congress. And yet the President had 
held very different views on rebels coming to the front in recon- 
struction. At Nashville, Tennessee, June 9, 1864, he said: 

I say that traitors should take a back seat in the work 
of reconstruction. If there be but 5,000 men in Tennessee 
loyal to the constitution, these true and faithful men should 
control the work of reorganization and reformation, exclu- 
sively. If a state is to be nursed until it again gets strength 
it must be nursed by its friends, and not smothered by its 

So marked had been his radicalism, fears were entertained, on 
his accession to power, that he would be impracticably severe, 
and being from the south, the men lately in arms had much to 
fear; but when he began to champion a course so much more to 
their taste than the plan of Congress, their spirits revived. ' 


On this question Senator Tipton used the following language 
in a speech delivered in Congress in February, 1868: 

I do not wish to be uncharitable, and am therefore in- 
clined to pause just here, and dwell upon the fact that, 
if left alone, the penitent rebel and the unrepentant 
would neither of them be asking or desiring to-day the 
privilege of voting. On the day of surrender they would 
have said: "We entered the war against you, determined to 
destroy the American Union; we hated the idea of nation- 
ality; we cherished the fancy of state sovereignty; we 
adored the institution of slavery as a system of power and 
wealth, a concomitant of aristocracy, and the proper corner- 
stone of civil government. The appeal of our ^Revolutionary 
fathers in behalf of universal freedom were all discarded; 
and when men of the North were exiled from the South, 


or warned not to enter it with hopes of hospitality, if they 
came cherishing - the doctrines of Jefferson on slavery, we 
yielded a hearty approval. We turned our pulpits against 
the doctrine of universal brotherhood; we expurgated our 
literature; Ave put our orators and poets under bonds to be 
true to our prejudices and desires; and during all these four 
years of war by assassination, by conscription, by starva- 
tion in prison pens and dungeons, we have bankrupted earth 
for expedients of destruction. Have mercy upon us and 
allow us to retire to obscurity. If life and property are 
granted, we will ever remember your great and astounding 
magnanimity; but with all our national mistakes, and 
national sins, do not expect us to aid, and cherish, and 
build up through the ballot box, the late object of our 
vengeance. With the blood of the avenging angel on our 
door-posts, we cannot, in less than a generation, forget this 
calamity. Perhaps we have loved our states too blmdly: 
but without doubt we have hated the government of the 
Union with a perfect hatred. You have administered your 
government without us; your ways are not as ours; besides 
we had sworn each to the other 'to die in the last ditch,' 
rather than live again under the hated stars and stripes; 
and now your principles are to triumph, which we do not 
understand. But if they redeem our desolate land; if they 
build up our ruined cities; if they bring commerce to our 
silent harbors; if they again erect the school and college; 
our children may some day yield that obedience which we 
refused. If there are any among us who can embrace your 
constitution; if any who can spend their time and means 
in sustaining your Union party by swearing truthfully that 
they 'never gave aid or comfort to the enemies of the coun- 
try,' in your discretion let them do so." 

That these men so lately in arms should be placed on 
probation until congress had approved of loyal state gov- 
ernments has been advocated by Johnson himself. He has 
said, "My judgment is that he (the rebel) should be sub- 
jected to a severe ordeal before he is restored to citizen- 

A fellow who takes the oath merely to save his property, 
and denies the validity of the oath, is a perjured man and 
not to be trusted. Before these repenting rebels can be 
trusted let them bring forth the fruits of repentance. 


The congressional plan provided for military supervision dur- 
ing the process of reconstruction, and for a constitutional con- 


vention of delegates, elected by the ''male citizens 21 years old 
and upward of whatever race, color or previous condition" ; and 
the constitution to affirm the same of the future voters, and the 
legislature to adopt the 14th amendment to the United States 
constitution. This plan discarded alike the state organizations 
that were overthrown, as well as those established under the 
Confederacy, allowing the military power to use them for pro- 
visional purposes only. The oath of office required the voter to 
swear that he had not been disfranchised for participation in 
any rebellion or civil war against the United States. 

Mr. Tipton's fidelity to the congressional mode had been amply 
tested before his appearance as a senator, since he had been a 
federal office-holder, and learning that he would not be recom- 
mended to the senate for confirmation unless he adopted the 
policy of the president, he declined to do so, preferring to go out 
of office rather than give up his political convictions. 


A few days before the House of Representatives appeared be 
fore the bar of the senate with articles of impeachment against 
the President, Mr. Tipton occupied the senate with a long and 
carefully prepared speech, covering the whole ground of debate, 
concluding as follows : 

Mr. President: The only path of duty for us to travel is 
that marked out by the lig'ht of Christian civilization. We 
are pledged by the spirit of our institutions; by Pilgrim 
vows and Pilgrim faith, by interpositions of Providence 
from the hour of the Mayflower peril to the fall of trea- 
son's banner, to do. by our legislation, all and everything 
demanded by the strictest rules of Heaven's justice. When 
we attempted to evade a settlement of the slavery question 
after the American Eevolution of 1776, we gradually com- 
menced to illustrate the proposition, "Whom the gods 
would destroy, they first make mad." When we denied its 
inherent criminality and turned the Bible precepts aside, and 
with the emblems of bread and wine enticed Christ's humble 
poor to the table of communion in order that the soul 
driver might, with greater accuracy, cast the lariat over the 
head of his property, we were invoking Heaven's vengeance 
and mortgaging the blood of a whole generation. When 


we decided to try the virtue of extorted tears, and sweat 
arid blood, as a fertilizer for the virgin soil of the mighty 
West, and sought to consecrate Kansas and Nebraska to 
the dominion of the bloodhound and the lash, we were only 
preparing an amphitheatre for the greatest moral and 
physical contest humanity ever witnessed or valor ever 

Retribution is written all over the later pages of our 
national history. And now comes the era of compensation: 
Liberty proclaimed through all the land: the swarthy sons 
of Africa pleading from the platform, the forum, and 
rostrum the cause of universal rights, and quoting in the 
ears of defunct aristocracy the severely true precepts of a 
long abused, but now triumphant democracj r . By all the 
concentrated rays of history written in blood, I see one 
only path of safety for my native land, and that is universal 

You may sail whatever sea you choose, and shift your sails 
to any point you please, and whether in the calm or storm 
you reach the goal, there can never be peace or safety only 
in the haven of universal justice. 

We may tamper with conscience and make concessions 
to the wounded spirit of a once domineering - people and lie 
down to dream of Lazarus in Abraham's bosom and Dives 
in hell; we may shut our eyes and close our ears, steel our 
hearts and hush our voices, and then look out again upon 
a carnival of death, hearken to an ocean tone of woe, and 
die despised, traitors to country, God and man. 

But if we seek only justice, then our work shall live and 
grow and swell into more magnificent proportions as future 
eras rise, and culminate in the perfection of truth and 


At the impeachment of President Johnson, about the 22d of 
February, 1868, the excitement at Washington City was at fever 
heat. On the 21st of the month the president of the United 
States had ordered the removal from office of Edwin M. Stanton. 
Secretary of War, in direct and deliberate violation of the law, 
and on the same day a resolution for his impeachment was in- 
troduced in the house of representatives, while on the 22d the 
president had sent for General Emory to learn what change had 
been recently made among the troops about the city; and had 
informed the general that the law requiring him to receive the 


President's military order through the general of the army was 
unconstitutional and in violation of Emory's commission. The 
impression obtained that the army was to be used to oust Stan- 
ton and defy congress during the time intervening between the 
above dates and the 30th of March following. An order for the 
president's impeachment had passed the house — the house had 
appeared at the bar of the senate and delivered articles of im- 
peachment, and filed a replication to the answer made by the 
president's attorneys. Among the managers of the House were 
such distinguished members as Bingham of Ohio, Gov. Boutwell 
of Massachusetts, Generals Butler and Logan and Thad. Stevens 
of Pennsylvania. 

The president was defended by Ex-Attorney General Stan- 
berry of Kentucky, Judge Curtis of Boston, Nelson of Tennessee, 
Evarts of New York and Groesbeck of Cincinnati. The array of 
talent could not be easily duplicated in the country. In the 
examination of witnesses Butler and Evarts took a leading part, 
and their intellectual struggles for the mastery and advantage 
in excluding and introducing testimony were highly exciting. 
General Butler's opening argument, prior to the introduction of 
testimony, occupied three hours and was a concise history of 
English and American impeachments, including laws and pre- 
cedents, and constitutional provisions, together with an analysis 
of the articles before the court and with a statement of the 
forthcoming testimony. 

The senate organized as a court was presided over by Chief 
Justice Chase of the supreme court of the United States. In his 
opening speech Manager Butler said: "Now, for the first time in 
the history of the world, has a nation brought before the highest 
tribunal its chief executive magistrate for trial and possible 
deposition from office, upon charges of maladministration of the 
powers and duties of that office." 

The articles of impeachment were eleven in number. The first 
one charged the removal of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, 
in deliberate violation of law. 

The second and third set forth the illegal appointment of hi* 
successor, "ad interim," there being no vacancy. 


Numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7, charged a conspiracy to "intimidate by 
threats" and "to seize the war department by force." 

A iticle 8 charged an intent to get control of the disbursements 
of the monej's of the war department; and the 9th that an at- 
tempt was made to influence General Emory, commander of the 
department at Washington, to receive military orders, other- 
wise than through the general of the army (Grant) as the law 
required. The 10th and 11th articles charged the president 
with "degrading his high office" by abusive speeches, denying 
the authority of congress and attempting to render null and 
void its legislation. 

In answer, — as to the removal of the secretary of war, the 
president admitted the fact, but averred that he believed the act 
protecting the secretary from removal, unless the senate con- 
sented, was unconstitutional, and he hoped to carry the case to 
the supreme court. He interposed a general denial to 3, 4, 5, 0. 7 
and 8, involving threats, conspiracy, etc. As to article 9 he ad- 
mitted that he tried to satisfy General Emory that the law and 
order in question were unconstitutional and not in accordance 
with the general's commission. As to the 10th and 11th articles, 
he denied that he had done or said anything "indecent or unbe- 
coming," or that he had been guilty of a "high misdemeanor" in 
office, having .only exercised an allowable "freedom of opinion 
and speech." 

The law in question limited the terms of the cabinet officers 
to the terms of the presidents by whom they were appointed, and 
for one month thereafter, subject to removal, by and with the 
advice and consent of the senate. It further provided that for 
special cause during the recess of congress, such officer might be 
suspended and the case reported to congress within twenty days 
after its assembly, and if the senate refused its concurrence, the 
officer was returned to duty. "Every removal, appointment or 
employment" made in violation of the act, was made a criminal 
offense involving a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars, or 
five years' imprisonment, or both, at the discretion of the court. 

It was argued by the counsel for the president that Mr. Stan- 


ton was not the appointee of Andrew Johnson but of Mr. Lin- 
coln, but Johnson had adopted the officers of Mr. Lincoln's cab- 
inet, and when he resolved to get clear of Mr. Stanton, he treated 
him as his own appointment, by suspending him and reporting to 
congress within the legal twenty days, having placed General 
Grant temporarily in charge. As soon, however, as the senate 
refused to concur in the removal General Grant vacated and Mr. 
Stanton took possession again of the war department. Subse- 
quently, the senate being in session, February 21, 1868, the presi- 
dent notified the secretary of war, "you are hereby removed." 
but as Mr. Stanton had been returned to duty by the action of 
the senate, he refused to vacate, unless the senate concurred in 
his removal, which would not be likely to occur. 

At the same time Adjutant General Thomas had been ap- 
pointed secretary of war "ad interim," and demanded possession 
of the office and made threats of force; but an order to use the 
army to oust Stanton, would have to pass through General 
Grant's hands; and none was issued by the president, for he 
denounced Grant for having already shown his sympathy for 
Stanton and congress, by promptly retiring from the war depart 
ment in favor of the secretary. General Thomas having threat- 
ened to kick Stanton out — to "break down the doors and call on 
Grant for troops," he was promptly arrested and put under 
bonds to keep the peace, and when he complained that the arrest 
was made before breakfast time, Mr. Stanton furnished the 
whiskey and they drank together. 

As General Grant was charged with the duty of supervising 
military reconstruction, he stated his own position to the presi- 
dent, in the following language: "I had fears the president 
would, on the removal of Mr. Stanton, appoint some one in his 
place who would embarrass the army in carrying out the recon- 
struction acts. It was to prevent such an appointment that 1 
accepted the office of secretary of war 'ad interim,' and not for 
the purpose of enabling you to get rid of Mr. Stanton, by my 
withholding it from him in opposition to law.** 



In proof of article 10, charging an attempt to bring congress 
into "disgrace, ridicule, hatred and contempt," reference was 
made to a speech at the White House, on a distinguished oc- 
casion, as follows: "We have seen hanging on the verge of the 
government, as it were, a body called or which assumes to be 
I he congress of the United States, while, in fact, it is a congress 
of only part of the states." The second specification charged the 
delivery of certain "intemperate, inflammatory and scandalous 
harangues" at Cleveland, O., from which we extract the follow- 
ing: "But I tell you what I said. I called upon our congress that 
is trying to break up the government — [a voice, 'You lie,' and 
cheers]. Not so. [Hisses.] 'Don't get mad, Andy.' Who is he? 
What language does he speak? What religion does he profess 
that he can come and place his finger upon one pledge I ever 
violated, or one principle I ever proved false to? [Voice, 'New 
Orleans.'] 'Why don't you hang Jeff Davis?' [Shouts and cries 
of 'Down with him.'] Hang Jeff Davis? [Voice, 'Hang Wendell 
Phillips.'] Why don't you hang him? ['Give us an oppor- 
tunity.'] Haven't you got the court? Haven't you got the at- 
torney general? Who is your Chief Justice who has refused to 
sit on his trial? [Groans and cheers.]* I am not the Chief 
Justice; I am no jury. ['Don't get mad.'] I am not mad. 

This bandying of epithets — this throwing of mud with an infu- 
riated drunken mob, just after he had been received by the peo- 
ple in civic processions and with all the honors a great city could 
bestow, and while a magnificent banquet was being prepared, 
was certainly the most humiliating exhibition of a chief magis- 
trate ever made before the American people. From its great 
length, it seemed an effort to overcome the rabble, and carry 
away the honors of billingsgate. Specification 3 set forth the 
speech at St. Louis, on a grand reception to himself and cabinet, 
and was a counterpart of the affair at Cleveland. The running 
fire continued from the second sentence to the end of the out- 
door harangue. The interlarding exclamations were: "Bully for 


you! Hurrah for Andy! Good" [groans and cheers] — "Stick to 
that! Kick them out ! Go it, Andy!" To the charge of traitor he 
exclaimed: "Judas, Judas Iscariot, Judas! There was a Judas 
once, one of the twelve apostles. O, yes, and these twelve apos- 
tles had a Christ, and he never could have had a Judas unless he 
had had twelve apostles. If I have played the Judas, who has 
been my Christ that I have played the Judas with? Was it Thad. 
Stevens? Was it Wendell Phillips? Was it Charles Sumner? 
[Hisses and cheers.] These are the men that set up and com- 
pare themselves with the Savior of men, and everybody that 
differs with them in opinion, and to try to stay and arrest their 
diabolical and nefarious policy is to be denounced as Judas. 
['Hurrah for Andy' and cheers.]" 

On this occasion of speechmaking the president and cabinet 
had been attending the ceremonies on laying the corner-stone 
of a monument to Stephen A. Douglas in the state of Illinois. 

After able arguments, the vote of the senate was taken on the 
11th, 2d and 3d articles, which showed thirty-five senators for 
impeachment and nineteen in the negative. But as the affirma- 
tive failed to register thirty-six, or two-thirds of all, the other 
eight articles were abandoned, and the result declared in the 
negative. The senators from Nebraska, believing the president 
had no right to assume the duty of the supreme court and de- 
clare a law unconstitutional, voted for impeachment. 


The occasion being one of such solemn import the distinguished 
attorneys but seldom indulged in pleasantry or sarcasm. But on 
one occasion when Mr. Stanberry put a question in a particular- 
way General Butler said: "Sometimes this rule has been relaxed 
in favor of very young counsel [laughter], who did not know 
what a leading question was, not otherwise. I have seen very 
young men make mistakes by accident, and I have known the 
courts to let them up and say, 'We will not hold the rule, if you 
made an accident.' " 

To which Stanberry retorted: "The gentleman says I am an 


old lawyer, long at the bar. I hope I never have disgraced that 
position. He intimates that I have resorted to the tactics of the 
Old Bailey court for the purpose of making factious opposition. 
I scorn any such imputation." 

The only fanciful passage of words took place between Man- 
ager Boutwell and Mr. Evarts in their final speeches. Mr. Bout- 
well said: "Travelers and astronomers inform us that in the 
southern heavens, near the southern cross, there is a vast space 
which the uneducated call the hole in the sky, where the eye of 
man with the aid of the powers of the telescope has been unable 
to discover nebulae, or asteroid, or comet, or planet, or star, or 
sun. In that dreary, cold region of space which is only known to 
be less than infinite by the evidence of creation elsewhere, the 
Great Author of celestial mechanism has left the chaos which 
was in the beginning. If this earth was capable of the senti- 
ments and motions of justice and virtue, which in human mortal 
beings are the evidence and the pledge of our Divine origin and 
the immortal destiny, it would heave and throe with the energy 
of the elemental force of nature and project this enemy of two 
races of men into that vast region, there forever to exist in a 
solitude eternal as life, or as the absence of life, emblematical of, 
if not really, that 'outer darkness' of which the Savior of man 
spoke in warning to those who are the enemies of themselves, of 
their race and of their God." To which Mr. Evarts made reply: 
"Truly this is a great undertaking, and if the learned manager 
can only get over the obstacles of the laws of nature the constitu- 
tion will not stand in his way. Nobody knows where that space 
is but the learned manager himself, and he is the necessary dep- 
ui v to execute the judgment of the court. [Laughter.] Let it 
then be provided that in case of your sentence of deposition and 
removal from office the honorable and astronomical manager 
shall lake into his own hands the execution of the sentence. 
With i h<- president made fast to his broad and strong shoulders, 
and. having already essayed the flight by imagination, — better 
prepared i han anybody else to execute it in form, — taking the ad- 
vantage of ladders as far as ladders will go, to the top of this 


great Capitol, and spurning then with his foot the crest of Lib- 
erty, let him set out upon his flight [laughter], while the two 
houses of congress and all the people of the United States shall 
shout 'Sic itur ad astro,.' " [Laughter.] 


As Senator Tipton relied upon the 1st, 2d, and 3d articles of 
impeachment for the establishment of a misdemeanor, an ex- 
tract only from that portion of the opinion need be produced. 
Such opinions, when produced, were filed and published In- 
order of the senate. 

By every reasonable rule of construction it seems per- 
fectly plain that Mr. Stanton has not been removed by 
force of the civil tenure act, and consequently is entitled to 
its protection, which was accorded to him by the senate 
when they restored him from suspension by their vote of 
January 13, 1868. Having 1 attempted to accomplish that 
independent of the senate which he failed to secure when 
admitting the constitutionality of the act by yielding to 
its provisions for suspension, the president has certainly 
been guilty, as charged in the 1st article, of a "high mis- 
demeanor in office." The plea which he makes in his an- 
swer, that he does not believe the act of March 2d, 1867. 
constitutional, cannot avail him, since, when congress 
passed the act and laid it before him for his signature, 
he having vetoed it, it was then passed over the veto by 
three-fourths of each branch of congress — the provision 
of the Constitution being that a bill passed b,y two-thirds 
of each house over the president's veto "shall become a 
law." Having thus become a law, he had no discretion but 
to enforce it as such; and by disregarding it merited all 
the penalties thus incurred. He is not to be shielded behind 
the opinion of his cabinet, although they may have advised 
him to disregard the law, since their onl}' business is to 
obey and enforce the laws governing their several depart- 
ments, and neither to claim or exercise judicial functions. 
The plea of innocent intentions is certainly not to vindi- 
cate him for having violated a law, for every criminal would 
be able to plead justifiable motives in extenuation of pun- 
ishment, till every law was broken and every barrier of 
safety set aside. It has been argued that as Mr. Stanton 
has continued to occupy the War Office, and the removal 
has not been entirely completed, the penalty for removal 


can not attach; but Mr. Johnson receives General Thomas 
as Secretary of War at his cabinet meetings, thus affirming 
his belief that Thomas is entitled to be accredited as such. 
It should be remembered in this connection, that it is a 
high misdemeanor to attempt to do an act which is a mis- 

The removal of Mr. Stanton, against law, would be a "high 
misdemeanor," and a persistent effort in that direction, 
issuing orders, withdrawing association from him and ac- 
crediting another, does in my opinion constitute a "high 

By article 2 he stands charged, during the session of the 
senate, with having issued a letter of authority to Lorenzo 
Thomas, authorizing him and commanding him to assume 
and exercise the functions of Secretary of the Department 
of War, without the advice and consent of the senate, which 
is charged to have been in violation of the express letter 
of the constitution and of the act of March 2, 1867. If the 
president, during a session of the senate, can remove one 
officer and appoint ad interim, so he may remove any or all, 
and thus usurp departments and offices, while the people 
seek in vain for the restraining and supervising power of a 
prostrate and insulted tribunal. 

Believing that the stability of government depends upon 
\he faithful enforcement of law, and the laws of a Republic 
being a transcript of the people's will, and always repeal- 
able by their instructions or change of public servants, I 
would demand their enforcement by the president, inde- 
pendent of any opinion of his relative to necessity, propriety 
or constitutionality. 


Inasmuch as Nebraska had been admitted as a state of the 
Union after complying with a "condition precedent," Mr. Tipton 
felt no hesitancy in demanding as much from each of the re- 
constructed states. But as soon as a compliance was obtained, 
he protested against any further probation, while some sena- 
tors seemed to look after new sources of delay and party ad- 
vantage. In the matter of the claim of Mr. Sawyer, of South 
Carolina, for admission to the senate he said: 

In all nry meditations on the subject I fancied, years ago, 
during the progress of the war, that it would be enough 
to live for, if I should be permitted to have an opportunity 


of witnessing, not as a member of this body, but as a citi- 
zen of tne United States, the return of senators from states 
so recently in rebellion. 

I supposed their return would invoke a degree of enthusi- 
asm and ardor, an extending' of hands and opening of hearts, 
and an utterance on our part that would show that the 
consummation was one which was worthy to have received 
a treasure of money and a treasure of love. And now we 
stand here and higgle when South Carolina, the first to 
leave us, and one of the last to return, presents herself, 
and we ask for precedents, forsooth. I believe that the 
senator who presents himself here for admission is as loyal 
as I am, and I think I am loyal enough for all practical 
purposes. T stand here, therefore, heartily, freely and 
devotedly to welcome this additional representative from 
South Carolina. 


After the state of Virginia had adopted a constitution in 
strict compliance with the act of congress, and for that pur- 
pose, and an effort was made to send her back for new pledges, 
Mr. Tipton vindicated her in a speech, claiming that she had 
done all that was required of her; and specified the adoption 
of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery; and the 14th, 
which established citizenship, and excluded from future repre- 
sentatives in Congress such as resigned to go into the rebel- 
lion and made payment of rebel debts or claims for slave prop- 
erty impossible, and declared the public debt of the United 
States should never be questioned. He gave her further credit 
that, "so far as Virginia is concerned, she has done her part 
in the adoption of the 15th amendment also," conceding impar- 
tial suffrage. 


February 11th, 1S70, the contest was bitter in the case of 
Mississippi, but a single paragraph is enough to show how 
ardent an advocate she had from the new state of Nebraska. 

You say that in some future time, between now and the 
sounding of Gabriel's trumpet, you are afraid Mississippi 
will undertake to change her law on the subject of educa- 
tion. Is that any of your business? Can you say to my 


little State of Nebraska that she shall never change her 
laws on the subject of education? She may change them 
when she pleases and she will ask nothing of you or this 
congress, and after she has changed them she will be amen- 
able only to the constitution of the United States. 

And if 30,000 majority of colored men. if a colored party 
in Mississippi, linked hand in hand with a large white repub- 
lican vote, is not able to take care of their educational inter- 
ests, then appoint an administrator for them and leave the 
State out until she can take care of herself. No, sir; it is a 
magnificent farce; it is a consummation of radicalism run 
mad to say that you will not trust a people who have done 
everything and a little more than some of you desired them 
to do. 

Mississippi sends here what Ohio cannot do. whal Massa- 
chusetts cannot do; she sends a colored senator. Is that 
not enough for you? And yet you say to her, "Are you in 
earnest?" . 


But the most persistent contest for party advantage arose 
in the case of Georgia, two years after her members were ad- 
mitted to the house of representatives; but prior to the admis- 
sion of her senator. An act of her legislature unseating 
I wenty-five colored members, which her supreme court declared 
unconstitutional, had caused the senate to delay the admission 
of the Georgia senators. Just then the time was approaching 
for the re-election of State and legislative officers, but those in 
power, seeming to fear their ability to be re-elected, asked 
congress to declare the government of Georgia provisional, and 
to allow them to hold two years more without a re-election. 

Fortified with the constitution of the State, the laws and 
journals of her legislature, the messages of her governor, the 
history of her judiciary and of her financial department, Mr. 
Tipton entered into the discussion utterly regardless of the po- 
litical bearing of the question. 

To the numerous arguments offered in behalf of new terms 
without an election, he said: 

The truth is that in the state of Georgia there are aspir- 
ants in the republican party for all the prominent offices 
in the State. Their anticipations have not been realized. 


"They tell us if Ave do not perpetuate their power justice 
cannot be done the colored voters. I desire the triumph 
of the republican party in Georgia, but, sir, notwithstand- 
ing that, I am here the sworn representative of a State, and 
it is my business to look into the constitution and the laws, 
and not sit here for the purpose of doing that which is most 
agreeable to my own desires in their behalf, but to enforce 
the constitution of the United States and of Georgia, as far 
as we may legitimately. Within those lines I will perform 
no duty whatever under an influence here or from abroad. 

Efforts were made to influence independent senators by the 
administration newspapers of the city, and by Georgia carpet- 
baggers, who claimed that the president desired their perpetua- 
tion in pow r er. In* the final disposition of the case, an inde- 
pendent republican and democratic vote sent Georgia home, 
to go to the polls, as provided by law, and obey her constitu- 

But it was not till the 30th of March, 1870, that Texas came 
back, as the last prodigal of the confederacy, and reconstruc- 
tion was complete; while on the same day publication was 
made that the 15th amendment to the United States was 

The more enthusiastic citizen fancied this the dawn of the 
political millenium, but the thoughtful one could discover a 
dark night and a rough sea. To bring back the national gov- 
ernment to the theory and practice of peace measures, after 
years of war and military reconstruction, w T as to become a 
Herculean task. 


Senators w T ere divided upon numerous questions (now vital), 
which during war could be ignored as only side issues. The 
advocates of centralization of power were reinforced by twenty 
new associates from the reconstructed states. Leaders who 
had heretofore conceded much to liberal republicans, could 
now defy them, while the small band of reformers found their 
co-workers in the democratic minority. 

Soon, also, an imperious majority found their new allies, the 



i aipet-baggers of the south, through ignorance, mistakes and 
crimes, were disgracing themselves, and bringing reproach 
u) ion the party, and the president which had appointed them. 
I distinguished senators who had been standard-bearers in every 
hour of the war were commanding a halt, and a "right about 
face." Senator Trumbull, of Illinois, the Ajax of the judiciary 
committee, exclaimed: "Show me that it is necessary to exer- 
cise any power belonging to the government of the United 
Siates in order to maintain its authority and I am ready to 
put it forth. But, Sir, I am not willing to undertake to enter 
the states for the purpose of punishing individual offenses 
against their authority committed by one citizen against an- 

Senator Hamlin, who was elected vice president with Mr. 
Lincoln, seeing that congress had become the national incor- 
poration mill, with which to grind our special acts of incor- 
poration for the "favored few," raised a note of warning. Mr. 
Hamlin said: "It belongs to that class of legislation which 
for long, long years was excluded from the halls of congress; 
and the sooner we return to that rule and exclude every species 
of legislation from congress that appropriately belongs to the 
states, and may be fully exercised by the states, the better." 
They who were anxious to rid the party of the cormorants of 
corruption were admonished by the venerable Simon Cameron, 
who said: "It is not our business to expose our delinquents, 
for that belongs to our opponents." 

The war governor of Indiana, Mr. Morton, proclaimed his 
intention to legislate for the republican party. Charles Sum- 
ner, the greatest living American, in the opinion of foreign 
nations, was degraded in the senate for his opinions, excluded 
from the White House, and censured by the legislature of 
Massachusetts; but outlived the storm of passion, saw the 
resolution of censure expunged, and a message announcing it 
spread upon the journal of the senate, then gathering his 
official robes about him, retired to his chamber whence he was 
carried to his grave. 



Early in December, 1874, Senator Trumbull, of Illinois, intro- 
duced a resolution for examining into all the expenditures of 
the government, and the reducing of the number of office-hold- 
ers and the examination of applicants for office, and the sepa- 
ration of the government patronage from the machinery of 
party. His resolution was the exact copy of one adopted some 
years before, which at that time was regarded necessary, effi- 
cient and innocent; but a committee had lately discovered such 
widespread extravagance and corruption, resulting in part 
from war demoralization, that unscrupulous politicians pro- 
tested against a full and searching examination. The senators 
who were urging this investigation had not yet declared them- 
selves independent of the republican party; but it was becom- 
ing evident that a breach could not long be avoided unless the 
tyranny of imperious leaders could be abated. 

The court organ, the Chronicle, claimed that "the purpose of 
the investigation was to cast dirt upon the administration"; 
while the leaders near the throne exclaimed, "Behold the ene- 
mies of the republican party!" 

The democrats of the senate sympathized with the investiga- 
tion movement, but refrained from discussion, delighted with 
a republican controversy which might inure to the advantage 
of democracy. 

Despising double dealing or prevarication, Senator Tipton 
accepted the issue, drew the sword and threw away the scab- 
bard. Mr. Tipton : 

Yesterday evening the honorable senator from Indiana 
(Mr. Morton) said, "I am not mistaken about the whole drift 
of this debate. It has been to show that there is corruption 
existing - under this administration, and gross corruption." 
Certainly, that is just what I mean when I enter into this 
debate; but to the other part of the proposition of the sena- 
ator from Indiana I plead not guilty; that the drift of the 
debate is a reflection on the republican party. No, sir. I be- 
lieve that the republican party is worthy jet to be redeemed 
from the curse that rests upon it to-day on account of the 
mistakes of the administration, and the corrupt and down- 
right plundering of dishonest office holders. 


Bui I do plead guilty to that other charge, that there is 
corruption, deep and damning and festering, all through this 
administration of ours. I believe it, and I have utteredJt. 

At this date in the discussion Senator Wilson, of Massachu- 
setts, admitted that millions of people were receiving the im- 
pression that there was a desire on the part of senators to 
cover up and shield the shortcomings of the administration. 
Other senators denied everything, among them the senator 
from Nevada, to whom Mr. Tipton replied : 

chaplain's cyclone. 

The honorable senator from Nevada (Mr. Nye), with all 
his blandishments of external oratory for which he is so 
famous, treated us with a high-flown description of the pu- 
rity of the party at the present time, and also congratulated 
the country that so little of peculation had occurred. He 
caused me to remember the prayer of the chaplain from 
your desk. Sir, on the first morning of the present session, 
when he thanked the Supreme Ruler of the universe that 
after the cyclone — he called it the cyclone [laughter] — had 
passed over the land there was more left than was taken. 
[Laughter.] I come here to plant myself beside the chap- 
lain and to change the tenor of the prayer, and refer it to 
my party; and I am thankful that although the cyclone of 
corruption has been passing over it there is little more left 
than was taken. [Laughter.] 


There being no democrats in office, every time a change in 
tne republican senators took place, republicans had to be re- 
moved, even without cause, to supply places for new appli- 
cants. Of this policy Mr. Tipton said, when Mr. Hitchcock was 
elected, "And here I stand, saying to nry colleague, go forward, 
enthrone your friends, bury mine out of sight; only permit me 
to close my ears and bandage my eyes so that I shall not hear 
the crack of the rifle that drops them to the dust, or see their 
bodies swing from the political gibbet. [Laughter.] If it was 
proper here to-day, I would make respectful mention of those 
gentlemen by name, in order that they might go upon the rec- 
ords, and if there is no political salvation for them otherwise, 


save them in the Globe." [Laughter.] Of au amendment of- 
fered, which would take all the vitality out of the original reso- 
lution, Mr. Tipton said: "Mr. President, they bring us in their 
resolution, a political corpse, shrouded and coffined, hereafter 
to be animated with a very lamblike soul, which shall only re- 
ceive its retrenchment authority when the honorable senator 
from New York (Mr. Conkling), standing by its temporary 
tomb in the majestic attitude of a Republican Deity, shall in- 
fuse life into it, and bid it go forth." 

As a justification for pressing an investigation the facts were 
announced that lately a defalcation had been discovered in the 
treasury of nearly half a million in the accounts of a single 
disbursing officer, and that a single witness pointed out to a 
committee fifty thousand dollars paid out for no service what- 
ever, and that bribes were received, as a matter of custom, by 
custom-house officials; and that many persons were carried 
on the pay-rolls, as a matter of party favor, who never per- 
formed labor. 

Sir, this report is not a very old one. I presume the 
memory of the gentlemen on the other side can run back 
that far — March, 1871. While we have such a report as this 
on record, and while the very first clause of the resolution 
of the senator from Illlinois provides for looking into that 
state of affairs, the senator from Nevada (Mr. Nye), with all 
that placidity which characterizes him, comes in and says: 
"The occasion is passed by; all is lovely and the bird of Jove 
soars heavenward." [Laughter.] 

The thought that five senators could seriously damage a 
great party, having a clear majority of more than fifty in this 
body, was so supremely ridiculous that it could not escape the 

Is there not a majority of us here? Or, where we are all 
on one side, can we talk about majorities at all? These 
democratic members I look upon as here simply by our kind 
permission. [Laughter.] Would they have any rights to 
seats in the senate of the United States unless they sub- 
scribed to our creed? which I trust in good time they will 
all do. [Laughter.] I say we are a majority here, and we 


can organize the committee, therefore, so that neither the 
senator from Missouri nor any other senator can get such a 
degree of control as to injure the republican party. 


At that time the five senators who were seeking a reform 
inside the party, were Sumner, of Massachusetts, Trumbull, of 
Illinois, Schurz, of Missouri, Fenton, of New York, and Tipton, 
of Nebraska. And in one year from that date they were known 
as liberal republicans, advocating Horace Greeley for presi- 
dent against General Grant. 

The most offensive thing imaginable, to an honorable-minded 
man, was the threat of discipline from the White House, which 
was disposed, of as follows: 

I was informed that according to the manner in which of- 
fices were awarded on the rule of fidelity to party, if I did 
not desist I would be read out of the party in the city of 
Washington. My simple response' was, "Washington has 
nothing to do with me; let the authorities in Washington 
mind their business and I will take care of mine." May I 
not as an honest republican suppose that there, might be a 
senator on this floor better qualified to control the desti- 
nies of this nation than the intellectual colossus who now 
sits in the White House. [Laughter.] And yet if I hold an 
opinion of that kind, am I to be denounced as entirely op- 
posing the interest of my party. Has it come to this, that 
we have only one standard-bearer and only one man under 
whom we can marshal and be loyal? 

The terrible fear of exposure of profligacy and corruption, 
and the insane ravings against party purification, evoked the 
spirit of ridicule, as follows: 

When it is proposed to give power to send for persons and 
papers, senators who had lived heretofore apparently for no 
other purpose, having no visible means of occupation except 
sending for persons and papers, throw themselves into an 
attitude of perfect horror. Grasping the constitution of the 
country they exclaim, "What! send for persons and papers 
when this blessed document declares that men's persons 
and papers shall not be subject to unnecessary seizure?" 
No, that is so much for declamation and so much for the 
praises and 1he intelligent men in the back country. [Laugh- 



Irony was also a very potent instrument in the senator's 

The president has spoken in behalf of reform. I stand by 
his side on the platform of reform. I think the senator 
from Illinois is ranged upon the same platform, if I under- 
stand him. I think the senator of Missouri has been there 
occupying it so long- that, if a platform could be cultivated, 
he might as a pre-emptor take possession of it. Is there a 
little arrangement by which the president is to commit his 
party to reform in his message; and then is there an under- 
standing that his special friends in the senate will hold back 
in the traces and let him have the glory of reform and they 
never let the people have the benefit of it? Of course there 
is nothing of the kind intended; but I fear the gentlemen 
will be placed in a false position, and being a lover of hu- 
manity I would not willingly see them slaughtered." 

Before the debate was closed, the result was clearly out- 
lined, namely, that the resolution should be amended till per- 
fectly harmless, as to criminals, and that no liberal republican 
should become its chairman. The debate was long, bitter and 
merciless, in which Edmunds, of Vermont, and Conkling, of New 
York, with Sherman of Ohio and Nye of Nevada, applied the 
brakes, while Trumbull, Schurz and Tipton manufactured 

Sir, I have done what I could to present the views which I 
have on this subject; but if we are overruled here, we have 
the consolation of knowing that, perhaps, clear-headed hon- 
esty, pure-hearted integrity, unskilled in the wiles of the 
politician and the necessity of hard-pressed partisan leaders, 
may sometime come to the conclusion that though we lose 
the cause to-day, we shall yet gain it in that better time 


On the 9th day of February, 1872, Mr. Tipton addressed the 
senate on Sumner's amendment of the bill for the removal of 
legal and political disabilities, his theme being Legislative, Mili- 
tary and Official Usurpations. After giving a hearty assent 


in the declaral ion of a senator from Conned icut that the obnox- 
ious amendment 1 ended to "consolidate all authority in this 
nation into one imperial government," he adopted the proposi- 
tion of a senator of the state of Maine, that it was "without 
warrant in the constitution and undertook to regulate the 
personal, social, religious and domiciliary rights of the people." 
He I hen proceeded : 

Mr. President, the amendment of the senator from Massa- 
chusetts is offered for the purpose of securing - to all citi- 
zens, irrespective of race, color or previous servitude, the 
right to all the benefits of common carriers, of hotels, of 
the theatres, of the churches, of the schools, and of such 
other institutions as are organized or chartered by the 
states, or as are supported by taxes and as are of similar 
character. Our laws, as your laws, Sir,' guarantee to every 
man, without respect to his color, the privilege of first- 
class transportation .wherever first-class transportation is 
sought- — the transportation of goods, of wares, of merchan- 
dise — as freely for one class as for another. I hold, there- 
fore, that there is no necessity in the first place for any na- 
tional legislation for the purpose of guaranteeing that 
which we already fully and unqualifiedly possess. 

In regard to the hotels, it is the same; and every one of 
the citizens of Nebraska who is injured by a deprivation of 
rights on the part of the railroads, on the part of any com- 
mon carriers, or on the part of the hotel keepers of the 
State, has an action for damages, and the courts are open, 
ready to award all that may have been suffered in .damages. 

So far as our theatres are concerned, Ave have never come 
to the conclusion yet that if our theatres should establish 
rules and regulations by which one portion of our commu- 
nity should be excluded and another portion admitted, it was 
possible to ascertain by any standard of damages we had 
ever set up just how far a freeborn American citizen should 
be entitled to damages in case he should not be admitted 
to witness an exhibition of the performance of "the Black 

We never have come to the conclusion yet that it was nec- 
essary that the national government should legislate in re- 
gard to who should be admitted to the communion of our 
churches, or what should be the rule of exclusion there. 

I therefore enter my protest against all this species of 
legislation, whether it be upon subjects specified in the 
amendment* of the senator from Massachusetts, or whether 
it be involved in any other bill touching this same species of 


He claimed that by this most fallacious and pernicious 
course, in utter disregard of the reserved rights of the people 
of the states, the army had' appeared at the polls, and assumed 
to direct state, municipal and national elections. 

Mr. President, I read from the message of Governor 
Geary, of Pennsylvania, to the legislature of that state of 
1871, page 3S, to show how far, in the opinion of the execu- 
tive of a State, we have already transgressed while march- 
ing - on the road on which we seem to be traveling - this 
morning - : 

"The employment of United States troops at elections, 
without the consent of the local and State governments, has 
lately received considerable attention and reprehension. It 
is regarded as an interference with the sovereign rights of 
the States, which was not contemplated by the founders of 
The general Government, and if persisted in, must lead to 
results disastrous to peace and harmony.*' 

The above Kepublican authority was followed by a Demo- 
cratic utterance. In his message of Januarj' 3, 1871, to the 
Legislature of Xew York, Governor Hoffman sustained the 
Governor of Pennsylvania in his denunciation of Federal in- 
terference in State elections, and in referring to the same 
law which Governor Geary had denounced, said: "Under 
color of this act, the president and other United States offi- 
cials claimed the rig'ht to supervise the entire election, not 
only for representatives in congress, but for State and local 

The concluding words of Governor Hoffman's message are 
maxims of wisdom and gems of truth worthy of everlasting- 

"To depend for the peace and order of localities" ■ 

I quote this as especially applicable to the condition of 
The States over which we propose to extend this legislation 

"To depend for the peace and order of localities on the 
Federal Army is not self-government; to substitute The reg- 
ular soldier with his musket as a peace officer in place of the 
constable with his writ, is not to preserve the peace, but to 
establish the condition of war; to surrender elections to 
the control of the president, supported by armed forces, is 
to surrender liberty and to abandon a republic." 

So say I in regard to this legislation here, that to appeal 
to congress is not to support self-government; to rely upon 
the national arm to enforce the law in regard to the rights 
of the people as to common carriers and hotel keepers and 
churches and cemeteries is not to rely upon the inborn 


rights of the American citizen for protection, but is to go 
away from his local government, away from his local legis- 
lature, and to seek outside of the pale of his own State and 
his own legitimate legislative province the protection of the 
central power of the Union. 

At this point of his speech, Mr. Tipton presented a list of 
the names of fifty-four supervisors and special deputies ap- 
pointed by Judge Woodruff of the United States Circuit Court 
of New York, to enforce the above mentioned law, which was 
read by the clerk of the Senate. These officers were divided 
among jail-birds, penitentiary convicts, thieves, burglars, rob- 
bers, keepers of low dives and houses of ill fame, showing be- 
yond a possibility of a doubt that a law was considered in- 
famous when such degraded characters were called on to 
enforce it. 


Mr. Tipton called attention to the fact that the army had 
adopted the doctrine of the supreme authority of the military 
over the civil power, as illustrated after the great fire in Chi- 
cago; in which a military commander, in utter defiance of the 
Governor of the State, and without shadow of law, organized 
troops and held control against the protest of Governor Pal- 
mer, which was in the following words: "That the duty of the 
president is to see that the laws of the United States are en- 
forced, and that of the Governor of Illinois is confined to the 
enforcement of the laws of the State." The Governor declared 
•'The disastrous fire in Chicago did not relieve the state of Illi- 
nois from any of its duties, nor transfer any of them to the 
Government of the United States." But notwithstanding all 
his efforts to vindicate the dignity of the State, Governor Pal- 
mer asserted, more in sorrow than in anger, "Military officers 
seem to believe that, under our system of government, it is a 
part of the duty of the officers of the army to superintend the 
administration of the local governments.-' Said Mr. Tipton, 
'The point I make is this, that when we have legislated so 
recklessly, the army has followed us equally as heedlessly and 


Federal office-holders, taking example, have set themselves up 
also, with as much despotic arrogance as the military has ever 


On official corruption he quoted largely from the Message of 
Governor Warmoth, of Louisiana, January, 1872, in which that 
Republican Governor said: 

In a time of profound peace, without any competent au- 
thority, or the least necessitj r , and without consultation 
with or the consent of the State aiithorities, the United 
States officials here, in violation of law, convoked a political 
convention in the custom-house in New Orleans, and this 
against the wishes and in the face of the solemn protest 
of a large majority of the convention. The doors of the 
custom-house were locked and barred for a day, and the 
whole business public who had interests there were ex- 
cluded. United States deputy marshals, selected in many 
instances from rough and lawless characters, were especially 
deputized for the occasion, armed with loaded revolvers, 
and stationed within the building and around the United 
States court room designed for the convention. The United 
States marshal previously declared that they should be so 
stationed within the convention itself. 

The United States troops were drawn up in the custom- 
house. Their very presence was an alarming attack upon the 
right of public assemblage, and upon every tradition and 
principle of American liberty. I cannot suffer it to pass by 
without entering against it my solemn protest, and inviting 
you most seriously to join with me in asking the national 
Government to investigate the outrages of its subordinate 
officers and to punish the guilty parties. 

In .addition the Governor detailed a greater outrage, as fol- 

At the moment of the assembling of the House of Kepre- 
sentatives a number of United States marshals armed with 
warrants from a United States Commissioner, based on a 
frivolous affidavit of members of the conspiracy, suddenly 
arrested eighteen Representatives, four Senators and the 
Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The revenue cutter 
Wilderness has been employed to take the conspirators be- 
yond the jurisdiction of the sergeant-at-arms. 



Saving submitted a vast array of evidence which could not 
he questioned, and never -was, with a lively remembrance of 
i lie struggle, just then passed, over the effort to annex San 
Domingo, when New York landsharks and White House offi- 
cials used war steamers to intimidate Hayti, Mr. Tipton closed 
liis discussion, as follows, referring to General Grant: 

In forming - a treaty he was "the Chief Magistrate," in de- 
claring- Avar he was "the Congress of the United States," and 
in "using- all his influence privately*' to forestall the Senate 
decision as per agreement of Babcock and Baez, he became 
a lobbjnst in the outer halls of the Capitol. 

Thus. Mr. President, do we see to-day not absolute an- 
archy running- wild in our own country at home, but an 
utter disregard of the States, and utter disregard of the will 
of the people, the setting- up of Congress in its legislation 
high above the authority of the people's constitutions; the 
army vying with Congress and the office-holders vying- with 
ihe army in doing whatever may seem good to them in their 
judgments in order to accomplish the ultimate but impossi- 
ble object of the elevation again of a Chief Magistrate who 
has thus united with the army and Cong-ress and office-hold- 
ers until the nation revolts, and will yet register its edict of 

After the churches and schools and cemeteries were released 
from the penalties of the Sumner amendment, the bill was 
passed, to supervise common carriers, hotels, theaters aud 
other places of amusement, the Nebraska Senator voting - in the 
negative. In a few years his vote was vindicated, by a decision 
of the Supreme Court of the United States, declaring the law 


Fifty years ago the cry went out from Washington that a 
democratic president, Mr. Van Buren, had "gold spoons'" upon 
his table at the White House. The country was horrified, and 
the orator who described the digression from primitive sim- 
plicity to European aristocratic extravagance, was ever after 
known as "Spooney Ogle,*' his name being Charles Ogle, of 


Pennsylvania. Never since government was established on 
earth was there such an exciting campaign as that of 1840. 

• The Whigs nominated General Harrison, and adopted the em- 
blem of the log cabin, decorated with coon skins, hard cider 
barrels, latchstring hanging out and chimney half burned away. 
The political cyclone was irresistible, and Hail Columbia and 
Yankee Doodle were shelved for an introduction to a tempest 
in a teapot. 
, On the 7th day of January, 1874, the question of repealing 
a bill regulating congressmen's salaries, passed in a preceding 
session, was before the senate. The law in question had placed 

' salaries at. $7,500 per year, but had taken away excessive mile- 
age, put a limit on stationery and left members without the 
fianking privilege. Previously a senator from Oregon might 
receive $7,500 in pay and mileage, where one from Maryland 
could only draw $5,000, his mileage being so small. The law 
had been made to act back to the beginning of the session 
and thus raised the salaries of that present congress. But as 
"congress was the only power that could establish salaries, the 
question of when an act should take effect was one for their 
own discretion, and in this case they followed universal pre- 
cedent. It was not a party vote that had established the laws, 
but the democratic party were attacking the republicans for 
extravagance and a portion of the republican press was preach- 
ing economy and hence they vied with each other in denounc- 
ing the new law as a "salary grab." Some senators who had 
always received their pay in this manner before became sud- 
denly virtuous and turned the "back pay" into the treasury, 
others promising their constituents that if forgiven they would 
vote for the repeal of the law, and others asked to be instructed 
so they could do the will of their political friends. In the next 
general election, after the new enactment, the party in power 
lost members of congress and assembled at Washington to 
make speedy atonement. 

To this state of affairs Mr. Tipton alluded in the subjoined 
extract in reply to a correction made by a senator from Iowa: 


^Vllat causes me then to have an oblivious condition of 
mind on this subject, results from the fact that during all 
the campaign I understood by the public press, and the pub- 
lic press must be respected, that the senator from Iowa was 
making - an atonement for the past, and would come here in 
hot haste and get here about twenty-four hours probably 
before the senate would convene, in order to get a bill in 
first on this subject to put him right before the country. 
I thought probably, therefore, that he had something to 
atone for, as he was in such hot haste, and I should not be 
astonished, from the manner in which his bill came here, 
if he had privately suggested to the chaplain of the senate 
to be as brief as possible for fear somebody else would cut 
under him and get another bill in first. 

Mr. Tipton believed from the first that, unless a change was 
made in salaries, poor men were" doomed to stay at home, and 
millionaires occupy the senate and house; and hence when a 
proposition came up to take back by future legislation what 
members had received by express law there was no alternative 
but to use recorded facts, "without fear, affectation or favor." 


In order to show that the retroacting clause of the law was 
not the cause of the public clamor he pointed to the fact that, 
from the foundation of the government to the present time, 
every such law had acted back upon the congress in which it was 
] »assed. Mr. Tipton: 

I say, therefore, unhesitating- and positively, that the at- 
tack upon the integrity of congress, of being thieves and 
plunderers of the treasury, was not on account of any pe- 
culiarity of the law. Did any man dare before last spring 
charge the present vice president, Mr. Wilson, with being a 
salary grabber and back-pay plunderer? Never! and yet it 
is upon record that in 1856 his extra pay amounted to $2,168. 
Time rolled on, and in 1866 again he received back pay, $2,- 
S05, and with the back pay of those two laws, amounting to 
$5,000, in his pockets, he was triumphantly elected vice 
president of the United States. 

How had it fared with other gentlemen? Have the people 
of Ohio attempted, at any time, to drive from his seat the 
gentleman who has just addressed the senate (Mr. Sherman) 


because in 1866 he received back pay to the amount of $2,- 
805? No! Rather they have given him their confidence, and 
left the pay attaching to his personal goods and chattels. 

How has it fared with the honorable senator from Rhode 
Island, Mr. Anthony? In 1866 he received $2,805 back pay, 
and he has received the constant unfaltering affection and 
sustaining influence of his constituency. 

The honorable senator from Michigan, Mr. Chandler, in 
1866 received $2,805, and instead of being denounced for hav- 
ing back pay has received the appellation of the War Sena- 
tor of the United States. 

Where is Hendricks, of Indiana, once a member on this 
floor, who received $2,805 in/ 1866? He is the honored execu- 
tive of the great state of Indiana. 

Go to the cabinet of the president. 

Is there one there who has not pocketed his back pay? 

The Postmaster General in 1866 received $2,805, and from 
that time to this has been honored, or has reflected honor 
on the state of Maryland. 

The Attorney General has $2,805 paid him as a senator. 

The Secretary of State, who has carried himself so well 
in his high office, received $2,237 as a senator in 1856. 

I say, therefore, that I cannot for one moment believe 
that it is owing to the retroactive feature of that law that 
members of congress have been denounced. 

The financial condition of the country was far better than in 
1866. Mr. Tipton believed that the fact that certain senators 
hastened to denounce the law and turn their extra portion un- 
der the law into the treasury, had given them credit for con- 
scientiousness to which they were not entitled and cast dis- 
credit on their honest associates. He said: 

Almost the first man to present himself was our honored 
vice president. Under the pressure and clamor he returned 
$4,448. Then, as a matter of course, they would go to the 
honorable senator from Indiana and say, "Now sir, your 
chief, the vice president of the United States, has made a 
clean breast of it; he has returned to the treasury $4,448; he 
did it on his own conscience; he felt that a wrong had been 
perpetrated; and as he expected and desired happiness here- 
after, he felt that he would not be entitled to it if he en- 
tered heaven with this amount of blood money upon his 
skirts. Now, if you have drawn yours, will you not return 
it also?" That is the manner in which the appeal was made. 
Poor fool, was he, who made the appeal! Did he not know 


that our vice president had never given it back as a matter 
of conscience at all? that he smiled at the idea of conscience 
lucause he happened to have in one vest pocket $2,178 of 
back pay under the law of 1856 and $2,800 under the law of 
1866? He retained $5,000 and returned $4,S00; and yet it an- 
swered; it was the vindication, it was the tub thrown to the 
whale; it was the purchase of popularity, which the people 
said would accrue if he would please set the example just 
this once. "Please fork over now;; under charge of 'salaiw 
grabber,' please disgorge." That will give us an opportunity 
of appealing to other senators. And senator after senator 
Avalked up and said, "Present your contribution box," and 
deposited his pay. 

The people were deceived, there was no conscience in the 

Having followed the precedents of seventy-five years and 
duplicated the votes of senators who had cast them on two 
different occasions before, Mr. Tipton felt that new senators 
were treated in an infamous manner when abandoned by those 
of whom he had received instruction; and hence he uttered the 

Mr. President, if the people had not been misled, they 
might have said this frankly: "Gentlemen, you have fol- 
lowed the precedents that we have set for seventy-five 
years; but hereafter we would prefer that a new precedent 
should be established on the subject." Under these circum- 
stances we could have met them and discussed calmly and 
dispassionately the propriety of a new precedent; but when 
men approached us, and denounced us for an act of infamy, 
when we could retort, "your precedents were our guide," 
they would have observed a different course had they been 

Mr. President, after the charge had been made of corrup- 
tion among the highest officials of the government; after 
the Credit Mobiliier investigation had gone forth the people 
were ready to receive anything that slander might dictate 
or a mistaken fancy furnish. 

Some of the most popular senators failed of re-election, and 
though they went down frowning, came up smiling in future 
campaigns and always having a vivid appreciation of the phrase 
— "After that — the fireworks." The members from Nebraska 
in the senate voted for the law, when passed, and received 


their pay under it and Mr. Tipton voted against repeal, con- 
cluding a speech with the following: 

"I shall vote against all amendments, and especially most 
heartily against the amendment of the honorable senator 
from Indiana (Mr. Morton) . If his popularity in the state 
of Indiana bears any comparison to the magnitude and mag- 
nificence of his physical contour, he needs no such species 
of legislation as this to hold him in the cords of affection; 
but if there is a standard that is to regulate prices in con- 
gress for members from Indiana, I beg him to recollect that 
though he is here the concentrated and embodied manifesta- 
tion of health, perhaps a less salary than ordinary, might 
attach to the remains of such a citizen as had escaped or 
been left from the ravages of the Wabash ague." 

mr. tipton's farewell speech! 

On the 12th day of January, 1875, one and a half months be- 
fore the expiration of his term, in the 43d congress, the omni- 
present Louisiana case was before the senate. Senator Howe, 
of Wisconsin, had the floor, and was to be followed by Mr. 
Tipton, and he to be succeeded by General Logan, of Illinois. 
But inasmuch as some of the General's constituents were in 
the city and desired to hear him, Mr. Tipton yielded to his re- 
quest and gave him the right of way, especially as he promised 
to give the Nebraska senator "something to stir him up and to 

For two days the general ranged the field of discussion and, 
like Olympian Jove, commingling earth and heaven, dealt out 
eulogies upon friends and defiance and political death to all 
opposers. Mr. Howe closed his speech by comparing the Re- 
publican party to a sailing vessel, — "If the ship goes down be- 
fore the voyage is ended, I propose to go down with it." The 
peroration of the general was in the same strain, while his 
inspired vision was cheered by the motto flaming from her 
side, — "Freighted with the hopes of mankind." Following 
such a display of oratorical pyrotechnics, Mr. Tipton essayed 
to satisfy the general that he had succeeded in "stirring him 
up," and inasmuch as the Nebraska senator had previously 
spoken upon the Louisiana case in all its bearings, he was de- 


lighted with the "free and easy" range allowable in following 
the general, and was ready to decorate the statue of tragedy 
with the garlands of comedy. Quiet being restored, he pro- 


Mr. President, I feel grateful, in view of the speech of the 
Senator from Illinois (Mr. Logan), that he did not go into 
the rebellion. What a power he would have been against 
us if he had ever landed there! I am happy that he entered 
earl3" into the cause of the Union and stood by the flag 
throughout the war. I am happy of another thing, and it is 
this, that Demosthenes died so early so that he cannot come 
in competition with the honorable Senator for the garland 
of universal approbation as a close and logical orator. 

Sir, the honorable Senator from Illinois yesterday told us 
that he was a sailor and gave us a delineation of what was 
a sailor's duty. I have since discovered that he was not only 
a sailor, but that the highest evidence that we have of his 
nautical ability is simply the manner in which he sails in, and 
further, that the kind of vessel that he has commanded for 
the last two days is a mud scow, a dredge boat, only fit to 
operate upon the Missouri or the murky Mississippi washing 
his own State. [Laughter.] 

I have further, however, to congratulate him on the 
amount of aid that came to his relief on yesterday. The 
honorable Senator from New York (Mr. Conkling) visited 
the Senator on the floor yesterday, I suppose to give him aid 
and sympathy and to prompt him where it might be neces- 
sary. That was all right and proper. And while I had a lit- 
tle feeling on the subject for a moment, thinking this was 
ex-officiousness on the part of his friends, I was consoled 
with the remembrance that after the 4th of March that 
honorable Senator wall be checkmated in this body by a 
democratic colleague. 

I believe that the honorable Senator from California (Mr. 
Sargent) also visited the honorable Senator from Illinois, 
stepped into the wheel-house in order to suggest something 
in regard to the navigation of the vessel. I allow him what 
enjo.yment he can gain from assisting in navigating the ves- 
sel at the present time, for he, too, is to be checkmated 
after the 4th of March with an independent republican col- 
league from the state of California. Then there will be 
some other gentlemen navigating crafts. 

I also discovered yesterday, Mr. President, that the hon- 


orable Senator from Minnesota (Mr. Wind-om) felt it neces- 
sary to do something for the benefit of this Illinois naviga- 
tor; and therefore the honorable Senator (Mr. Wind-om) 
advanced and furnished him with the wind at a time when 
he seemed to be in a critical condition. [Laughter.] And 
when the day had far disappeared, and when the hour for 
Intch-mg up the boat had come, before she was yet up to 
the shore, my colleague over the way, Mr. Hitch-cock, ad- 
vanced and seized the cable and carried it out on shore, and 
thus they landed the gentleman's craft last evening, and 
then he commenced to wood and water for another sail to- 
day. From the length of time that the vessel has run to-day, 
I fancy that the wood has been of the product of the 
Mississippi Valley, cotton wood, and produced very little val- 
uable steam. 

He told us yesterday, if I remember correctly, that he 
would discuss the subject in a just and honest and legal 
manner. Mr. President, if his notes had been written on 
legal cap he might have made some claim, and just that 
much, to a legal argument. 

All our opponents seem to have taken to the water lately. 
The honorable Senator from Wisconsin (Mr. Howe) told us 
the other day that he, too, w-as on a ship, and he told us he 
was going down with the ship. I do not doubt his veracity; 
I think that is a fact [laughter], and all I have to say is the 
greater pity for the ship, unless he has heretofore been a 
pirate, and then it serves her right to let them go down 
with her. 

But there seems to be no safety on land since the October 
and November elections, for balloting is generally done on 
land. The honorable Senator from Illinois thought he 
needed the aid of other friends this morning - . After he had 
put in evidence here everv^thing but Webster's Dictionary, 
and would have put that in only it changes the subject so 
often — [laughter] — after he had done that he calls upon the 
Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Frelinghuysen) and asks him 
if he has any old letter about him or anything of the kind 
that he w^ould furnish. [Great laughter.] 

The Vice President: Persons on the floor of the Senate 
will preserve order or the floor will be cleared. 


Mr. Tipton: Mr. President, the honorable Senator from 
Illinois made yesterday and to-day the Point, with a great 
degree of force and energy, that certain audacious editors 
are charging that there have been frauds committed in this 
country. So far as that question of frauds is concerned, 


frauds at the ballot box. frauds of other characters. 1 have 
this to say: I take the statement of the honorable Senator 
that he is capable — and he demonstrates in the manner in 
which he has done it the fact that he is capable — of grap- 
pling- with the question of fraud, for I have at my desk a 
congressional report with the evidence of one who was ex- 
amined in this Louisiana case; and after the man had sworn 
that he had committed frauds too great for belief, only for 
the apparent honesty of the witness, when he was inter- 
rogated by the honorable Senator as to where he learned 
ballot-box stuffing, "Why," said he, "General, in your State 
and your district." [Laughter.] Therefore I have no doubt 
but that the honorable Senator is very well prepared to dis- 
cuss the question of fraud. 


Mr. President, the honorable Senator from Illinois has 
been very much excited because somebody has talked about 
the oppression of the republican party. Very well; he only 
can speak, I suppose, for the body that he is connected with 
in this chamber. Two years ago he gave you his opinion of 
the tyranny of the republican party in the Senate, and if he 
had been connected with the army he might have discussed 
the character of army officers; if he had been connected 
with office-holders outside he might learnedly have dis- 
cussed their characters. But he was intimate with the Sen- 
ate and he knew that the Senate stood here the great cor- 
recting instrumentality of the republican party of the coun- 
try, and he turned his attention to the Senate; and I will 
give the country the benefit to-day of his deliberate opin- 
ion on the subject of what the republican party was just 
two years ago. The honorable Senator then said in a speech 
in this chamber: "By calling your little meetings and seek- 
ing to direct everybody no man can be an independent man 
in this Senate." I think his course in this debate has illus- 
trated his opinion of it two years ago. "No man," said he 
L then, "can be an independent man in this Senate." 


Here a vast amount of official testimony was produced show 
ing that the same policy of coercion was invoked again at 
Louisiana which was attempted against Georgia, Mississippi 
and Virginia. Mr. Tipton then said: 

The witness testifies that they got up affidavits before the 
election was over, and filled them up in blank, and carried 
them out over the whole country; and one of the witnesses 


swears that General Sypher's brother wrote to him and said, 
"The General is lacking about three hundred votes, I think"; 
and then he starts out to supply the deficiency, and after 
he comes in the board is in session, and he enters with thir- 
teen hundred forged and perjured certificates; and when he 
comes up with that armful of certificates and lays them 
down before the august and honest returning board of 
Lotnsiana, they ask him, "How many?" "Why," said he, 
'thirteen hundred." "Why," said they to him, "Jacques, 
you're a hell of a fellow." [Laughter.] Said he, "George, if 
you want any more, I can have you some by to-morrow 
morning at ten o'clock." [Laughter.] 


The President sent them the military. What came of 
that ? You know what came of that. Judge Durell, the aged 
and venerable — for they say he is too old to impeach now, 
and he goes free — Judge Durell put on his legal cap and 
came to the conclusion, as soon as they told him that the 
president allowed the army to aid the marshal to enforce 
the mandates of a court, that he would allow them to do the 
rest. Then he says by his action, "Let it be so; let the 
troops be stationed in the state house of Louisiana." Where 
did he make the decision? He never had a court organized 
to do it; he never had a clerk near him to put the seal of the 
State to it. He went into his garret, and there, I hope with- 
out even the light of a tallow dip, in darkness — and yet he 
thought he saw very clearly — said, "Let the military at two 
o'clock go into the state-house and occupy it." No, he did 
not fix the time; he left it to their discretion, because he 
thought they could not get there before three; but they got 
in at two. The morning dawned, and the Army of the United 
States had control of a state-house; and a set of unmitigated 
political villians, cutthroats of the first water, had concocted 
a list of members to go in under the dictation of the United 
States. They walked in; they took possession of that hall. 
Then came a protest long and loud; but no, that legislature 
promised to send a republican to sit over there where Kel- • . 
logg had abandoned his seat and they proposed to send an- 
other republican for six years. We waited. They set their 
mill to grinding and then produced two senators in a short 
time. But the people of Louisiana, where were they? The 
Senator from Wisconsin (Mr. Carpenter) said they were un- 
der the foot of a Federal judge. That Senator is not a 
liberal republican; that Senator is not a democrat in his 
political affiliation. He is the Vice President of the United 
States pro tempore whenever our worthy presiding officer is 


absent. The highest honors in the gift of the Senate of the 
United States are showered upon him. He said here last 
summer, — and how sad he said it, how tenderly he said it, — 
"They put the state of Louisiana under the foot of a Federal 
judge"; and there were my countrymen and there were your 
countrymen. Had they one particle of American spirit about 
them, how long would you expect them to remain under the 
foot of a Federal judge? The time came; the army of the 
United States was withdrawn and a glorious revolution took 
place which shall make the names of the actors immortal in 
all time to come. All as one man rose up; they struck for 
the rights of a State under the foot of a Federal judge. 
Thank Heaven, not long. They rose in their might, and had 
the honorable Senator himself been governor of Lousiana he 
too would have been in ignominious flight under the pro- 
tection of Brother-in-law Casey in the custom-house. It was 
a people rising up who were under the foot of a Federal 
judge. I glory in their patriotism. I stand here to claim 
what honor I may in being the advocate of a people who dis- 
posed of an act of tyranny, forgeiw, and perjury, but never 
broke in spirit for a moment — waited until in God's good 
time an opportunity should offer. 


When he gave them the army two years before, it was 
precisely on this same basis. They said to the President, 
"There are rumors that there may be difficulties, and we 
therefore ask you for the use of the army." Here he says 
they satisfied him that there might be difficulty and that 
they might want an army; and as he had an army, in the 
kindness of his disposition to his political friend, the gov- 
ernor of Louisiana, he says: "Certainly keep the army there 
and perhaps an opportunity may offer when I may be able 
to use it." He seems to have desired that his soldiery should 
not rust out for want of use, and that whenever there is an 
opportunity for them to do something they should be on 
hand, that the governor should have the privilege without 
any requisition of the President, according to the constitu- 
tion, to use the army. Therefore we have it understood that 
that use of the army was given upon the same old basis of 
^'Use it at your pleasure and return it when you are done 
with it." How does that agree with the Constitution of the 
United States? 


Here the startling doctrine is announced for the first time 
officially in the history of this country that the United States 


courts have jurisdiction over state elections. If state elec- 
tions are not exclusively the privilege of the people, then 
what are our liberties worth? You tell me I may cast my vote 
as a freeman. After that vote is cast it must be counted. That 
vote for a state officer must be counted and ascertained by 
the authority of the individual state. After that vote has 
been ascertained by the authority of the individual state, 
then the persons elected under it must be permitted to hold 
their offices; and if a contest arises, the State courts are the 
only tribunals to which the question can be referred for 
adjudication; it may be perhaps by mandamus, it may be per- 
haps by the writ of quo warranto; but in all cases it must be 
to the court of my own individual state. If I am elected a 
member of the legislature, I have the right under the consti- 
tution to be the judge, with my fellow members, of who are 
eligible to seats in that body. 


When it was charged that the Speaker of the Democratic 
House of Louisiana had called for protection of Federal troops, 
Mr. Tipton disposed of the charge thus: 

But if General De Trobriand had called at the private resi- 
dence of Speaker Wiltz and if General De Trobriand had 
been on a hunting excursion, as southern gentlemen some- 
times are, and if his pack of hounds had followed him to the 
premises of Speaker Wiltz, and after he entered the parlor, 
and, while he was engaged in conversation with the speaker, 
if his hounds had raised a disturbance with the watchdog 
of the speaker's mansion, what would the speaker be likely 
to do? He would ask him politely if he would please step to 
the hall and call off his dogs; and that is all Speaker Wiltz 
did. He found the hounds, the political hounds, of this offi- 
cer of the army belaboring and setting upon his officers of 
the peace in the lobby, and knowing that the owner of the 
dogs could do more With them than anybody else, said he, 
"General De Trobriand, will you please step out into the 
hall and call off your dogs?" [Laughter.] 


The principal part of these old democratic leaders drifted 
into the republican party, and now I could point them out 
all around these seats. Why, there is scarcely a man here, 
excepting some of the very young Senators, but was for- 
merly of the old democratic party. They carried the abuses 
of the old democratic party into the republican party, and 


the new democracy, the superior democracy of the Cincin- 
nati and the Baltimore platforms, have had to combine 
:i gainst these older democrats for their political destruction. 
In the State of Massachusetts Benjamin F. Butler was the 
old democratic representative of the republican party. The 
young democracy, the Cincinnati-platform democracy, gave 
him his quietus in the last fall election. The honorable Sen- 
ator from Illinois (Mr. Logan) is the leader of the republi- 
can party of. the Senate and of the United States. He was 
for years the bone and sinew, the brains, the will, and the 
authority of the old Bourbon democracy. The Cincinnati- 
platform democracy laid the prospects of that Senator in 
the shade by electing a young, new democratic Legislature. 


I do regret that a man of his position before the country 
should deem it necessary to attack the stricken people of 
the South in the manner in which he has during this whole 
discussion. Senators from the South have been so attacked, 
they have been so denounced, they have been so pressed (if 
3'ou look for the pressing to the reports that will go out 
of these speeches), that I scarcely know how they will be 
able to face a chivalrous, bold and fighting constituency; 
and f have fancied that the object was to take advantage of 
the circumstances under which they were placed here. I did 
feel that a great injustice was done to the Senator from 
Georgia (Mr. Gordon) the other day, when there seemed to 
be a studied effort to irritate and to goad that faithful rep- 
resentative. At that very time he had sent a dispatch to the 
people of Louisiana in which he had called upon them in 
words positive and unequivocal, "Bear all your tribulations; 
suffer, even suffer to manacles; but resist not the author- 
ity of the United States." While the honorable Senator from 
Georgia, in the spirit of the Cincinnati platform — of amity, 
of friendship, and healing of wounds, the spirit of concilia- 
tion, the spirit of magnanimity, the spirit of chivalry -and of 
honor -was thus attempting to throw oil upon the troubled 
elements, that he should thus be attacked was to me most 
astounding, especially as he had just placed the fetters of 
peace upon hands that illustrated his valor in battle. The 
people of the country will understand it. Men are not to 
be badgered now from the North any more than it was once 
said, in the days of slavery, that they were not to be 
badgered from the South. "We now stand upon a common 
platform, we now occupy the same position, and the people 
will apply the corrective. The people at the polls will give it 
the quietus; and the people of the North eveiwwhere are 


determined that this everlasting tirade, this ebullition of 
hate, this pouring forth of blood, this varnishing of the 
skulls of a previous war and keeping them for future use, 
this playing on the bones in the Senate of the United States, 
this shaking of the skeletons before the Senate and the 
country shall cease. 

Here followed a searching analysis of centralizing legisla- 
tion, in which it was shown that almost every function of 
states rights was assumed by congress; though the Lincoln 
republican platform of 1860 had declared, it was "The right of 
each state to order and control its own domestic institutions, 
according to its own judgment, exclusively." 


What do I propose as a remedy for these troubles? I pro- 
pose in Louisiana that you call home your army. What 
would be the result of that? Such a state of things would 
finally come about as exists in Georgia, where Avhite men and 
colored men all unite in sustaining Stephens unanimously 
for a seat in the House of Representatives. Call home your 
army, and the first result will be the triumph of the con- 
servatives politically in Louisiana. Very well. Colored men 
for a year or two may not hold office; but the colored man 
that has been in the ricefields of Louisiana, the colored man 
who has toiled in the sugar plantations of Louisiana, will not 
be harassed by a carpet-bagging politician as their governor; 
and I mean that in no offensive sense. All those gentlemen 
who are here and who are from the South understand me in 
that. I suppose we are all carpet-baggers in this country. 
New England has carpet-bagged all the West and North- 
west, for her population is everywhere. That is legitimate. 
But this offensive carpet-bagging system, the pouring out 
all our political lazzaroni on their shores, is what I protest 


Finishing his second day's speech Mr. Tipton called attention 

to the great political upheaval which had advanced democratic 


It was so, Mr. President (Mr. Scott in the chair), in your 
own State of Pennsjlvania. You had been the author of thir- 
teen volumes, containing reports of outrages in the South. 
That document had gone all over Pennsylvania. You had at 
least probably one hundred thousand majority for Hart- 


ranft. It was an immense multitude that no man scarcely 
could number and expect to live. The books were carried in 
peddlers' packs all over the State. They were read for thir- 
teen nights in succession, one volume every night, at the 
miner's cabin, around the doors of the furnaces, among the 
poor impoverished laborers in the mines of Pennsylvania: 
but they saw through the flimsy disguise. They simply 
went to the polls on election day and registered their edict 
that a party that proposed to live on blood when they were 
scarcely able to live for want of bread should go to political 
pandemonium; and that edict stands registered at the pres- 
ent time. 

I leave this question with the senate. I am in favor of the 
passage of the resolution of the Senator from Missouri (Mr. 
Schurz), in order that the judiciary committee, in a cool, 
fair, manly and dispassionate manner, may look into the 
subject, and I trust without partisan bias be able to come 
to the conclusion that there is a government of the people 
in Louisiana in abeyance; that the duty of this government 
is to call home her army, and no longer aggravate and ex- 
asperate the people of that State. 



March 4th, 1867— March 4th, 1871. 

John M. Thayer settled in Omaha, Nebraska, in the fall of 
J854, a few months after the territorial organization. He was 
born in Bellingham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, January 
24, 1820. Possessing a good education and hopeful of the future, 
with a laudable ambition to succeed, he naturally challenged 
early attention, gained the confidence of his associates, and 
found the field of enterprise wide open for occupancy. Be- 
longing to the legal profession it was not strange that visions of 
legislative honors should have an enticing influence, and that 
in 1857, he was found a candidate for congress in a "free for 
all,'' before the organization of parties, in a case where four 
aspirants divided among them 5,600 votes, each receiving 1,000, 
but Fenner Ferguson having the highest number in the hun- 
dreds. Again in 1859 and then in 1860 his name was placed be- 
fore the Republican nominating convention, but Samuel G. 
Daily, an original abolition republican, became the nominee and 
delegate. He was elected to the territorial council of 1860-61, 
and subsequently to a constitutional convention. In the council 
he was author of a bill to abolish slavery in Nebraska. In 1867 
he entered the United States senate for a term of four years 
and in 1875 was appointed governor of Wyoming Territory. 

Inasmuch as the entire eastern front of Nebraska was first 
settled, bordering on the Missouri River, where numerous Indian 
tribes had originally roamed at will, the peace and quiet, the 
lives and property of emigrants were often at the mercy of 
■savage marauders. 

So early as May, 1855, we find Gen. John M. Thayer one of a 
commission to hold a council with the Pawnee chiefs, under 
appointment of Governor Izard. 

In July of the same year the governor commissioned Gen- 
eral Thayer to raise troops and give protection to the settlers 
against the depredations of the Sioux. 


In the summer of 1S59 he led a force against Indians in what 
was denominated "the Pawnee war," the results of which were 
reassuring to the emigrants, and a lesson of power and authority 
to the Indians. An article by Major Dudley in the second vol- 
ume of Nebraska Historical Society reports contains the fol- 
lowing: "One figure, too, stands out prominently in all this 
history connected with every military affair or expedition, the 
first brigadier general of the territory, colonel of its first regi 1 
ment to take the field in defense of the Union; brigadier ami 
brevet major general of United States Volunteers, and then, 
after the war, United States senator, and now the recently 
elected governor of our state, John M. Thayer." 

While it is neither appropriate nor intended to incorporate a 
military history of Nebraska with this brief sketch of General 
Thayer's services, references must necessarily be made to the 
fact that he was active and persistent in the organization of the 
First Nebraska Infantry, afterward cavalry, becoming its col- 
onel and leading it in marches and skirmishes prior to its par- v 
ticipation in the battle of Fort Donelson, where on the 15th day 
of February, 1862, it received its first "baptism of fire." As 
colonel commanding the 2d brigade in General Lew Wallace's 
division at the battle of Pittsburg Landing. Tennessee, known 
also as Shiloh, he submitted a very minute, comprehensive and 
accurate report of the participation of his command in that most 
important and sanguinary contest. After stating the circum- 
stances under which it took position in line of battle on that 
memorable Sunday night, he gave a graphic description of the 
steady retreat of the Confederate line from "5 a. m. to 5 p. in..** 
before the steady advance of the Union army, reinforced by 
Buell's command. He said, "I cannot speak in terms of too 
high praise of the officers and soldiers under my command. 
Their conduct was most gallant and brave throughout. They^ 
fought with the ardor and zeal of true patriots. It gives me 
pleasure to speak of the different regiments and their officers. 
Nobly did the First Nebraska sustain its reputation, well earned 
on the field of Donelson. Its progress was onward during the 
whole day in face of a galling fire of the enemy, moving on 


without flinching, at one time being an hour and a half in front 
of their battery, receiving and returning fire, its conduct was 
most excellent." Having in detail mentioned the Twenty-third 
Indiana and the Fifty-eighth Ohio, surgeons and officers of his 
staff, he "congratulated the general upon the part his division 
took, and upon the success which attended all his movements 
in the memorable battle of Pittsburg Lauding/' From this 
time on until in July, 1865, when his active military career 
closed, he is seen commanding a brigade of Iowa troops and 
leading a storming party in the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, 
then in the battle of Arkansas Post where his horse was shot 
under him, and through the siege of Vicksburg, and appointed 
"Major General of Volunteers for gallant and distinguished 
services"; with Sherman in the battle of Jackson, Mississippi, 
and with General Steel in Arkansas in command of the Army 
of the Frontier and ending with a command at Helena, on the 
Mississippi river, and retiring to civil life, brevetted a major 


The duties of the military and Indian committees were so 
congenial to Senator Thayer, on account of a long army service 
and the deep interest his constituents had in the latter, that he 
was soon before the senate with bills, reports, and incidental 
remarks. On the 26th of March, 1867, three weeks after his 
admission to the body, a question was raised by a friend of the 
California Pacific Railroad as to the progress of the Union Pa- 
cific from Omaha westward. Thereupon General Thayer, with 
accuracy of statement and collected demeanor arrested the at- 
tention of the senate. 

Me. Thayer: I would not trouble the senate with any 
remarks on this question except for the fact that this road 
runs through the entire state which I have the honor in 
part to represent, on this floor, and in justice to the com- 
pany who have had the building of this road. I feel it my 
duty to give utterance to a few words. I was surprised 
yesterday when the resolution was introduced by the honor- 
able senator from California — not that he intended any 
injustice to the Union Pacific Eailroad Company. 


But from my knowledge of the facts, I am compelled to 
say that even instituting- an inquiry on the subject, implying 
ihat there is a neglect, does them greater injustice; for I 
stand here to say that no improvement, in ancient or mod- 
ern times, was ever prosecuted with such untiring energy, 
with such tireless force, and with means such as that com- 
pany has used. Three hundred and five miles of continuous 
road were built last year, and they were only stopped be- 
cause it was beyond human energy to prosecute work this 
winter. Now, sir, this has been the most remarkable winter 
in the west that that distinguished personage, "the oldest 
inhabitant," has had any knowledge of. There have been 
snows such as have never fallen before. They have stopped 
the progress of all works. But while this company have 
been stopped they have not been idle. They have been con- 
centrating at the end of this three hundred miles of road 
an immense amount of material which they are now about 
" to use. They have been gettin iron out there in immense 
quantities, and engines and all paraphernalia of a railroad, 
just as fast as the means of communication have enabled 
them to do." 

In these few remarks his colleagues discerned that the new 
member from the West had not lost the polish of New England, 
in assuming the duties of pioneer life. 

In a few days thereafter the records show Mr. Thayer en- 
gaged in an Indian war discussion, in which he had to arraign 
the report of a congressional committee, correspondents of the 
\ ew York Tribune and Boston Journal, and an interview of the 
chairman of the Indian committee, together with numerous 
allegations made by senators in debate. With undisputed facts, 
and invulnerable arguments he met all comers and charges, and 
then appealed to the sense of the senate in the following com- 
pact sentences: 

I stand here to say to the senate, speaking in behalf of 
every class of the community on the border, speaking in 
behalf of every industrial pursuit, that nothing can be 
more abhorrent, nothing more dreaded by them than an 
Indian war. Why, sir, until these hostilities upon the fron- 
tier everything was prosperous there; the commerce on 
the plains had risen to an immense magnitude; we could 
talk about the commerce of the Plains, as well as you could 
talk of the commerce of the seas and the lakes. 


These men went out upon the plains and did business in 
the mountains. You could go in no direction across these 
wide plains that you did not see long caravans of trains 
bearing merchandise from all the points of the Missouri 
to all the territories in the mountains and away to the 

It is the main source of our income; it is the market for 
our productive industry; and to send it forth to this Nation 
that we frontiersmen are in for a war to make money, is 
the most atrocious calumny of the nineteenth century. 

Continuing in a more subdued and humorous strain, we have 
the following: 

My dear sir, the very gamblers and thieves which Chicago, 
and St. Louis, and New York, and Cincinnati, and Boston, 
and Philadelphia failed to hang dread an Indian war. We 
have some of that class of people there, — I am sorry for it, — 
but it is because you in the East have not done your duty 
and hung them. They fled out there to escape but they do 
not represent the border. My friend from New York (Mr. 
Conkling) suggests that they do not come from New York. 
If so, it is because they treat them so kindly there that they 
do not have to run away. They vote the right way in New 
York City. [Laughter.] 

Senator Morrill of Maine having been very active in the dis- 
cussion and full of the poetic idea of "Lo, the poor Indian," and 
deeply anxious that at least some stray rays of civilization's 
light might dawn upon the far West, received a cordial invita- 
tion to visit and be convinced. 

I tell him as a friend, frankly, without prejudice, that he 
would come back with different ideas as to that section of 

He talks about Christianity and civilization. Why, sir, 
from whence did the people of the border come? Many 
came from New England. Men have settled there, whom I 
have the honor now in part to represent, whom he has here- 
tofore represented on this floor. The people of the border 
are "bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh." Sir, I have 
seen a Christian people there coming from their humble 
cabins, meeting at cross-roads or by-roads in an impro- 
vised school-house, and I have seen them there raise the 
voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise to Almighty 
God, and worship Him with as much feeling and as much 


sincerity as is manifested by those who worship in the 
gorgeous temples of your eastern cities. 

You will find there an humble Christianity, but it is as 
pure as that which dwells in the Easi. 

At the conclusion of a long and exhaustive speech, when a 
senator from Wisconsin offered an amendment for the removal 
of all Nebraska Indians to the Indian Territory, those who 
have charged Nebraska's persecution of Indians upon us, were 
astounded by the senator's concluding periods. 

They commenced within six weeks after the settlers have 
crossed the Missouri River, and settled on lands which had 
been ceded to the United States, to steal their cattle, and 
in the second raid killed two or three. But those days have 
passed. Since those Indians have been placed upon reserva- 
tions there has been entire peace and quiet. There is good 
feeling between the Omahas, the Pawnees and others, even 
the Sioiix, a band engaged in the Minnesota massacre, who 
are now located in the northern corner of Nebraska. They 
are on friendly terms with the whites; no collision, no 
clashing whatever. We do not ask to have those Indians 

I tell the senator from Maine that there is a condition of 
peace and quiet between the people and the peaceable In- 
dians, and you may go among those tribes today and they 
will point to the white people, the settlers on the border, as 
their friends. Why, sir, but a few weeks ago some of them 
fearing an incursion, or a raid of the Sioux, came into 
Omaha for our protection. 

Thus at the end of the fortieth congress, General Thayer had 
"won his spurs" on themes general to his condition as a west- 
ern representative. 

At the first session of congress after the election of General 
Grant, Senator Thayer presented Bill No. 1, to repeal the act 
which had restrained President Johnson from making removals, 
and for the violation of which he was impeached. Senator 
Edmunds offered bill No. 2 to amend the same act, and Senator 
Williams an amendment for its suspension during Grant's term 
of office. In the house of representatives General Butler, .of 
Massachusetts, also presented a bill for its repeal. Many old 
senators were loath to see the bill repealed, although they 
had supported it as only for a temporary purpose. 


Some feared they might seem to be currying" favor with Gen- 
eral Grant, and others that they might be supposed to have lost 
confidence in its utility. But General Thayer "slept upon his 
arms," as at Shiloh, and kept his war paint bright, and illus- 
trated the maxim: "In peace, friends; enemies in war." 

Many denied that the law refusing to allow a president to re- 
move certain officers, without consent of the senate, was merely 
directed against Andrew Johnson. 

To this General Thayer replied: 

This man Johnson thought proper to abandon those who 
elevated him to power. He determined to violate, and did 
violate, all the pledges he had made. He did forswear the 
principles upon which he was elected, and joined the polit- 
ical enemies who had fought him from the commencement 
of the Rebellion. Then he undertook to sweep from power 
and place those who had sustained President Lincoln, and 
who had sustained the principles upon which Mr. Lincoln's 
administration went into power. It was then, and not till 
then, that it occurred to members of this body to originate 
the tenure of office law. No senator will rise in his place 
here and assert that he had contemplated such a law as 
this until the treachery of Andrew Johnson was patent 
to the world. Therefore I say it was an exceptional law. 

To the theory of suspending the law, he paid his compliments 
in the most direct and positive manner. 

I say if the law is just and right as a permanent statute 
you are wrong in proposing its suspension. My honorable 
friend from Michigan (Mr. Howard) says it will be the 
highest compliment that we can pay to President Grant. 
My friend from Michigan, I know, enjoys a joke. 

And then my honorable friend from New York (Mr. Conk- 
ling) joined in and said it will be suspended in effect until 
the end of the next session of congress, and that will leave 
him a year. If you mean to show confidence in General 
Grant, why did not the committee, why did not the friends 
of suspension, substitute the words "the 4th of March, 

The senator from Missouri (Mr. Schurz) having denounced the 
distribution of patronage as a curse to a party, met the follow- 
ing retort: 


I know it is fashionable to denoimce and to decry pat- 
ronage and the spoils of office; but point me to a senator on 
this floor who has not sought to exercise the right of dis- . 
pensing patronage to his political friends and supporters. 

When General Grant sent the names of his first cabinet offi- 
cers to the senate, he included among them A. T. Stewart, 
merchant prince of New York, who was ineligible, being an im- 
porter of merchandise, and therefore could not be secretary of 
the treasury; and hence his name was withdrawn and the mis- 
take acknowledged. Senator Thayer took the prompt act of 
submission to law as an evidence of the new president's prompt 
and faithful enforcement of law in the future, and closed a 
long and able speech with the following sentence: 

In that act of moral courage, of moral power, and of 

moral grandeur, he appears nobler than when he stood on 

the ramparts of Vicksburg, its conqueror, or when he re- 

| ceived the surrender of the Confederate army of northern 

Virginia on the Appomattox. 



In sight of the National Capitol and south of the Potomac 
River lies Arlington, once the estate of Washington Park 
Custis, adopted son of General Washington. General Robert 
E. Lee, of the Confederacy, having abandoned this venerable 
homestead, to join the rebellion, it was confiscated in 1863, and 
200 acres set apart as a national cemetery in 1864. Within it 
repose the bodies of 16,000 soldiers, while the bones of 2,111 
unknown rest in a granite sarcophagus, 220 feet in diameter 
and 30 feet deep. On the 13th day of December, 1870, Senator 
McCreery of Kentucky offered a resolution for the relief of Mrs. 
Robert E. Lee, looking to a settlement of her claim to Arling- 
ton. Fiery discussion became contagious, and it was soon evi- 
dent that the resolution would not be received. Among those 
participating in the debate, Senator Thayer took a prominent 
part. He declared that he was somewhat in doubt while listen- 
ing to the resolution and the sentiments uttered by the hon- 
orable senator from Kentucky, whether to give expression to his 
feelings, or to vote in silence. He proceeded: 


A stranger in this chamber, for the last hour, would 
hardly have supposed he was in the American senate. He 
would rather have imagined that he was in the Confederate 
congress at Richmond, six years ago, when eulogies were 
pronounced upon Stonewall Jackson. I had predicted during 
the last three or four years that the time would come, if 
the policy of congress was not rigidly carried out and ad- 
hered to in the southern states, when the leaders of re- 
bellion would sit in these seats, and encomiums would be 
pronounced upon their acts. In one respect the day has 
come sooner than I had anticipated. I listened to him care- 
fully, and not one word did I hear falling from his lips in 
condemnation of treason. 

Mr. McCreery said: 

The melancholy tidings of the death of General Thomas, 
and the accents of sorrow which his surviving friends 
poured forth the national grief at his irreparable loss, are 
still fresh in our recollections when we learned that yet an- 
other of the great actors in the drama through which we 
have passed had breathed his last. 

To this General Thayer responded : 

The linking together of the names of Thomas and Lee 
was unfortunate . It is true they were associates together in 
early life. Both educated by the United States to be its 
protectors when assailed, both took a solemn oath, written 
down by the angel, that they would forever be its defend- 
ers, against foreign or domestic foes. The one — Thomas — • 
nobly, sacredly, grandly kept his oath. He fought for the 
flag of the Union and was faithful to the end. He has 
passed away. His name is inscribed on the rolls of immortal 
renown. The other was faithless to his solemn vow. With 
perjury in his soul he raised the black standard of treason 
and through all the scenes and vicissitudes, the dangers and 
trials and battles of four years, he fought with his best 
energies and his best efforts to destroy the Union whose 
flag he had sworn to defend forever. 

It became evident to the senator from Kentucky that he had 
sown the wind and was reaping a cyclone, and inasmuch as his 
political and personal friends desired him to withdraw the 
offensive paper, he would have done so, but the rules of order 
made it impossible; besides the Nebraska soldier had his guns 
trained upon it, and was closing his lines, by gradual approaches. 
He continued: 


The senator from Kentucky had no word of condemna- 
tion for this foul, glaring - , damning- treason. General Lee is 
held up as a model of virtue and right and truth to the 
youth of the American Nation. This is what we witness 
here to-day. The proposition is made, and we are discussing 
the question of its reception, whether the graves of twenty 
thousand heroic dead, who died that the Nation might live, 
shall be opened and their dust gathered up and scattered 
along the way to be deposited somewhere else, to make 
way for the widow of the traitor, whose hands were chiefly 
instrumental in taking the lives of that army of martyrs 
who sleep on the heights of Arlington. That is the spectacle 
which we now witness in the senate of the United States, 
before six years have passed away from the laying down of 
the arms of the rebellion. The graves of those men who 
gave their lives that we might sit here today to legislate 
for the American people, that we might sit here in com- 
mon with the people of the Union in the enjoyment of the 
blessings of the Union purchased by their blood and their 
lives are to be opened; an act of sacrilege is to be com- 
mitted, in order that this propertj^ may be given back to the 
widow of Lee. Sir, as an American citizen, as a senator of 
the United States and as a soldier in the war for the Union, 
I enter my solemn protest against it. 

( )n a final vote to grant leave to introduce the resolution 
leave was denied, there being four in the affirmative and fifty- 
four in the negative. There was no evidence, however, that the 
three voting with Mr. McCreery approved of his resolution. 
Being a member of the military committee the Nebraska sen- 
ator was always on the alert as to the rights and honors of 

Hearing that the attorney general had given an opinion that 
the states would have to agree to continue the national ceme- 
teries within their limits and might demand pay for the ground, 
he ottered a resolution of inquiry, and said: 

I have been led to believe, and I still believe, that those 
who fell fighting 1 for our national existence earned a full 
and unqualified title to the resting places where their bodies 
sleep. If they are to be disturbed on the refusal of the 
legislatures to give their consent, I desire to know it; or 
rather, T will say, I am opposed to asking the consent of 
any legislature or anybody else to secure the undisturbed 
possession of the soil inclosed within those cemeteries. 


The3 r died in the defense of their country, and their rest- 
ing- places are hallowed spots. Sir, I am ready, for one, to 
say that if need be we will fight through another war to 
hold forever sacred the graves where our heroes sleep. 

On the question involving the reconstruction of Virginia and 
Georgia, the senator indulged in a discussion covering the whole 
ground of secession and constitutional restoration — of demo- 
cratic and republican records — diagnosing the disease and pre- 
scribing the political remedies. Notwithstanding all the two 
states had done in responding to the demands of congress, ho 
desired further indemnity for the past and greater security for 
the future. 

For congress he had words of eulogy, and for her champions 
garlands of perpetual renown. 

For the first time in our history it struck down the prop 
of despotism, the doctrine of caste of race, or color, and 
declares the broad, philosophical, supremely just, and only 
trne republican principle — the complete equality of all men 
in the possession of all civil and political rights. It in- . 
vested a race with the order of citizenship, it invested a 
race with the rights of manhood. By its comnjand that 
race, bowed down with the wrongs of centuries, stood forth 
erect under the broad panoply of eternal right. 

So much was the republican party divided upon questions at 
issue and the democrats silent that the General said: 

I have remarked that a portion of the members of this 
body, those who belong to the opposite political faith, have 
remained entirely silent. They seem to be as serene and 
composed as a summer's morning, or, to be still more poetic, 
as calm and unruffled as the waters of a moon-lit lake. 

Turning upon his witty friend from Nevada, he said: 

Mr. Nye described with affecting pathos the hardships in- 
flicted upon this long-suffering, patiently waiting state of 
Virginia. She has waited till her locks are wet with the 
dews of night. Sir, let me say to that honorable senator. 
there are many people in Virginia todaj- who are '''red of 
waiting, waiting for that protection which this great gov- 
ernment of the United States has vouchsafed to every citizen 
who respects its authority and obeys its command. 


A.fter a i ucniv years' calm, war having "smoothed his wrinkled 
front," and the sulphur of battle been replaced by the odor of 
flowers, and the groat generals of the past having answered to 
roll call of death, and the rival orators of reconstruction just 
waiting to join the silent procession, all efforts to portray the 
stormy past by mutilated extracts must be as unsatisfactory as 
an attempt to represent the Pantheon of old by a single block 
of Roman marble. The closing speech upon Georgia was worthy 
of the place and occasion. 

The fruits of this legislation will reach on through the 
ages. Our task will be ended, our mission will be fulfilled, 
only when every other citizen of every state, of every hamlet 
within our wide border, be he poor or rich, be he humble 
or exalted, be he white or black, and of every religion and 
opinion, and of every nationality, and every color or doc- 
trine, shall be in the full and equal possession and enjoy- 
ment of every blessing which a beneficent government can 
bestow. Then we may witness the ushering- in of the reign 
of universal justice, of universal liberty, and of universal 
law. These shall be the crowning glories of the Nation. 
Then shall every citizen, wherever he may dwell between 
the oceans, feel and know that he is indeed and in truth a 
child of the great Eepublic. Then may all exultingly ex- 
claim, "This is my country; this is my nation." 



March 4th, 1871— March 2nd, 1S77. 

Mr. Hitchcock moved that the senate take up Bill 680, "To 
encourage the growth of timber on the western prairies." 

This with him had become a pet measure. The bill was his 
own. Grand in conception, economic and benevolent in design 
and bold in fancied execution. An effort to supply a defect 
of nature, to modify the rigors of climate, to add health, com- 
fort and gain to the citizens, was worthy of a fair and honest 
experiment. Mr. Hitchcock stated the object of the bill as 
follows : 

It provides that any person who shall plant, protect and 
keep in a healthy growing condition for five years, one hun- 
dred and twenty acres of timber, the trees thereon not 
being more than eight feet apart each way, on any quarter 
section of the public lands of the United States, shall be 
entitled to a patent for the whole of the quarter section 
at the expiration of live years on making proof of such fact 
by not less than two credible witnesses; but only one 
quarter in any section is to be thus granted. 

By amendments from the committee on Public Lands, the 
number of acres was reduced from 120 to 40, and the space be- 
tween trees extended to 12 feet. 

Mr. Harlan of Iowa moved an amendment extending the time 
of cultivation to ten years and sustained it with an argument. 

Me. Hitchcock: There is clearly no time to discuss a 
measure of this importance at this period of the session. 
I had hoped and intended to prepare some remarks on this 
question, which I thought, and still think, deserves the care- 
ful consideration of the Senate. I am surprised at the style 
of the remarks made by the senator from Iowa. It is evi- 
dent that he does not desire the passage of the bill at this 
time. But, Sir, preferring that the bill shall pass, even with 
this amendment rather than it shall fail entirely. I will ac- 
cept it. 
* For the record of Mr. Hitchcock as territorial delegate, see ante, page 100. 


An effort being made to limit the privilege of the bill to such 
only as had less than 160 acres of land, Mr. Hitchcock said: 

The senator from Mississippi totally misapprehends the 
object and intention of this bill. The object of the bill is to 
encourage and develop a growth of timber west oi the Mis- 
souri River. 

It wall take capital, it will take money, to plant, cultivate 
and protect forty acres of timber for ten years, as the bill 
now provides. A man without capital can get his land now 
without money under the homestead law. 

The object of this bill is to encourage the growth of 
Timber not merely for the benefit of the soil, not merely 
for the value of the timber of itself, but for its influence 
on the climate. 

The bill was passed as thus amended and was operative for 
twenty-two years. 


On the 24th day of February, 1875, the senate proceeded to 
the consideration of a bill for the admission of Colorado, as a 
state. Mr. Hitchcock, having the bill in special charge, and 
the session being within eight days of its close, was anxious 
to see it passed without amendment, which might cause its 
defeat in the House of Representatives for want of time. 

Feeling that sufficient population and ample material re- 
sources existed, but that no very recent census had been taken, 
his ingenuity was tested in the condensation of statistical esti- 
mates and historic facts. Knowing the temper of the senate, 
when time was short, and each one anxious to pass special 
measures, he combined directness with brevity, as in his open- 
ing speech. 

Mr. President, at this period in the session, with the cal- 
endar filled with a long list of bills which have received 
favorable action at the hands of the different committees 
and which are pressing for the formal and favorable action 
of the Senate, I believe that no extended discussion of this 
bill is needed or would be jxistifiable. 

There is, I apprehend, and can be, but one possible objec- 
tion and but one possible question to be considered and but 
one point upon which opposition can be made to the present 
admission of Colorado. That question is in regard to her 


present population. Upon that point the Committee on 
Territories believe from the best information which they 
were able to obtain that Colorado to-day contains a popula- 
tion of one hundred and fifty thousand. Of course this 
must be based to a great extent on statistics and estimates, 
as no official formal census of the Territory has been taken 
for the last five years. 

The population of the Territory, by the census of 1870, 
Avas about 40,000. There are some comparative estimates 
which can be made from the statistics of the Territory at 
that time, and statistics since that time which go to show 
the ratio of the increase of population. For instance, the 
revenue of the postal department in 1870 was twenty-nine 
thousand and some hundred dollars. The revenue of the 
same department for the year 1874 was $102,000, nearly 
four times the revenue derived from the postal service in 
the year 1870. 

I think there is no better, no surer test than that. The 
increase in the population is represented perhaps as ac- 
curately by the increase of revenue of the postal service 
as in any other way. So in other respects. At the time 
the census of 1870 was taken there was not in the territory 
a single line of completed railroad, and now there are 735 
miles built at an estimated cost of about $30,000,000. So that 
it is probable that no territory has been admitted with the 
aggregate of wealth, the aggregate of business, the aggre- 
gate of commercial importance that Colorado has at the 
present time. Since the original constitution was adopted 
twenty-four states have been admitted to the Union. Of 
these, Texas, Maine and West Virginia were separated from 
other states or admitted as independent sovereignties, as in 
the case of Texas. Consequently twenty-one states have 
been admited from a territorial condition since the gov- 
ernment was founded. 

Of these twenty-one, but two were admitted as states 
which had at the time of their admission a greater popula- 
tion than Colorado now has, and these were Michigan and 
Wisconsin, each of them having, I think, a population of 
about 200,000; Minnesota having a population of about the 
same amount that Colorado now has, and the others, such 
states as Illinois and Ohio, having only about one third the 
population which Colorado now has. Situated in the center 
of the continent, extending from the 37th parallel of latitude 
on the south to the 41st parallel of latitude on the north, 
and from the 25th meridian of longitude on the east to the 
32d meridian of longitude on the west, embracing an area 
of 106,000 square miles; with a vast mineral wealth hidden 
away in the recesses of her lofty mountains and her lovely 


valleys; \\iih a climate wonderful for its healthfulness, with 
v a soil capable by irrigation of producing an agricultural 
product sufficient to support a population of at least two 
millions of people; settled with inhabitants, hardy, brave, 
enterprising, loyal, and intelligent, Colorado is ready to 
throw off the swaddling clothes of a territory and assume 
position as a sovereign and independent state. 

( >l>jection seemed to spring up all over the senate, to various 
provisions of the bill. Mr. Sargent of California protested 
against allowing 5 per cent upon all sales of public lands made 
prior to the admission of the State. 

Mr. Hitchcock: The honorable senator from California, 
in the name of economy, proposes to strike out two words, 
the usual words which have been in other enabling acts, 
and which have allowed other incoming states to obtain 5 
per cent on the proceeds of those public lands, which had 
been sold during their territorial existence. 

Now I think it would not be very becoming in the United 
States to select Colorado as a conspicuous instance of econ- 
omy. As a matter of economy, I am sure it is better that 
this bill should pass in its present form than that the Terri- 
torjr of Colorado should continue to be governed at the ex- 
pense of the United States. 

The State of Nevada put in her assertion that she had not 
received the same 5 per cent, fund, but was promptly answered, 
that she had not a sale of lands prior to her admission ; but did 
receive it on subsequent sales. Mr. Edmunds desired six months 
to intervene between the forming of a constitution and its 

Mr. Hitchcock could see this in no other light than an effort 
to postpone the admission of the State; but the amendment was. 
however, adopted. Numerous others were offered, and but a 
few passed. 

After keeping up a very prolonged and successful running 
debate, with such antagonists as Sargent of California, Stewart 
of Nevada, Edmunds of Vermont, Hamilton of Maryland and 
Bayard of Delaware, Mr. Hitchcock's labors were consummated 
in the passage of the bill, and in 1876 Colorado became the 
Centennial State 



In the first session of the 44th Congress on a bill to allow 
#20,000 for certain Colorado expenses, in reply to the venerable 
senator (Mr. Morrill of Vermont) Mr. Hitchcock said: 

Mr. President, I have heard of saving- at the spigot and 
spending- at the bunghole: I have heard of such things as 
men being- "penny wise and pound foolish," and I think if 
we want to make a conspicuous example of that kind of 
economy, this senate should, after having so recently voted 
to endorse and assume the payment of $15,000,000 of bonds 
to pay for paving the streets of this city, to pay attorneys 
for defending the officers of this government, and to pay 
reporters for reporting those proceedings, vote to strike 
out this section. I think that would be an eminently proper 
thing for this senate to do. But, sir, I think that this 
senate can afford, probably without ruining the government, 
to make this appropriation of $20,000 to pay the expenses 
of the members of the convention to frame a constitution 
for the State of Colorado. Colorado is just becoming of age, 
she assuming the responsibility not only of self-government, 
brit of bearing her equal fair share in the government of us 
all; and I believe that ordinarily prudent policy dictates 
that we should not receive her in a niggardly manner. 


Having in charge a bill for the admission of New Mexico, as 
a state, at the winding up of a long discussion, Mr. Hitchcock 
very successfully punctured New England's vanity in the fol- 
lowing manner: 

Mr. President, the State of Rhode Island, the very years 
which the senator quotes, at the last two elections, polled 
how many votes? 

The State of Ehode Island polled in the year 1872, 13,442 
votes, about 3,000 less than were polled by New Mexico, in 
the last year, with no contest; yet the State of Rhode Is- 
land is represented on the floor of the other House by two 
members. Therefore, by the senator's own argument, the 
injustice we do here is that we do not give the Territory of 
New Mexico two members instead of one in the other 
House. Very much has been said in regard to the agricul- 
tural resources of New Mexico. The honorable senator 
from Maine said he thought there was not more than one 
out of an hundred acres of arable land. Even if there were 


but one acre out of an hundred, it is far greater in pro- 
portion than in the states of New England. 

The valley of the Ilio Grande, running' all the way through 
the center of the Territory. I venture to say has greater 
capacity for agricultural production, and will produce more 
in one year, than the whole territory of New England will 
or has in a century. 


The Senator's conclusions respecting warfare with Indians 
partook of the deductions of experience and actual knowledge. 

Mr. President, I want to tell the honorable senator that 
the men to fight Indians are the men who know the In- 
dian character, the men who are on the ground, and there 
are plenty in the im mediate vicinity of these Indians, who 
not only are acquainted with the Indian character, but have 
had military service in the field heretofore. 

Eeeruits from your regular army are enlisted in the 
streets of your great cities; they are men who have never 
seen Indians, and they are men unaccustomed to ride. 


In the last elaborate speech of his senatorial term is found 
the following extract: 

Mr. President, it is my fortune to reside upon the line of 
the Union Pacific Railroad. It was my fortune to see the 
first spadeful of earth ever thrown upon the grading of that 
road, and to be somewhat familiar with the history of its 
construction, with the method of operation, and with the 
beneficent results which have come to the country and the 
world from that construction and operation. The construc- 
tion of a railroad across the continent, from ocean to ocean, 
marked an era in the material prosperity and development, 
not of this continent only but of the world. Existing for a 
quarter of a century or more only in the brain of enthusi- 
astic dreamers, it remained for the statesmen who con- 
trolled the destinies of the country in the dark hours of 
her struggle with armed rebellion to crystallize that dream 
into a practical enactment; and it remained for the daring 
enterprise of the capitalists and business men of that time 
to carry out the enactment to a, glorious consummation. 

Like everything human, no matter how excellent, it had 
its imperfections. It was marred and scarred by the con- 
nection with it in its early history of sordid men, who 


saw nothing- in it better than a means of adding - to their 
"wealth and their gain; and like everything human that is 
successful, it had no sooner become a success than it be- 
came, and still is, the object of continued bitter and persist- 
ent attack. 

During- the process, of its construction the country rang 
with plaudits of the magnificence of the enterprise and 
approval of the courage and energy with which it was 
prosecuted. Xo sooner was it completed than the country 
rang, as it still rings, with denunciation of it as a mighty 
fraud and swindle. I assert, Mr. President, and I do so 
without the fear of successful contradiction, that assuming 
that not one dollar of the principal or interest of the bonds 
which were advanced by this government to this railroad 
had ever been or ever would be paid except by the transpor- 
tation which this company affords to the government, and 
saying nothing of the vast and almost measureless secon- 
dary consequential advantages which this country has re- 
ceived, and is receiving, and is destined to receive, this 
country has received every year, in transportation alone, 
twice the amount of the interest which she has paid upon 
these bonds; that she has received a fund which so far ex- 
ceeds the interest she has paid upon these bonds that it 
will, prior to the time when the bonds become due, amount 
to a much greater sum than the amount of the bonds. 

Sustaining his views of the subject he quoted at length from 
senators' speeches when the original Union Pacific bill passed, 
and also from a House report showing that transportation over 
the plains before 1862 was costing the government from five to 
seven millions annually, whereas the annual interest on bonds 
would be one million per year. 


The last matter of business accomplished by him twenty-four 
hours before the expiration of his term, was the passage of an 
amendment to an appropriation bill. 

Mr. Hitchcock: I have been for six years a member of 
the District Committee, and I am somewhat familiar with 
the appropriations which have been made in the name of 
charity to this district, and I believe of all the appropria- 
tions made there are none that have produced more benefi- 
cent results from a small expenditure than the appropria- 
tions which we have made annually for the reform school. 


They have out there to-day a farm of 150 acres. There are 
about 200 boys kept on that farm, at a very small expense. 
They need more land in order to employ the boys wisely 
and well. They need it in order that they may get a front 
upon the east branch, so they may obtain ice. They need 
it to prevent neighbors who will interfere with the welfare 
of the boys getting possession of the land. 


His amendment being adopted he might have retired satis- 
fied that an honored service had closed with a parting tribute 
to "sweet charity''; but by long association and labors, the ter- 
ritories had become to him children of an older growth pleading 
for their patrimony. 

At the end of a tedious night session, on the morning of the 
day of adjournment, he moved to take up a bill for organizing 
the Territory of the Black Hills. 

Mr. Hitchcock: If I may be allowed a single moment, I 
wish to state, that I think if we can reach a vote on the bill, 
no senator can particularly object to its passage through 
the senate. It will gratify me exceedingly if it can be 
passed through the senate, at least, at the close of my term 
as a senator. 

There being no hope for it in the House, at that session, and 
every senator being burdened with unfinished business, its fate 
was to "pass over." 

But in view of his persistent and intelligent efforts in behalf 
of the territories, Mr. Hitchcock merited a monument of Col- 
orado granite, adorned with New Mexican silver and Black Hills 
nuggets, decorated with garlands from tree-cultured prairies, 
and inscribed to an honest service closed with a parting tribute 
to ''sweet charity." 



March 5th, 1875-81 and 1887-93. 

The oath of office as a senator of the United States was ad- 
ministered to Mr. Paddock in a special session of the senate 
March 5th, 1875. 

Mr. Morton, of Indiana, a prime factor in the Republican 
party, almost amounting to a political dictator, moved the ad- 
mission of P. B. S. Pinchback as senator from the state of 
Louisiana, on an election two years previous, and from one of 
two rival legislatures. The case having gone over to the first 
regular session of December, 1875, Mr. Paddock made it the 
subject of his maiden speech, having only previously occupied 
the attention of the senate with a few incidental remarks rela- 
tive to the expenses of the admission of Colorado as a state. 

Having promised that if the contest were purely political, or 
reduced to a choice of the "lesser of two evils" he would sus- 
tain the present applicant, he then set forth in most unequivocal 
terms his view of party duty in the existing emergency. 

Mr. President — As it is mainly an issue between Mr. 
Pinchback and the law, I shall vote for the law as I under- 
stand it. Albeit, I have not arisen to make a legal argu- 
ment. That indeed, sir, would be a work of supererogation 
on my part after the weary years of very able discussion 
that have already been given to this question. I shall not so 
consume the time nor so abuse the patience of the senate. 
I desire only to say a few brief words in a spirit of the 
utmost kindness, sincerity and candor to my republican 
brethren in the senate and out of it as well. In my opinion, 
sir, the republican party will not be strengthened by the 
admission of Mr. Pinchback under the election upon which 
he bases his claim. A suspicion, almost a conviction, sir, 
pervades the public mind everywhere that this selection was 
altogether a farce. Indeed, sir, very many republicans, 
some of them in this chamber, more of them outside, who 
have carefully examined all the law and all the evidence, 
anxious to discover therein the proper warrant of authority 
for Mr. Pinchback's admission to a seat in this body, have 
been forced to the conclusion that it cannot be found. 


Moreover, sir, the whole case is so closely related extrinsl- 
cally to a condition of political affairs in Louisiana which 
is admitted on all hands to be so deplorable, while in and of 
itself, it has so few of the elements which the people are 
sure to require before they give to it their approval, and 
it is withal immediately environed by complications so un- 
republican in character, that in my humble judgment we 
had better let it alone entirely. I say this, sir, with the ut- 
most deference for the opinions of the very able patriotic 
senators here who think otherwise. And, sir, I wish it to 
be distinctly understood that, in what I may say upon this 
question, I disclaim utterly any intention to impugn the 
motives or to criticise the action of any senator upon this 
floor. I accord to all what I claim for myself: a conscien- 
tious desire to discharge faithfully an important public 

In further uttering a note of ■ warning, he said: 

The people admire genuine manhood in the individual; 
they demand its fullest aggregation and development in a 
political party. The republican party learned this long ago. 
By its own acts alone will it be judged at the bar of public 
opinion and receive the approval or condemnation of the 
public as it may deserve. 

As the blood of the emancipated race flowed in the veins of 
the Louisiana senator elect, Mr. Paddock declared he did not 
believe the admission of that officer would advantage the negro 

They can make no greater mistake, sir, than to insist 
that the republican party, their natural ally and friend, 
shall take part with them in aggressive political movements 
which may be attended by many irregularities and sur- 
rounded by illegal complications. 

The supremacy of the republican party, sir, must depend 
altogether upon the acceptability of its policies to the in- 
telligent and the law abiding people of the great North. 
They, sir, will give much to the colored people of the South 
for defensive, but nothing for offensive warfare. 

This initial effort of the new senator from Nebraska "drew 
the fire'' of several distinguished political marksmen, who in- 
dulged in the phrase — "our lecturer," and evoked from General 
Logan, of Illinois, the declaration — "I do not feel like sitting 


here and being lectured by a republican on account of the vote 
I shall cast." The resolution of admission was never adopted. 
Having entered into a defense of his party it was an easy and 
natural transition to the defense of emigrants and of his own 
constituents in the vicinity of Indian reservations. 


Mr. Paddock: There ought not to be a single day's delay 
in considering this question. It seems to me that the senate 
ought to take up the matter to-day and conclude it. The 
fact is patent to all that these people are already there in 
large numbers, and that there is bloodshed, carnage, and 
destruction of life and property by this savag"e tribe which 
contests the advance of civilization. 

Action ought to be, and must be, had at once, and while I 
am up I must be permitted to say that it has been a very 
fashionable thing here to reflect upon the brave and enter- 
prising people on the frontier who have sometimes pushed 
forward into the so-called Indian country; but it should be 
remembered by our friends in the East that our friends on 
the frontier are only following the illustrious examples 
that have been set long before. They are only doing that 
which was done by the Pilgrim Fathers when they landed 
on Plymouth Rock, and by those who afterwards, following 
their example, went into Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, Iowa, and other sections, repeating the history that 
had been made before. 

It is utterly impossible to restrain the American people 
when opportunities are presented to advance their fortunes. 
The same spirit of enterprise impresses all, whether they 
reside in New England or Nebraska. 


During the 44th Congress Senator Paddock was called upon 
to sit as a member of a High Court of Impeachment, for the 
trial of W. W. Belknap, who as Secretary of War during Gen- 
eral Grant's administration, in 1876, was charged by the house 
of representatives with having corruptly received large sums 
of money for appointing a post trader at Fort Sill. 

The case finally turned upon the plea, that before the case 
was filed in the court of impeachment (the senate) Secretary 
Belknap tendered his resignation, which was accepted by Gen- 


era] Grant, and therefore became a private citizen, and not 
amenable to removal from office. 

"When the name of Senator Paddock was called he responded: 

Believing that neither the Avritten words of the constitu- 
tion nor the spirit of our republican institutions warrant 
the impeachment of a private citizen when impeached, and 
further believing that the questions of fact go hand in hand, 
always inseparable, to final judgment, without reference 
to the facts as charged in this article, I vote "not guilty." 

^ith the opening of the 45th congress it was evident, from 
his committee assignments, that Senator Paddock would have 
ample opportunity for a vast amount of work, being made chair- 
man of the committee on Agriculture, and second upon that 
of Public Lands and Enrolled Bills, and third upon that of Post 
Offices and Post Koads. 

Early, therefore, he is found in an animated contest with the 
senators of Colorado and the greatly distinguished Judge Thur- 
man, of Ohio, relative to the Union Pacific Railroad and 


But by far his most elaborate and critical effort was his 
speech upon agriculture, as the foundation of national wealth — 
as to the number of our population employed by it, and its 
reasonable demands for government aid. In a single year, when 
our total exports amounted to |T39,971,739, the amount resulting 
from agricultural products equaled $536,038,951. This discus- 
sion involved the protection of crops and fruit from destroying 
insects, domestic animals from such diseases as cholera, pleuro- 
pneumonia and rinderpest; and their cheaper transportation to 
market and the opening up of numerous friendly ports for their 

The establishment of forestry as an aid and an agricultural 
education, and liberal enactments relative to the introduction 
of raw materials all came in for incidental prominence. On the 
latter point he said: 

Now, I, myself, was educated in the political school of 
Henry Clay, and while T yet think that in some cases and in 


some circumstances protection through high revenue tariff 
may answer a good purpose, I am forced to believe that for 
the states that are exclusively agricultural it may be on the 
whole an injurious policy. I speak now only of and to those 
states. Undoubtedly we would be immensely benefited if 
all raw materials used by the skilled labor of the country 
in the manufacture of articles absolutely necessary to the 
wardrobe of the farmer, the laboring- man, and their 
families; and all articles of food, not luxuries, could be ad- 
mitted free of duty. 

In his opinion the exigencies of the case demanded more in- 
telligent farmers in congress. 

I say this, Mr. President, with all due respect for the 300 
lawyers, more or less, who to-day occupy seats in the two 
Houses of Congress. All things that are possible for any 
one are possible for him, and jet his class rarely has direct 
personal representation in the great executive and legisla- 
tive offices of the government. The answer is easy. It is 
because farmers are satisfied with giving to their children 
only inferior education when it is apparent that of all the 
youths of the land they should secure the most careful 
training, the most thorough, the most general instruction. 

In this congress there occurred an occasion away from the 
dryness of statistical statement, and bitterness of political con- 
tention, in which sentiment deposited its treasures, genius wove 
garlands, and rhetoric twined them about the monumental 
shaft. The event was the memorial services in memory of Sen- 
ator Morton, renowned "War Governor*' of Indiana. 

In Mr. Paddock's contribution of affection occurs the follow- 


Me. Paddock: Mr. President — I never saw Senator Morton 
arise to address the senate during our brief service together 
here when I was not oppressed with the fear that it might 
be his last effort in this chamber. Indeed he appeared to 
be as one standing ever in the very shadow of the uplifted 
hand of the Angel of Death, ready and waiting for the al- 
ways impending, the always expected blow. He rose from 
his chair with great difficulty and often undoubtedly with 
much pain. Frequently while speaking he was compelled, 
from sheer physical exhaustion, to resume his seat; and 
some of the greatest efforts of his life were made while 


sitting- in yonder chair. A less determined spirit would have 
suciumbed to so serious a physical derangement; but his 
great intellect seemed to become clearer, brighter, more 
vigorous, his iron will to strengthen, his moral courage to 
increase, as his physical organism became weaker from the 
attacks of the insidious disease that was slowly but surely 
undermining it. 

I have seen the mighty oak, with its great bole, symmetri- 
cal and strong, with its wealth of graceful limbs, with its 
glory of leaf and shade forming,, all in all, one of the 
highest types of blended power and beauty, in nature a 
very monarch among his fellows, to whom they seemed to 
mutely bow as with acknowledgment of primacy. After- 
wards I have seen this wonder of the forest — which nature 
had so lavishly expended her forces to upbuild, and which 
had during many generations withstood the assaults of the 
angry tempests, gaining in each struggle increased develop- 
ment and strength— suddenly rent and riven, a deepened 
wound upon its noble trunk pointing out the lightning's 
track; and yet its umbrageous canopy of limb and leaf ap- 
peared, if possible, more perfect, more beautiful than ever. 
I cannot tell — perhaps no one but the Great Creator Himself 
will ever know— whether there may not have been specially 
imparted to it, through some Dryad medium, something of 
that force of will from the source of all power which gave 
to that charred and broken and wounded trunk the needed 
strength to draw from the fruitful soil the sustaining ele- 
ments necessary to the continuance of its great life. A 
few years later I have found this stupendous growth of na- 
ture a blasted, withered thing. A second bolt from Jove's 
awful hand had descended and robbed it forever of life, 
and strength, and beauty; for the very last time it had 
"flung down its green glories to battle with the wind and 

In respect of its inherent strength, its remarkable de- 
velopment, its superlative power and endurance at the ma- 
turity of its growth entitling it to superior rank among 
its fellows, as well as its final blight and decay, this won- 
derful creation of nature was aptly illustrative of the great 
life of the deceased senator before whose open grave we 
mourn. To him there was given a mental and physical 
organism with each faculty, each force so carefully, so per- 
fectly adjusted to every other, the whole constituting a 
manhood of such symmetry and strength and power that 
in any sphere of life must have commanded for him su- 
perior station among his fellows. Endowments so rare were 
his, that of their own force, by their own momentum, they 
impelled him to the fore-front, to intellectual primacy, to 


leadership; and this position once secured was easily held 
through that instinctive concession of prudence which the 
masses of men always make to the possessor of such facul- 

As the oak grew broader and stronger from its tempest 
conflicts so did this noble manhood broaden and strengthen 
in the encounters incident to a life of leadership among 
men. , 


On a similar occasion Mr. Paddock paid a graceful and tender 
tribute to the memory of lion. Frank Welch, of Nebraska, fur- 
nishing in the conception and style a counterpart to the beau- 
tiful simile so successfully amplified in the word portrait of 
Senator Morton. 

Mr. President — It is with no "hollow circumstance of 
woe," but as one sorrows for a brother lost, as a family 
in sackcloth mourns when the insatiate archer, entering- its 
charmed circle, selects for his victim the favorite of the 
flock, that we, each and all, in the State he loved so well, and 
served so faithfully, did say peace and farewell to his ashes. 
At length they bore him from us, and now his ashes mingle 
with the soil of Massachusetts. To us, sir, who loved Frank 
Welch — and we all did love him; to us who labored with him 
from the smallest beginnings in the territorial times to 
the days of stalwart statehood for Nebraska; there is in- 
deed left the record of his honorable citizenship; the proud 
monuments of his public services, the sweet memory of his 
personal graces, and of his frank and generous nature, the 
valued example of his earnest life; and these, sir, shall be 
ours evermore. Remembering this, sir, with such cheerful- 
ness and resignation as we could command we responded 
to the appeal of maternal affection and returned to Massa- 
chusetts the mortal casket — broken and useless to be sure — 
which once had held this priceless jewel. On behalf of the 
young State whose institutions Frank Welch helped to 
mould I sent greetings and grateful acknowledgments to 
Massachusetts for the valued services of this her son in our 
up-building. But remember, senators of that grand old 
commomvealth, his ashes are ours as well as yours. You 
received them from us with our love and our tears; you gave 
them honored sepulture. Now guard them well, w r e pray 
you; for when the last trump shall sound, and they who 
died for liberty on Bunker Hill and the other patriots 
buried there shall then, in glad obedience, come forth, no 
nobler spirit will appear than his whose life, commencing 


in that historic place, was mainly given to the work of de- 
velopment and civilization which resulted in the establish- 
mentment of a free and prosperous commonwealth in the 
distant West where only a little time before the Indian, 
undisturbed, "pursued the panting deer," and "the wild 
fox dug his hole unscared," in a land where no white man 
had ever dwelt and the arts of peace were unknown. 
All that can be said of him in connection with the 46th con- 
gress commencing in 1879 must necessarily be compressed 
within the smallest possible space. 

Offering an amendment to make more efficient the United 
States army in the suppression of Indian hostilities and the 
protection of life and property on the frontier, the field of dis- 
cussion embraced numerous topics of general interest. 


A state scarcely twelve years old. with a population of 
i 400,000 distributed sparsely over seventy-five thousand 

square miles of territory, seven-eighths of whom are en- 
gaged in agricultural pursuits, possessing- six hundred 
churches, three thousand or more district schools, with 
more than two millions invested in common school houses 
and school property; a state in which the sentiment of 
temperance is so strong- that a bill to prohibit the sale of 
all spirituous liquors lacked only one vote of its passage 
in the last legislature; a state that gives anywhere from 
10,000 to 20,000 republican majority, is not the natural abid- 
ing place of law-breakers and desperadoes. 


We have no fear of the soldier in our stale. We respect 
and love and give our fullest confidence to the army of the 
United States. A nobler, a more gallant set of men, does 
not live, in or out of uniform, anywhere on God's green 

We can never forget the yreat service they have rendered 
ns in defense of our exposed border. We know the hard- 
ships they have endured, the sacrifices they have made, the 
dangers they have braved, in that most trying, most la- 
borious, most important service. I do well remember, sir. 
that every house in our state was a house of mourning a 
few years since when the sad intelligence reached us that 
five or six companies of cavalry, the very flower of the army 
of the United Slates, commanded i>\ the gallant Custer, had 


been utterly annihilated in an encounter with the fierce 
and barbarous Sioux. 


Mr. President, there have been soldiers near the polls 
at the city of Omaha and at other points in our state at 
every election for ten or fifteen years. No one ever heard 
of a voter being intimidated there. But, sir, if our native- 
born citizens, or if the Germans or Irish or Scandinavians. 
should either of them take up arms to prevent either of the 
other nationalities from voting- at an election for members 
of congress, or if either or all of them combined should turn 
out to intimidate the three or four hundred negro voters 
from casting their honest ballots at such an election, there 
is not a citizen of that state of any party who would not 
thank God for the presence of the United States troops and 
for a law governing- their movement that would permit 
their use in protecting the weaker ag-ainst the stronger 
class of voters, when no other force could be commanded 
to perform such duty; and no man of any sense in that 
state would be afraid of the abuse of such a law. 


This western section of Nebraska is one of the finest 
pasture fields on the face of the earth. It is within bounds 
to say that not less than a quarter of a million head of 
cattle are to-day grazing upon the nutritious natural grasses 
of that vast region. The pioneer tiller of the soil, the 
homesteader is also there. 

Unfortunately these two interests conflict and therefrom 
bitter antagonisms have sprung which have helped to in- 
crease the complications. Tt is true there are two or 
three small military posts along- the western line of the 
State, but these are almost of no account in preserving the 
peace between the "homesteader and the cowboys," who 
dispute with each other for the occupancy of that fertile 
country; between the Indian and white outlaw who steal 
from each other; between all these and the capitalists who 
have millions of dollars in herds of cattle and horses scat- 
tered widely over that country upon which the Indian, 
whose ponies have been stolen by the white outlaw, makes 
reprisals, upon which the outlaw, disguised perhaps as an 
Indian, makes raids, or for the general protection of these 
great interests which are otherwise imperiled through the 
antagonisms between the classes to which I have referred, 
our army cannot, as the law now stands, give aid to a 
sheriff or other civil officer, anywhere, for any purpose 



In the interest of peace, for the enforcement of the laws, 
for the protection of life and property, for the purpose of 
insuring' to every citizen of every nationality, whatever may 
be bis religious faith, whatever his political opinions, 
whatever the color of his skin, whatever his occupation, 
whether he be rich or poor, high or low, citizen or stranger, 
although he may be found in the remotest corner of our 
state, the same privileges and immunities that may lie 
enjoyed by any other citizen anywhere in this broad land of 
ours, we ask you to remove these restrictions so far as they 
may operate to render the army emplojed upon the frontier 

In the session of 1880, when urging a claim for an addition 
to the school fund of the State, demanding that lands located 
by warrants and those included in Indian reservations should 
pay five per cent to that fund, as lands sold did, the senator 
found an opportunity to exalt Nebraska at the expense of im- 
perious Vermont. 


Mr. President — From nothing whatever in 1854 Nebraska 
has grown to a population of 500,000 with an assessed valua- 
tion of fully $100,000,000, and that, too, without assessing 
the vast estate of the Federal Government therein. With 
six hundred churches, three thousand schoolhouses, with a 
surplus of the agriculture of the past year over the re- 
quirements for home consumption of at least 500,000,000 
bushels of wheat and corn, more than 500,000 hogs and 300,- 
000 beeves, to say nothing of other products of lesser im- 
portance sent out for distribution to the consumers of 
states less favored in these respects. Moreover while Ver- 
mont paid, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879, only 
?50,lfJ' in internal revenue taxes for the support of the 
Federal government, Nebraska paid for the same year 
$870,309, more than seventeen times as much as Vermont, 
in a single year. Since Nebraska was admitted as a state in 
1866-G7 it has paid more than $4,000,000 internal revenue 
taxes. And while Vermont, during the last five years, has 
paid less than $300,000, Nebraska has paid during the same 
period about $3,000,000. 

When the 46th congress closed his first term of six years, the 
record showed that including incidental remarks and prepared 


speeches, be had addressed the senate 164 times, independent 
of twenty written reports and of the presentation of one hundred 
and twenty-nine bills, nine of which passed the senate. Being 
succeeded by C. H. Van Wyck, in 1881, whose term expired in 
1887, Mr. Paddock devoted the interim as an active member 
of a commission established for the suppression of polygamy in 

On his return to the senate in December, 1887, at the com- 
mencement of his second term of six years, Mr. Paddock made a 
vigorous attack upon the Post Office Department, claiming that 
the interests of the West had been overlooked in behalf of the- 
South and East. 

From a" long, compact, and statistical speech we have a de- 
scription in terse language of the "Average American" — 

Mr. President — The average American citizen is a man of 
broad views, strong in purpose, intensely patriotic, aggres- 
sive and enterprising. He is proud of his country and its 
institutions, he demands of the governing- power that it 
shall be the aggregate personification of what he himself 
is, and the party having the responsibility of administration 
which refuses great opportunities, when properly presented, 
to increase the wealth and prosperity, the power and the 
glory of the Republic, and spends its time in trying to 
save a dollar in the purchase of tape and tabs and wrapping 
paper, will surely come to grief when the people who are 
the sovereigns can reach it through the ballot box. I beg 
to warn our democratic friends that the deluge is at hand, 
and there will have to be some very lively swimming on 
their part or they will go down beneath the waves of 
popular disfavor and distrust, ■which their own administra- 
tion has set in motion by its incompetency and its blun- 

On a bill for a bureau of Animal Industry, and to facilitate 
the transportation of live stock and to extirpate contagious 
pleuropneumonia, he delivered an able speech, covering the 
constitutional power and national necessity. 

Tn it he said: 

Mr. President, it would be impossible to estimate the 
importance of this subject. In a comparatively few years 
pleuro-pneumonia has cost the country directly and in- 


directly $10,000,000. Within ten years the lossc- Erom hog 
cholera have been estimated at the enormous sum of $:!00.- 
000,000 or more. We have today 125.000,000 farm animals 
at the mercy of infectious diseases which commonly affect 
herds and flocks. In western Europe a single epidemic of 
The rinderpest swept away 30,000,000 head of cattle, of the 
estimated value of $1,500,000,000. France alone during the 
last century lost 10,000,000 head of cattle from malignant 
diseases. In the years from 1856 to 1862 lung fever and 
epizootic cost Great Britain over one million head of cattle 
worth $50,000,000; and eighteen months in 1S65-66, from rin- 
derpest $10,000,000 more were added to the cattle losses of 
the same country. The national government must deal 
with this matter; congress cannot shift the matter to the 
States. One method in one state, another system in an- 
other, and none of any kind in many, with non-co-operation 
between all, will not do. 

At the end of this congress he had addressed the senate six- 
teen times — introduced forty-five bills of which twenty passed 
the senate and twelve became laws, and while active on the 
committees on Agriculture, Lands and Pensions presided over 
that of Mississippi River improvements. 

With the opening of the 51st congress, having had eight years 
of experience in national legislation, Mr. Paddock was so well 
equipped for greater works and more extended discussioD, that 
the merest reference, by fragmentary quotations, is all that can 
be given of numerous valuable speeches. 


On the subject of western mortgages we have: 

Mr. President — I want to record the statement here, that 
not to exceed 1 per cent, of the mortgage indebtedness, if so 
much as that, of my State, represents actual losses in the 
prosecution of agricultural industry. Indeed. I believe that 
seven-eighths of the mortgage indebtedness of that State 
represents purchases made through deferred payments 
among those engaged in agriculture, who have found it 
advantageous to themselves to acquire additional tracts of 
land, or to increase their flocks and herds. I wish to say 
that the representations which have been made, published 
and spread broadcast over the country in newspapers and in 
public speeches during the past year by certain pessimists 


and demagogues respecting the indebtedness of the agri- 
cultural class in my State, were cruel in their character at 
least, a libel upon my State and its farmers, and in all 
respects villainously false. 


Having been a member of the Utah commission, the senator 
took great interest in everything relating to the material in- 
terest of the Territory. Advocating an appropriation for a pub- 
lic building he said: 

It is well known, I suppose, by the senator from Kansas, 
it is certainly by Western people generally, that Salt Lake 
is at the present time one of the most prosperous and one 
of the most rapidly growing cities in the West, and that it 
has a population to-day of fully 50,000. It is the great 
leader among the cities of the West, second only to Denver 
and Omaha of the cities between Chicago and San Fran- 
cisco. It is a city which undoubtedly within five years will 
have a hundred, or more, thousand people. 


A senator having dwelt upon hunger as the cause of Indian 
outbreaks, was answered as follows: 

While I am up I should like to say a single word with 
reference to this theor3' of the hunger of the Indians. It is 
well known on the frontier by those who know something 
of the Indian character, and particularly the Indian ap- 
petite, that the Indian is always hungry until he is filled 
to repletion, which means to be filled up to his chin. When- 
ever there is a depression or settling down of this inside 
lining he immediately becomes hungry, and so whenever he 
appears anywhere or anybody interviews him in respect to 
the condition of his appetite, he is ready to state that he 
is hungry, if he is not full to overflowing from a very recent 


In the tariff discussion of 1890. of which came the celebrated 
McKinley bill, Mr. Paddock sketched the rise of the Republican 
party, its enactment of that measure, the reign of peace de- 
manding its modification, benign results of protection to gen- 
eral interests, and its vindication in the sudden and astounding 
growth of the western agricultural region. Yet he frankly ad- 


That the people of the West begin to think that if a 
mirnber of the most protected of these industries are ever 
to learn to stand alone, their hands should soon be forcibly 
released from the skirts of high protection, to which they 
so persistently cling. 

Iii accordance with legislative instructions he voted for "free 
lumber," and for free machinery for the sugar beet manufactur- 
ers, during their infancy. The bill as passed in the senate, hav- 
ing been modified in a committee of conference, received his 
condemnation : 

As I would have voted as a republican for the bill as it 
passed the senate, so I shall vote now against it as a 
republican. I must do this reg*ardless of consequences to 
mj'self, and in honest compliance with what I believe to be 
representative duty. 

In the closing hours of the 51st congress, three days before 
adjournment, having for three years assisted in perfecting a 
bill for the suppression of all manner of adulterated food, drugs 
and drinks, the senator is found delivering a two hours' speech, 
being a comprehensive analysis of congressional and par- 
liamentary reports, sustained by chemical research and the 
local laws of numerous states, with memorials of trade asso- 
ciations and dairy commissioners, Farmers' Alliance appeals 
and pure food associations all over the land. Although the 
motion to attach the Pure Food Bill to an appropriation bill 
failed, yet a. very valuable contribution was made to the litera- 
ture of the senate and the way opened up for future triumph. 


Mr. President, this measure is to uphold and enforce com- 
mercial honesty, the pride of respected and respectable mer- 
chants; commercial confidence, which is the foundation of 
trade; business integrity, the prime basis of commerce. 
The demand comes finally from the great agricultural class 
of the country, whose products are depreciated in value by 
hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, while they are 
robbed of millions through the sophistication of the articles 
of food consumed by themselves and their children. I 
assure the senate that the men for whom my associates and 
myself speak will not be satisfied with hair-splitting techni- 


calities of constitutional interpretation, applied to bolster 
up and support the swindlers and the cheats whom this 
measure will expose and bring- to justice. 

This congress of 304 days, next to the longest ever held, found 
]\Jr. Paddock at the head of the agricultural committee and 
eclipsing all previous records of bills, reports and speeches, pre- 
sented and delivered. 

The length of the session was not disproportioned to the 
value of the themes acted upon, nor were those which were en- 
acted into law superior to many that remained in committee or 
went over on the flies of the House. 

During the last hours of the 1st session of the 52d congress, 
Senator Paddock was found again contesting with Senators 
Coke, of Texas, Bate, of Tennessee, and Vest, of Missouri, for 
the passage of his specialty, the Pure Food Bill. 

He denied utterly the charges of the two former "that thou- 
sands and tens of thousands of officials would be required" in 
the enforcement of the law, whereas only such articles as are 
the subject of interstate commerce were to be analyzed. He 
thought his opponents were "more troubled about cotton-seed 
oil than about the constitution." 

He repelled the assumption "that the people themselves, who 
had almost universally demanded it, had been moved chiefly 
by the desire to have inaugurated a cheap, nasty, political 
scheme for corrupt partisan uses." After an argument as to the 
constitutional power, and numerous citations from eminent au- 
thors and demands from the manufacturers for the passage of 
the bill he closed with a cogent appeal: 

Mr. President, in conclusion I appeal to senators to help, 
so far as they may be able, in this particular sphere of 
their legislative activities, to enact this law. 

In the name and in the interest of public morality, I 
appeal to you to set legislative bounds beyond which the 
wicked may not go with impunity in this corrupt and cor- 
rupting work. 

Let us help by our action here to protect and sustain in 
his honorable vocation the honorable producer, manufact- 
urer, merchant and trader. In the interest of the great 
consuming public, particularly the poor, I beg of you to 
make an honest, earnest effort to secure this legislation. 


These, Mr. President, are the men ami these the women 

and children tor whom, before all others, I make this ap- 
peal. If you could save to these the possible one-third of 
ihe nutrition element of their food supplies which is ex- 
tracted to be replaced by that which is only bulk, only the 
form and semblance of which they are robbed by the dis- 
honest manipulator and trader, you would go a long way 
toward solving the great problem of the laboring masses — 
whether for them it is "better to live or not to live.'* 
whether it is "better to endure the ills they have, rather 
than flee to those they know not of," that lie beyond in the 
realm of governmental and social upheaval and chaos. 
There is a good deal in the way of comic "asides" as the 
momentous social drama which holds the boards at this 
time, and whose dramatis persona; are the so called common 
people, rapidly advances to the epilogue. Be not deceived, 
the storm doth not abate. It is ever rising-. Its violence is 
ever increasing-. Take heed when the people demand bread 
that you continue not to give them a stone, lest the angry 
waves of discontent may some time, perhaps in the near fu- 
ture, rise so high as to overwhelm and engidf for ever all 
that we most greatly value — our free institutions, and of 
the glories and hopes of our great Eepublic — which are not 
ours alone, but which belong, and, if they are preserved and 
shall permanently endure, will be an ever continuing bless- 
ing to all mankind. 


March 21th, 1892, Mr. Paddock affirmed that there was "a 
universal demand in the West for some legislation on the bill to 
regulate speculation in fictitious farm products," and hoped the 
committee in charge of the same would make verbal report 
thereof. Again on the 16th of June following he congratulated 
the senate that the committee of the Judiciary was giving atten- 
tion to the constitutional aspect of the question. 

Once more, he appears on the succeeding 20th of July in- 
jecting questions into a very searching speech of Senator Vest 
of Missouri; and finally just before the conclusion of the 1st 
session of the 52d congress holds the attention of the senate 
with a speech upon "Options and Futures," in which he charged 
that gambling in grains "made impossible the direct, free, and 
safe distribution to, and the storage and holding of the same 
at points of consumption in non-producing sections, remote from 


the fields of the producer;" and that the system neutralized the 
conditions of "supply and demand, filling the coffers of specu- 
lators and brokers at the expense of the farmers and honest 

We have in conclusion: 

"Mr. President, it will not do to trifle with this matter. 
This bill must not be set aside because the people who are 
carrying' on this business demand to be let alone. This is 
always the prayer behind which men profiting- by evil 
methods seek to intrench themselves. 

This fiction trading is the most prolific source of dissatis- 
faction, disgust and apprehension that has ever existed in 
this country. The bases of many colossal fortunes which 
have been the marvel of the present generation are believed 
by the masses of the people to be traceable directly to this 
system, and the ruin of thousands of men all over the 
country is known to have the same origin. 

The system is universally reprobated. And certainly such 
a system, which all mankind believe to be hurtful to legiti- 
mate commerce, to public morals, and generally prejudicial 
to the general welfare, ought to receive the attention of 
congress to the end that at least it may receive the seal of 
its condemnation. 

Though the bill passed the senate, it met the most energetic 
opposition of those who believed there was no warrant for it 
in the constitution of the United States, inasmuch as it pro- 
posed to prohibit the business by excessive taxation, while the 
only province of national taxation should be "for revenue only." 

And again that these contracts for future consummation were 
simply between citizens of the same state and in no respect of 
an interstate character, subject to that clause of the constitu- 
tion regulating commerce between states; and that if an evil 
it fell under the jurisdiction of local state legislation. 

They denied utterly, that the price of grain or cotton could 
be affected by the guessing or betting upon their prices at any 
future time; but that the price would be governed by the "de- 
mand and supply," going up when the demand was great and 
the supply small and down with reversed conditions. 

As the end of his second term was approaching in 1892 his 


admonition to the Democratic party in 1887 became painfully 
applicable to his political allies in Nebraska. 

I beg to warn our friends that the deluge is at hand, and 
there will have to be some very lively swimming - on their 
part or they will go down beneath the waves of popular 
disfavor and distrust, which their own administration has 
set in motion by its incompetency and its blunders. 

And after the Populist ark had found its Ararat, and the 
senatorial succession became the prize in conflict, how expres- 
sive bis words in the 52d congress: 

Be not deceived; the storm doth not abate. It is ever 
rising. Its violence is ever increasing. Take heed when 
the people demand bread, that you continue not to give 
them a stone. 

After twelve years of faithful service, on the 4th of March, 
L893, his Populist successor, Judge W. V. Allen, assumed the 
duties of Senator. 



March 4th, 1877— March 4th, 1SS3. 

Governor Alvin Saunders was elected to succeed Senator P. 
W. Hitchcock, in the United States Senate, in 1877, in the 45th 
congress. As an appointee of Mr. Lincoln, in Mar, 1861, he 
became the successor of Governor Samuel Black of Pennsyl- 
vania, and assumed the duties of Territorial Governor. His in- 
cumbency of that office, for six years, covered the most eventful 
period in Nebraska history. It wound up the life of a territory, 
and hailed the rise of a state. 

It bridged the gulf between the charred and desolate realm of 
slavery, and the vernal, captivating dominion of freedom. As 
Black was the last official of the aggrandizing South, so Saun- 
ders became the first of the dominating North. In his first 
official proclamation, he sounded the tocsin of war, and de- 
nounced treason and the traitor. In his first official message he 
urged material aid for the Union treasury, in his second felici- 
tated the people on the steady advance of the Union arms, eulo- 
gized the Territorial troops, advocated monuments and rolls of 
honor, and emancipation as a military necessity. 

In his message of 1865, was heralded the march of Sherman 
to the sea, and in that of 1866 came the joyous acclaim: "Our 
flag, emblem of the unity of justice, power and glory of fhe 
nation now floats in triumph over every part of the Republic." 

Thus upon the pages of state history he erected the mile- 
stones of national progress. While the commerce of the old 
world was seeking a new passage to the new and the visions 
of Fremont and Whitney had been cheered with the glimpse of 
an iron track across the American desert, and over the Rocky 
Mountains, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific, in 1861, the new 
Governor pointed to the great Platte Valley as the future route. 
Two years pass by and spade in hand he "broke ground" for 
"the greatest internal improvement ever projected by man." 
while from the summit of the Sierra Nevadas h£ viewed the 



coming of "the silk of the Indies, the manufactures of England 
and Prance and the leas of China." His message of 18(54 re- 
counted in appreciative terms the .ureal Union Pacific charter 
of L862; and in I860 reported cheering progress toward a 
splendid consummation. In 1866 his bulletin announced .">."> 
miles of track, while in ls(J7 it read, "Tars running a. distance 
of 293 miles." Here official exhibits and prognostications ceased, 
on retiring from office; but in a short time the reportorial pencil, 
in other hands wrote out: "Hon. Alvin Saunders, of Omaha. 
Pullman passenger for San Francisco." His connection with 
this stupendous enterprise might of itself have satisfied the 
most exacting ambition; but there were other monumental 
shafts on which to carve a name. 

January, 1861, he urged the legislature to call upon congress 
for the passage of a bill to secure homes for permanent settlers 
on the public lands, and in 1864 congratulated the body on the 
passage of the "beneficent homestead bill." The question of 
state organization received commendation, and on the 27th of 
-March, 1867, his valedictory proclaimed exultation and thanks. 

How well Governor Saunders was to serve the State of Ne- 
braska as senator may be inferred from his personal knowl- 
edge of her perilous inarch amid savage attacks, national alarms 
and financial reverses. 

On calling up the bill to establish the Territory of Lincoln, 
dune 19, 1877, in the 45th congress, Mr. Saunders gave a brief 
description of the people and their wants. 


Mb. Sai \ders: There is a thorough and clear report 
made by the committee and 1 believe no objection ought to 
intervene in the way of the passage of the hill for the 
reason that the people are fully established out there. 
They have now all the elements of civilization and success 
and every thing for making permanent homes. They have 
churches; they have school houses; they have daily papers 
and weekly papers; they have more than fifty mills in the 
mining region. The lowest estimate of the number of peo- 
ple in the mining region is fifteen thousand, besides five 
thousand people in and around Bismarck, so that there is 


no question about the number of the people and there is no 
question about the necessity of the measure. 

These men at the Hills live more than seven hundred 
miles by the nearest. traveled route to the capital of their 
present territory, and there is only one judge allowed there 
and he has to go and sit with the others when they are 
holding what they call their Supreme Court. Now if we 
do not give them this organization you see the trouble 
there will be, you see the difficulty in carrying out their 
laws, of having the order that belongs to a people in a 
region like that. This country has been liberal to people in 
that way when they go out and become pioneers. We form 
territorial governments for them and these jjeople only ask 
the same that has been granted to others. This territory is 
made up of parts of three other territories. 

The committee's report referred to placed the value of the gold 
product of 1876 at $2,000,000, and that of 1877 at from |4,000,000 
to $5,000,000; and represented rich valleys, and heavily timbered 


In the Kith congress, an effort being made to repeal certain 
election laws, Senator Saunders volunteered an argument for 
the purity of elections: 

Why, Mr. President, is all this clamor for a repeal of 
these laws at this time? 

Has any body or set of men, anywhere, asked for it? Has 
any damage been inflicted upon anyone, anywhere, to call 
for such legislation? Has the President at any time used 
the army, or have the United States marshals by his order 
used their authority, in any way that should call forth 
such persistent efforts to make these changes at this time? 
I answer, nothing of the kind. What then does all this 
mean to which we have listened so patiently and so long, 
and which is in fact exciting the suspicion and disgust of 
the intelligent masses of the North? Do gentlemen on the 
other side know that they are suspected of removing the 
possibility of having a Federal officer at the polls, in order 
that a free use might be made of the shotgun and revolver 
to deter one class of citizens, and those in many instances 
in the majority, from exercising their rights at the polls. 
These unfortunates, though outnumbering their opponents 
in some of the southern states, are poor, timid, and un- 
armed. Free they are, so far as being able to call body and 


soul their own, but I aver they are not free to enjoy their 
political rights under the constitution and the laws. The 
right which, tinder a Republican form of government, does 
most to make a man feel that he is a. man, is partly taken 
from them now, and I fear will be denied them absolutely 
if the }>< >licy under consideration prevails. 

A few years ago in the other end of the capitol might 
be seen on the left of the speaker's stand quite a respectable 
number of the dusky sons of the South who were there to 
represent, among others, their own race. But where are 
they now? Gone! Why? Is it because the colored majori- 
ties in the states referred to do not want their wishes rep- 
resented in the congress of the United States? Certainly 
not. The reason of their absence is too well known to us 
and to the country to need a statement from me. 

Elections as they are now conducted in the South may 
be fair and free, but it will be hard to make the people of 
the North believe it while the South is solid in support of 
the Democratic party, when it is well known that in several 
of the states the colored voters are in the majority and 
strongly in favor of the Republican party, as the one that 
struck off their shackles and let them go free. 

Here he quoted from a message from the President showing 
why and how the civil and military power of the government 
should give protection in sustaining the freedom of the ballot. 

Continuing he said: 

I believe in a government with pow r er to sustain itself. I 
believe the constitution gives the government that power. 
I believe the people of this country intend that this govern- 
ment, the creation of their own wisdom, enriched by their 
own sacrifices and cemented by their own blood, shall have 
in itself power not only to compel the respect of foreign 
nations, but of domestic traitors. In other words, I believe 
in leaving with the government to-day and for the future as 
much power as it had when it crushed rebellion and re- 
ceived its final surrender at Appomattox. I believe it is the 
hope and desire of every true American citizen that armed 
l roops. or any other body of armed men, may never be 
seen at the polls; but at the same time I do not believe that 
any true and loyal citizen of the country desires to see the 
power lessened whereby the government is enabled to up- 
hold and sustain itself. 

Other positions taken, amplified and sustained, the following 
conclusion was reached: 


"Let well enough alone" is a common but very expressive 
saying - , and one that this congress might with great pro- 
priety and good effect adopt at this time. Let us wait till 
we are asked by somebody to change the laws which have 
had such peaceful and. as I believe, beneficial effects, be- 
fore we strike them from our statutes. 


During the 1st session of the 4th congress we find the senator 
heartily engaged in an argument for a reduction of internal 
taxes upon matches, because as he said: 

They have become a necessity of the people and yet they 
are taxed at such a rate that the consumer pays at least 200 
per cent, more than the articles cost to manufacture. The 
tax brings in about $:;.000,000 to the Nation. It would be a 
great relief to the consumer if such a tax were taken off 
or this law repealed. Then take off the stamp tax on bank 
checks and drafts. That amounts to about $2,000,000 a year. 
While I am not an advocate of free trade, I am equally op- 
posed to a high protective tariff simply for protection with- 
out regard to the article or industry to be protected. 

Two months later he urged the same procedure: 

At the beginning of this session I took occasion to say I 
was opposed to a tariff commission because I wanted con- 
gress to take hold of the matter and reform the tariff 
itself. Now more than one half of the session has passed 
and we all know that nothing will be done unless it be to 
take hold of the smaller items. Therefore I have made up 
my mind that this commission can at least do us no harm 
and may do some good. Hence I shall vote for the commis- 
sion and try the experiment. Here for instance is sugar. 
We are collecting about $40,000,000 a year on sugar, one 
quarter part, or one fifth part, of all the money paid for 
sugar by the consumers of this country; it is a tax direct 
on them and yet we are not touching - it. 

Four months later he said of a House Bill : 

But the trouble is, it does not go far enough; it does not 
reach down to the great masses who are the producers, but 
who are also in many particulars the great consumers and 
who are therefore the heavy taxpayers. 

I am not willing to defer for a moment longer than is 
necessary to adopt the proper legislation, the lessening of 
the taxes on such articles as sugar. Bessemer steel, 
matches, etc. 


Railroad companies who purchase the steel count t he cost 
among the other items of the expense of construction and 
on which they ask such earnings as will reimburse them. 
Thai the tariff on Bessemer steel is too high is proven by 
the tact thai in England they can make and sell this steel 
for $33 or $35 per ton, while in the United States duty on 
the same is fixed at $:.'s per ton. 

Glad as 1 would be to see this congress adjourn and 
allow ns to return to our homes to spend the warm season, 
still 1 would insist on the relief sought in the bill now be- 
fore the senate even if 1 have to remain here till the frosts 
of the fall shall come to cool the atmosphere in order 1<> 
effect it. 


The subject of Indian affairs being before the senate, Mr. 
Saunders engaged in a very spirited running debate with Gen- 
eral Logan and finally wound up as follows: 

Mr. Saunders: 1 think the bill referred to by the senator 
from Illinois is right. I voted for it. The senator seems to 
doubt whether he voted for it or not. 

Mr. Logan: Perhaps I did vote for it. Mr. Saunders. 1 
did for the reason that if a half-breed had a right to trade 
in that country in a different way from the white men it 
would encourage the business of raising half-breeds among 
the Indians, a thing which I thought the congress of t he 
United States ought not to encourage: and hence I proposed 
that the half-breeds should go through the same ordeal that 
a white man does before being a trader, and that he should 
he required to give bonds for the faithful performance of 
his duty, for properly obeying the orders of the agent at 
the agency the same as a white man. 

Alu. SAUNDERS: 1 think that was right. I want it under- 
stood that I favored that. Now. while I am on the floor 
I will venture to say that I agree with very much and with 
I he most that has been said by the senator from Illinois. 

I believe we have made a mistake by undertaking to 
teach the Indian letters in place of Labor. We ought to have 
commenced at the oilier end and taught them how to 
work out their living and gradually brought them into let- 
ters and attempted to make good scholars of them. If 
there is any one subject that 1 ought to know something 
about more than some other people from other parts of 
the country, it is 1he Indian subject. I have been with them 
and among them and near to them all 1he days of my busi- 
ness life, and 1 am convinced that the course now pursued, 


if properly carried out, will in the end result in good to the 
Indians and in no harm to the whites. 

The Indians must be taught how to take care of stock, 
how to take care of their farms, and for that reason, I 
brought in an amendment last session setting apart a school 
house that belongs to the government of the United States, 
in my own state for the purpose of teaching Indians. I stated 
at that time that it should not be erected in the neighbor- 
hood where the Indians lived. You want to take them, as 
the senator from Illinois said, away rrom their homes, 
where they will not be surrounded by their people, because 
their parents and others around the camp will not allow 
them to speak our language. I am not one of those who be- 
lieve we want to send all the Indians to the eastern schools 
and give them all book learning. Give them a trade; teach 
them to manufacture goods, to manufacture wooden ware 
and the like. They can do it just as well as any other peo- 
ple. They are rather an industrious people, so far as the 
women are concerned; they labor and make moccasins and 
other things for sale and do the work better, or at least as 
well, as any white people. 

If you encourage their men in the same, way, lead them 
out, give them property, let them call it their own, divide 
up the land and give it to them in severalty, so that they 
may have a title as we have, you will give them encourage- 
ment that they have never before had in this country. 

I speak from what I know on this subject. I have visited 
some of the Indians in my own state, and they say, "Why 
cannot Ave have a title to our own lands, the same as you 
white people have? You do not give it to us." I am glad to 
know that one step has been taken in the bill passed by the 
senate a short time ago for the purpose of dividing out the 
lands of these people. I believe that is right. 

Then, I know further that these same Indians are now 
being trained in the arts of farming, so that they are sell- 
ing grain. I saw them myself hauling grain to Sioux City 
some distance from their own homes and they were taking 
it to market the same as white men. 

Speaking- of this matter of Indian Affairs, a correspondent 
of the Chicago Times, in May, 1886, said: 

Another of his acts while in the senate was to secure a 
labor school for Indians on the Pawnee reservation in Ne- 
braska. He was one of the commissioners appointed by the 
government to visit the various tribes of Indians for the 
purpose of passing- on the advisability of turning the man- 


agement of the Indians over to the war department. He 
saw some thirty or forty tribes in Texas. Indian territory, 
Missouri, Nebraska, California and other places, and at the 
conclusion of the trip of inspection, as chairman of the 
committee, reported against transferring the management 
of Indian affairs to the war department. The committee 
was divided, but that portion of the report which was pres- 
ented by the chairman was adopted. That report, which 
recommended the teaching of the Indians to work and to 
earn their own living, embodied the principles under which 
Indian affairs are now conducted; "and today," said the 
governor, "there are not ten men in congress, certainly not 
in the senate, who would favor any change from the course 
pointed out in our report." 

But this success did not exceed his estimate of the value to 
be attached to the acquisition of 600,000 acres of land added 
to Nebraska, by straightening the boundary line adjoining Da- 

On the 21st day of February, 1881, Mr. Saunders called up 
his resolution to instruct the committee of commerce in the in- 
terest of a large appropriation for improving the Missouri River 
between its mouth and Yankton, Dakota. He argued the neces- 
sity of the case from the importance of the stream, "which fur- 
nishes the largest and richest valley of agricultural lands of 
any valley in the United States"; and from the necessity of hav- 
ing cheap down river transportation brought in competition 
with the lines of railroads; opening up a direct line of trans- 
portation between the great West and European markets, by 
way of the mouth of the Mississippi. 

The whole question of interstate commerce in connection with 
railroad subsidies and their extortionate charges and favoritism 
through draw-backs were drawn into the discussion, illustrated 
by copious statistics. His imagination covered the Missouri 
and Mississippi with barges of grain and cattle, and swelled 
transatlantic commerce with countless American transports. 
In his summing up we have: 

The fact is there is no transportation known to the busy 
world that will compare in cheapness with down-stream 
navigation. The Almighty made these great thoroughfares 

for the use of the people. No monopolies can take posses- 


sion of them and occupy them to the exclusion of others . 
who may want to use them. They may, therefore, be truly 
called the "people's highway." 


During his term as senator he was struggling with a great 
financial loss, the result of the failure of New York partners. 
Refusing to wipe out his indebtedness by an act of bankruptcy 
he devoted his private means and future accumulations for sev- 
eral years, and when every claim was finally met at par, ex- 
claimed: "This affords me more pleasure than anything else 
has ever done, and is the proudest feature of my life." 



March 4th, 1881— March 4th, 1887. 

Senator Charles H. Van Wyck was born at Poughkeepsie, 
New York, in November, 1824; graduated at Rutgers College. 
New Jersey; studied law and practiced; was district attorney 
of Sullivan County from 1850 to 1850; was elected a Representa- 
tive from New York to the 36th congress, serving as a member 
of the committee on mileage; was also elected to the 87th con- 
gress, and was appointed chairman of the committee on gov- 
ernment contracts; while in congress served in the volunteer 
service as colonel of a regiment; in 1865 was appointed a briga- 
dier-general by brevet; was a delegate to the "Pittsburg 
Soldiers' " Convention of 1865; was elected to the 40th congress. 
serving as chairman of the committee on retrenchment; was 
a delegate to the state republican convention, 1867; was re- 
elected to the 41st congress, removed to Nebraska in 1874; was 
a. delegate to the state republican convention. 1807; was re- 
senator from 1870 to 1880; was elected United States Senator 


from Nebraska for six years from March 4th, 1881. 

As a part of his personal history, before becoming a citizen 
of Nebraska, he is entitled to the following brief summary of 
a career as member of congress from the state of New York: 


No member of the :50th congress of 1858-60 met the pro-slavery 
tempest and stemmed the tide more boldly, adroitly and elo- 
quently than C. 11. Van Wyck, of the state of New York. For 
two months the house had been unable to elect a presiding 
officer, and the clerk of ;i previous congress had to preside 
while slavery made its last stand tor political supremacy. Re- 
publicans, made up of whigs and democrats of the free states. 
lucked a few votes of enough to elect John Sherman, and finally 
succeeded with u number of "native Americans" in electing 
Pennington of New -Jersey. The pro-slavery leaders were mostly 


of the democratic party and hence were hearty prosecutors of 
democratic republicans. 

On this point of debate the following is collated from the 
speech of the New York member, March 7th, 1800. 


As a democrat I believe slavery to be a crime against the 
laws of (!od and nature. From the deluge of democratic 
speeches I learn that the Alpha and Omega of your religion 
and democracy are the divinity and benefits of human servi- 
tude. In 1854 the invader commenced sapping- and mining, 
seized the outworks, toppled the embattlements to the 
ground, stormed the strong fortress and obtained posses- 
sion. Could it be expected that we should sit quietly by and 
see the acts of every democratic administration rebuked: 
could we hold political fellowship with those who were 
willing to crucify the memory of Washington, Jefferson, 
Madison and Monroe? Am 1 to be reproached as an apostle 
from democracy? Sir, I would rather desert a political 
organization than to turn traitor to my own conscience and 
be guilty of moral treason to my own judgment. The 
patent of my democracy is in the records of democratic ad- 
ministration, and by it I stand or fall. In 1849 the demo- 
cratic party in the State of New York became a unit on 
substantially the basis of Mr. Bronson's letter. The slave 
power soon forced them from it and from the resolutions 
of the united ^lemoeraey in that state the republicans have 
compiled their political catechism. 1 only desire the democ- 
racy to see to what indignities they must be subjected if 
they manifest unwillingness to bow down and worship this 
black Juggernaut of slavery. 


Mr. Davidson, of Louisiana, desired to present to the con- 
sideration of this house one of John Brown's pikes. Let 
me urge him to extend his cabinet of curiosities and add 
one of the chains and branding - irons of his coffee gang, 
tied with the lash with which the backs of women and chil- 
dren are scourged, and then, to watch them, a sleek, wol- 
fed bloodhound with quick scent trained to snuff in the air 
the track of the fleeing fugitive, — let him present these 
as the symbols, one of Brown's folly, and the other of his 
own high type of civilization. 

You taunt us with cowardice. Go home and ask the rem- 
nant of the gallant Palmetto regiment, who received the 
shock of battle on the plains of Mexico, where stood the 


New York volunteers, who, with them side by side, were 
in the thickest of . the fight at Cherubusco. CVrro Gordo 
and Ohepultepec, and when your gallant Butler fell at the 
head of the regiments of my state and yours, northern 
warriors joined yours to carry liim from the field and 
regret that one so brave had fallen. Ask your regimen! 
what you think of northern bravery. Gentlemen tell us in 
certain contingencies they will dissolve the Union. No, sirs, 
you will long have to march to the music of the Union, that 
music which is uprising from the fields where labor is re- 
paid, and the workshops where industry is rewarded, from 
the machinery which, through the instrumentality of 
steam, is doing the bidding of man, and from the gigantic 
steamers that plough our rivers and lakes. 

AYhile Mr. Van Wyck met every argument, parried every 
thrust, unmasked every deception and moved upon every breast- 
work, his bold aggressiveness became so unbearable to the 
masters of the lash that Davis, of Mississippi (not Jefferson), ex- 
claimed, "I pronounce the gentlemen a liar and scoundrel.'' 

Mr. Davis: Will you go outside the District of Columbia 
and test the question of personal courage with any south- 
ern man? 

Mr. Van Wyck: T travel anywhere and without fear of 
anyone. For the first eight weeks of this session you stood 
upon this floor continually libeling the North and the peo- 
ple of the free states, charging them with treason and all 
manner of crime and now you are thrown into great rage 
when I tell you a few facts. 

This speech, so very elaborate and exhaustive, established the 
fact that the New Yorker could neither be worsted in the argu- 
ment nor bullied into silence, and gave liim a strong hold upon 
a constituency who echoed his utterance, "You cannot, you 
dare not resist. We threaten not with bayonet, revolver or 
bowie knife, but with the silent ballot, 'which executes a free- 
man's wkll its lightning does the will of God.' " 

Congress closed this session June 28th, I860, and commenced 
again December 3d, L860. During the interval the republicans 
had elected Mr. Lincoln president, and the disunionists were 
preparing for secession. Again Mr. Van Wyck appears upon the 
stage, and, clad in the armor of the fathers, challenges the eon- 


stituency of the cohorts of revolution. He charges upon them 
that since 1842 three fourths of the territory acquired had been 
surrendered to slavery and their "peculiar institution" increased 
in numbers and power, while they posed as the friends of the 
Union, "par excellence," and charged all the consequences of 
meditated disunion upon the anti-slavery element of the coun- 
try. "The very men who then could not find words sufficiently 
strong to anathematize those they called traitors, now seem 
to be courting a traitor's doom and madly rioting in a traitor's 

After this sentence came the "fireworks," and amid a storm 
of excitement he was called to order. But the lion was aroused, 
and to annihilate the doctrines of the fathers, "Political incen- 
diaries would trample upon the flag and burn the temple of free- 
dom." After impaling the leaders upon their own arguments, 
now abandoned, they heard the fearful truth. "You have been 
shorn of your strength by your own Delilah, and now in your 
blindness would wrap your arms around the pillars of the re- 
public and perish in its ruin." The speech was a master effort, 
a sunburst in a troubled sky. History was invoked, government 
records displayed and the cicatrix of burning, blasting denuncia- 
tion applied to the wound. 

First Session Thirty-Seventh Congress, 
republican appeal. 

The first session of the 37th congress convened July 4th, 1861, 
and lasted for one month. Mr. Van Wyck was made chairman 
of the committee on revolutionary claims, and was conspicuous 
in urging the adoption of free letter postage for the soldiers, 
and even so early in the war, an investigation of army contracts, 
closing with the following appeal: "I appeal to my republican 
friends, let us be true to our former profession and see to it 
that plunder and peculation shall not follow on the track of our 
army. Let us watch the movements of the army contractors 
and take care that they shall not feast and fatten upon the free- 
will offering of the Kepublic, desiring that men who are so base 


as i»> seek ai iliis time to enrich themselves, should be held up 
to the scorn of ilio world, novel- to he forgiven by the American 
people. Those who are pirating upon our waters under a trai- 
tor's commission of cupidity against the generous affections and 
benevolence of a self sacrificing nation." This appeal was based 
upon evidence that the army contractors and plunderers were 
keeping pace with the troops of the Union, and had it been safe, 
would have preceded them, stealing 1 lie forage and demanding 
its value in gold. 

The second session found the New York member chairman of 
a committee, in hot pursuit of army contractors, their methods 
and frauds, and having his analytic skill supplemented by prac- 
tical knowledge in the field, being colonel of a New York regi- 
ment, "the way of the transgressor was hard." 

As the adornment of the base and crowning of the summit 
should be germane to the object and solidity of the shaft, so did 
his speech on monumental frauds instruct, convince and please 
as well in exordium and argument as in its peroration. 


During its delivery a member from Pennsylvania and who had 
a brother in the quartermaster's department, feeling aggrieved, 
exclaimed, "I must have an explanation here or elsewhere." 
Mr. Van Wyck: "I will meet the gentleman here or elsewhere 
after my hour expires. 1 will answer him or any other man here 
or at any other place." 

Again in the 40th congress in 1807, he appears fortified with 
four years' experience in exposing frauds and unmasking official 
delinquencies and concealment of favorites. The most adroit 
attacks upon the treasury or the purses of the people were alike 
discovered and denounced. Of a gift enterprise he said: "It con 
templates taking $1,200,000 from the pockets of the people, 
while the most they propose to donate to the object of charity, 
the Gettysburg asylum, is 110,000." Another was thus de- 
scribed: "<;. AY. Thomas now proposes to raise $500,000 of which 
$150,000 is to be drawn in prizes, and $200,000, principally, is 
to go into the pocket of Thomas." From this mere glance at his 


early record it is very easy to discover his natural and unavoid 
able place as a Nebraska citizen and senator, where monopolies, 
trusts and frauds cast their blasting- shadows across his path- 


Hon. (J. H. Van Wyck entered the senate of the United States 
in 1881, as the successor of Senator A. S. Paddock; having to 
his credit six years' experience as a member of the House of 
Representatives in Congress; and the advantage of military ex- 
perience and that insight which resulted from having been 
chairman of the committee on government contracts and of 

To the crying demands of the times he responded as promptly 
as if directed by the hand of destiny, and devoted his faculties 
to the congenial but very unpopular work of retrenchment and 
reform. The few following extracts, from numerous and varied 
speeches, indicate an aggressive spirit, self abnegation, a will 
that never yields and a courage that never quails.* 


Mr. Van Wyck: We were promised during - the last ses- 
sion of congress that we were to have a tariff so simplified 
that he who ran might read and understand it: but it seems 
that this same old thing must be continued; we must have 
a tariff here which requires an expert to explain ami a 
lawyer to fully understand. I understand this theory of 
the protection of labor; but will the gentleman tell me, when 
he is protecting a few thousands in converting saw-loirs in 
Michigan or Wisconsin into lumber, how many laboring men 
in this Xation does he strike and drain a tax of that amount 
out of their pockets? Do you say that to protect American 
labor from one to three dollars shall be taken out of the 
pocket of a man in the West and placed in the pocket of 
the owners of an industry that needs no protection in this 
land, an industry which has grown to its full strength, and 
which so far as the material is concerned must soon pass 
away? The difficulty here is that every single laborer, 
as you call him, must combine to protect one another, and 
against the people, who suffered from the exaction on 
them; and hence it is you find jour glass interests, when 
suffering, are compelled to come up and push up the cart 
of the owners of pineries whose interests are not suffering. 


There can be no sort of reason or argumenl 1<> sustain 
1his lax upon lumber to-day. You say you admit the log 
free. Is it any answer when a man is required to pay $:> a 
thousand tax on lumber to tell him. "Yes; you can go to 
Canada and buy the lumber in the log and roll the log over 
to your home"? 

During the long and protracted discussion of this subject, he 
held his own in behalf of reform with irresistible arguments, 
sarcastic retorts and pungent criticisms; returning to it again 
January 22, 1883, he closed another brilliant discussion, as 

Mr. President — The hundreds of thousands in the pi*airie 
states are not considered in the making- up of this bill, men 
to whom the Nation is more indebted than to all of your 
railroads and other corporations, men who have taken up 
the flag of the country and gone into its wilderness in 
advance and planted it on every prairie and by every water 

These men have gone from the old states; they have gone 
by thousands; having many of them shattered constitutions 
after service in the army; and I ask you in the name of 
American industry whether we shall protect the industry 
which has made Iowa what it is, which has made Kansas 
what it is, which has made Wisconsin what it is? 


The subject being again before the senate, a few days later, 
gave an opportunity for the senator from Nebraska to string a 
succession of intellectual gems upon a golden chain. 

Mr. Van Wyck: Now one word. It is a very good time 
now to illustrate what some few gentlemen have been try- 
ing to do in this bill. It is a bundle of inconsistencies from 
beginning to end — your whole tariff is. It is filled with 
them. I congratulate myself that my friend the senator 
from Connecticut (Mr. Piatt) is getting upon the true Re- 
publican platform now — a tariff for revenue. I am rejoiced 
at that; and although I may regret a little the difference 
of opinion among the happy family of protectionists yet it 
illustrated that this inconsistency has been going on to a 
very great extent, so that our friend the senator from New 
Jersey has really got dizzy by the repetition of the ideas 
of this inconsistency. 

That is probably true. He is not the only gentleman 


who has got dizzy since we have been discussing- these great 
problems here. 

wharton's nickel mink. 

My friend from Vermont says that Mr. Wharton is an 
enterprising man. Certainly; he has got a mine. Who would 
not be enterprising if the government would get its arms 
under him and give him the duty that is imposed on this 

• I presume the senator from Vermont means to say that 
the millions of this Nation shall be taxed for this one man 
who happens to own a nickel mine. 

My friend from New Jersey says that this nickel mine is 
shut up; well let it be shut up, and closed forever, if the 
whole American nation must be taxed, — every man who de- 
sires to buy a little of the ore made from nickel — that the 
whole of this American Nation must be taxed, — merely to 
accomodate Mr. Wharton. I care not how respectable he 
may be; and his one single nickel mine, I care not whether 
it may be valuable or not, — it costs this Nation too much to 
run that individual mine for Mr. Wharton. 

You will probably protect, as you have protected, the 
owners of the eleven Bessemer steel companies, and tax the 
whole United States to do it. You cannot see it there; I 
believe the senator from Connecticut cannot see it there; 
but he can see it when it is confined to only one mine, to 
one man, and when it lays its heavy hand upon the manu- 
facturers of Connecticut. 

When the senator from Massachusetts talks of protecting 
American labor, he thinks of a few thousand men and leaves 
out of his view the millions who go forth and toil and 
grapple w T ith the soil, who receive no sort of considera- 
tion at his hands; he has no poetry for that class of labor- 
ers. It is the blushing cheek that he desires in the female 
operative in his factory, but he does not think of the others, 
who live upon the great prairies of the west. 


A month following this discussion again he participated in 
a running- debate with distinguished senators, and made a final 
appeal to his Republican friends. 

I want to say to my political friends, as I think I have 
a right to say, what will be the effect if you issue your 
tariff from this congress and send it forth to the people 
and your pledges have not been redeemed? It is not that 
there is a surplus in the treasury of the United States at 


which i h<- people <>f the Nation complain. Oh, no; it is 
because you lake the money from their pockets and pu1 it 
there, and you issue a tariff, and the American people can- 
not know from actual knowledge thai there lias been a 
reduction of taxes. Then, verily, our work might better 
have ended before it was begun in this matter. We may 
amuse ourselves here, but we cannot amuse the American 
people in this way. They know they have been trifled with 
for years; they know that they have been bearing hard- 
ships which ought to have been removed, and they will 
know that there was no way except by a combination of 
interests — as the senator of Louisiana says, negotiations 
which have not been kept. 


During his first congressional term in the Senate we find him 
dealing out sage advice to his colleagues just as he did in 1he 
House when the Republican party, in its infancy, was becoming 
embarrassed with political barnacles, tramps, pirates and burg- 

I think I have a right to say that it is not prudent for 
the Eepublican party to adopt that policy which largely 
contributed to the destruction of the democracy. 

I claim the right to occupy that ground as a Eepublican 
to-day. I choose as a Republican here, differing - with my 
associates, to take warning from the past. I do not like 
to see one of these circulars sent to a poor clerk in the 
Treasury Department, saying - to him that he is expected to 
contribute not less than a certain designated amount, which 
is two per cent on his salary, and the mockery of telling a 
man whose salary would not probably give bread to his wife 
and clothing and shoes to his children, that it would be a 
pleasure and privilege to him to do this thing. 

Senators will excuse me for what I did when I heard that 
the committee went, not only to the pages of the state 
house, but also to the day laborer, when in some cases he 
could only work half time, and at full time would not re- 
ceive enough to support his family, and mocked him by 
sending a circular telling him that "it is no doubt a priv- 
ilege to give two per cent" of the little pittance which he 

I am not for that, kind of civil service: I am tree to say 
that; but T should like a civil service that would preserve 
the purity of the ballot-box and the freedom of every man 
who is in the employ of the government. 



Mil a subsequent occasion when his party had suffered a politi- 
cal defeat his condolence was of spiritual "wormwood and gall." 

My friend, who is not here tonight.- was on that commit- 
tee, and when I appealed on behalf of these clerks who now 
exercise our brethren so much, and when 1 alluded to pos- 
tal clerks whose pay had been reduced and said it was in- 
human — I think that word has been used here once or 
twice — to pursue those men and force political assess- 
ments from them, my distinguished friend from Maine rose 
and asked very triumphantly. "Who is hurt?" [Laughter.] 
My distinguished friend from Iowa, only a few days 
ago. said that he discovered that the opinion of the people 
had crystallized on this question of political assessments. 
It certainly crystallized pretty hard when it struck Iowa 
pretty solidly in two or three places. Fortunately for us 
farther west it struck Iowa so hard that it bounded over 
Nebraska and landed on the Pacific slope. Crystallized! 
The public sentiment crystallized on the question twenty- 
two years ago, when by the report which was read during 
the last session it was shown that the iniquity of the Dem- 
ocratic party in that matter had found them out and the 
people denounced them. Let us make the laws as effective 
and as strong as we possibly can on this matter that these 
men may be protected and that the ballot box may be safe 
from corruption. 


When it was determined to exclude from the country foreign 
laborers brought here under contract, and the subterfuge was 
resorted to of importing them under the head of "skilled labor." 
Mr. Van Wyck, uttered the following: 

It is a very easy thing for gentlemen who desire to im- 
port labor under contract to have it "skilled labor." The 
man who works in the mines is a "skilled laborer." I think: 
the man who works in a factory is a skilled laborer. When 
the men were locked out of the glass-making* establish- 
ments in this country there were found skilled workmen to 
take their places; and when the iron manufacturers closed 
their doors against American workmen because they will 
not work at reduced wages, and sometimes at starvation 
wages equal to those of the pauper labor of "Europe, then 
it will be said that it is "skilled labor" that is to be 
brought under contract from foreign countries. So I move 
that those words be stricken from the bill. 



On a proposition to grant a |400,000 subsidy to the Pacific 
Mail Ship Company, in order to encourage commerce, protecting 
an "infant industry," which had been paying dividends for a 
great many years, the senator swept away the flimsy disguise. 

if there be citizens of America in Japan and China and 
Australia needing mail facilities they are served today; 
they are served by the service which this wealthy corpora- 
tion is enabled to give them. That is all that is desired in 
those waters, I presume. For years they have been reach- 
ing those ports; for years they have been amassing suffici- 
ent money in the carrying of commerce to declare liberal 


In attempting to discharge the duty of a reformer and pro- 
tect the Treasury from legalized pillage the Senator had often 
to place gallantry in abeyance and discard for the moment all 
conditions of adventitious circumstances of sex or social position. 
Accordingly several years after $57,000 had been appropriated 
to cover all the expenses attending upon General Garfield and 
his burial; and after the pension of Surgeon-General Barnes 
(one of the attendants) had been raised from $30 to $50 per 
month, and an item in an appropriation bill offered Mrs. Gar- 
field an additional $5,000 on account of meritorious services of 
her husband, Mr. Van Wyck moved to strike out the amount. 

The severity of the Senator's logic caused him to pay the 
debts of the government from the treasury, and to draw upon 
his own funds for gratuities antl charity. 


Occasionally his lessons of economy and equity were specific- 
ally directed to his colleagues. 

Mi;. Van Wyck: If there is any justice or honesty about 
the distribution of this part of the patronage — or plunder, 
as it should more properly be termed, — patronage if we 
choose to ca»ll it by a milder term, because probably one- 
half the persons employed about this building are not nec- 
essary — we should act equally. We have doubled the ex- 


penses connected with the running' of this part of the Capi- 
tol beyond what is actually necessary. 

It is significant that we have here clerks of committees 
carried on the annual roll to-day when there is no pre- 
tense of necessity or duty for them. Why do the appro- 
priations committee, who watch everything so carefully, 
suffer this to pass out of their grasp and fasten committee 
clerks on the treasury, when there is no necessity for them? 
We have messengers at $1,400 a year and the compensation 
of others is increased and so is that of the clerk of the 
appropriations committee. I should like the senate, if possi- 
ble, to be consistent on one line or the either, either, on 
the basis of honest equalitj' for all the committees or on the 
basis of economy. 

If it is a donation, if it is a gift, a matter of favor to a 
senator, having charge of a committee, let it be uniform. 
That is all. 


Mil. Van Wyck: The point of my amendment is as to the 
necessity of this cumbersome and expensive commission 
being still further continued in the service of the Govern- 
ment. A board of army officers can discharge this duty 
equally as well, and save expense to the treasury, if that is 
a matter ever to be considered; but I suppose not. 

Under the general desire and supposed necessity to keep 
on depleting the treasury, probably that will not be an 
argument in favor of my amendment. But I insist that we 
can trust the President of the United States to select three 
army officers who can discharge the duty of registering the 
voters and counting of the votes, and then act as a return- 
ing* board. Undoubtedly the President would be careful to 
send men of good moral influence among the Mormons, and 
he will be careful to select army officers who have not dupli- 
cated their pay accounts too often so as to raise money to 
gamble in cards and in stocks. And then if the President 
is under the necessity of taking some officers who have been 
in the habit of frequenting Washington, I think we can 
trust him to select those men who have not become too 
incurably fixed in polygamous habits here in Washington, 
so that we would get reasonably pure men. 

The senator's amendment contemplated saving $25,000 on the 
salaries of five commissioners, and a large amount in rents, 
stationery, transportation, etc.; but it failed to receive an 
affirmative vote. 



At the third meeting of the Senate, March, 1885, in executive 
session, for the confirmation of the appointees of President 
Cleveland's cabinet and officers, Senator Van Wyck introduced 
a resolution directed to the new Secretary of the Interior, asking 
for information relative to the patenting of certain lands to the 
Texas Pacific Railroad, "whether the clerical force employed 
worked nights and Sunday so that they might be completed 
before March 4th." The Secretary, who should have worked the 
Sunday force March 3d, had become a Colorado Senator the next 
day, and was present to respond to the resolution. 

Mr. Van Wyck: Mr. President, it will be considered by 
the American people a matter of sincere regret that an ad- 
ministration — a successor to those commencing - a quarter of 
a century ago to break the power of organized capital and 
check the aggressions of the greatest monopoly that ever 
cast its blight on this continent — should have clouded its 
good name far more than word or act of its enemies in the 
last day of its existence; that in the last agony of dissolu- 
tion its final act should be at the dictation and in the inter- 
est of corporate wealth, whose power has grown to be as 
omnipotent and whose aggressions as deadly as those of 
the one overthrown. Beginning for the establishment of 
universal rights, it has traversed all zones to the highest 
elevation, only to be hurled in the end to the antipode of 
abject and humiliating surrender in the face of the Nation 
to a more tyrannizing monopoly than dominated the Re- 
public in former years. Breaking the bonds of slavery. 
it subjugated the Nation to the fetters of corporations. 

Why should clerks work night and day and insult the re- 
ligious sentiment of the Nation by working on Sunday'.' 
What the necessity, public or otherwise? This Republic was 
not to perish on the 4th of March: its continuity was not 
disturbed by changing the executive; there was no suspen- 
sion of powers and duties; all business proceeded as here- 
tofore. Did other of the executive departments work their 
forces nights and Sundays to have the incoming adminis- 
tration start with only new business? Was it dangerous 
to trust the representatives of the people in the next con- 
gress? Was there danger Hint the rights of settlers on 
these lands would be recognized and the public domain i>ro- 
tected by the in< ling administration? If so. then it evi- 
dently has not Ween installed too soon. 



During the last congress of his senatorial term, having called 
upon himself the indignant exclamation of a Senator, "Let him 
back out of what he said yesterday," the defiant Senator from 
Nebraska retorted: 

Our democratic brethren arraigned us very severely only 
last fall and have been doing- it for several years past. They 
arraigned us in many matters, for the wasteful expenditure 
of money and wasteful extravagance in giving away the 
public domain. The government is not here. T would say 
to my friend from Connecticut: It is not in your little com- 
mission; it is not in your executive departments; it is at 
the hearthstones and homes of the people of Connecticut, 
and Missouri and Kansas and Nebraska, There is your gov- 
ernment to-day, in the hearts of the American people; and 
when their representatives here, when their executive de- 
partments of congress fail to live up to what they believe 
to be the true principles of government, then they rise up 
as they did twenty-five years ago, when they turned the 
Democratic party out of power and as they did last fall 
when they turned the Republican party out of power. They 
are the government; there is where the government is. 

But we have been taught to believe that there must be no 
word said against, no arraignment made of officers of the 
government, no reflection on the administration; no at- 
tempt to criticise those in power; and yet it was said by an 
eminent senator, that this body is suspected of being con- 
trolled by monopolies; I think that was the point then. Is 
not that a serious charge? This is a branch of the govern- 
ment, and yet it is suspected. And the senator from Con- 
necticut brings that sacred, holy halo around the adminis- 
tration, and Wants to have it so bright and brilliant that the 
common vision will not undertake to peer and loolc he- 
yon d it. 


The chairman of the Judiciary Committee having declared no 
parties in the Senate or outside attempted to demonetize silver, 
Mr. Van Wyck responded: 

Some years ago national hanks in New York made an at- 
tempt to demonetize by ostracising' silver, but as they were 
the immediate creatures of the law- they shrewdly calcu- 
lated the hazard of that venture. Now the wedge is to be 
entered in a different shape. Capital is arraigning itself 


againsl the law, the almosl universal sentimenl and pros 
perity of the people- a bold, deliberate strike, done with 
malice aforethoughl against the interests of the masses. 
the interests of labor. Severe penalties are denounced 
against those who debase our coin. Why should not ade- 
quate punishment bs provided for those who are seeking 
not only its debasement but its complete overthrow? 

Capital, by its extravagant and illegal demands, is arous- 
ing the storm it professes to dread, and when it succeeds, 
as surely it will, in forcing a stern and active protest, it 
will then appeal for protection to the government whose 
laws it has set at defiance. 


Having moved to increase the pension allowance of minor 
children and being met with the cry of economy, the Sena I or 

Oh, yes, it is all very well; but this cry springs from the 
money center. It does not come from the great muscle 
of this land that pays the most taxes. The people who toil 
are not finding fault with what you pay out for pensions. 
The complaint does not come from the workshop, or the 
farm, or the counter. Oh, no; but the money centers have 
become alarmed ; you see it in the great city of New York. 
An elegant statue was proposed to be erected, and a great 
city with its host of millionaires cannot find money enough 
to build even the pedestal to hold it, and they appeal to 
others for aid; to the men who drive the street cars, who 
work for sixteen or seventeen hours per day, and who 
then do not get money enough to break their fast. They 
are appealed to to raise money enough to complete a ped- 
estal to receive the great work of Bartholdi. There is not 
a minor child on the pension roll but would ask my friend 
from Illinois and my friend from New Jersey and my friend 
from Kansas to stop just long enough to protect this very 


From the experience of the last three or- four years one 
thing is evident, thai three great powers in this city con- 
trol — own, T might almost say; probably control would be 
nearer the truth — the congress of the United States. Three 
corporations. 1 would say to my friend from Iowa, sub- 
stantially own the congress of the United States. It is not 
necessary for the senator to be alarmed. I do not mean 
owned in a commercial sense, hut controlled to the extent 
of either doing or refusing to do what the corporations 


demand of congress. That is all there is of it. That is the 
beginning and the end. Take the Washington Gaslight Com- 
pany, the national banks, and the railroads, steam and car, 
no matter how little and insignificant, even a bob-tail line, 
they control the congress of the United States to-day, and 
have done so for some few years past. 

On the supposition that congress gave railroads the right to 
occupy streets without providing a mode of assessing damages, 
Mr. Van Wvck said: 

They were thrown on their common-law rights. Con- 
gress, so liberal in bestowing these privileges. I presume 
did not think it was wise to protect the citizens of Wash- 
ington having residence upon either side of the streets, 
which they generously turned over to the occupation of 
the railroad corporations, and I think the senator will find 
that these citizens were driven to the courts in order to 
obtain redress. So it seems these mammoth corporations 
can take congress by the throat, and although it sits nine 
months in one year, and three in the next, the great repre- 
sentatives of the American Republic tremble before these 
huge corporations, and the only remedy for the individual, 
the citizen (who has no protection by reason of any self 
control on the part of the people here or any regulation 
of their own affairs) is that he must go to the courts single- 
handed and alone to deny the right of a railroad company 
to enter the highways and streets and destroy the value of 
his property and make it useless. 


The surplus is becoming somewhat problematical. The 
senator from Connecticut secured the passage a few days 
ago of two bills — -twins, I think they were called — evidently 
appearing about the same time and running their race about 
the same time; twin bills, twin in point of time and amount, 
each $8,000,000, and twins for effecting the same object; 
that was to get some steel manufacturers to make steel, 
and yet not a gun built out of the $16,000,000. 

True, $1,000,000 were appropriated for a gun factory, and 
the other .millions for the production of steel; and after 
we get the steel, and the steel is a success, and the steal 
out of the treasury is a success, and the manufacture is 
made, then they will consider the question of making the 
gun. It is a steal on the government, as the senator from 
Kansas suggests. FLaughter.] 

Mr. Riddlebergek: How do you spell it? 


Mr. Van \\v( k: That will be referred to the civil service 
commission. The people are asking thai the surplus shall 
be dried up: and not that indiscriminately, and without any 
regard to the public interests, the treasurj shall be thrown 
wide open and have the draining process there. 

When the people of this country are asking to be released 
from taxation they point to the treasury being full to over- 
flowing: so that there may be some relief in internal rev- 
enues and customs, duties and taxes: and the point is to 
stop the mouths of the people by taking away, or drying up 
that argument, so that they can be told, "The treasury is 
empty, and therefore this taxation must go on." This is the 
way you propose to drain the treasury and empty it of its 


In the expiring days of his senatorial term of six years, he 
delivered a most exhaustive speech upon a proposition to amend 
the constitution of the United States so as to secure the election 
of the United States senators by direct vote of the people. 

Having examined the causes which made senators originally 
subject to legislative conditions, he claimed that a crisis was 
approaching in which the people would recall the delegated 
power and wield it through the omnipotence of the ballot box. 

Mr. President — When capital, in defiance of the constitu- 
tion and laws, can demand payment of debts in gold coin 
only; when the upheaval of labor can be repressed by indict- 
ments and fine or imprisonment for a conspiracy; when the 
more dangerous conspiracy of capital, in Black Friday, in 
control of the coal fields of the East: when a syndicate or 
one man can purchase seventy coal mines within a radius 
of fifty miles of Saint Louis, and no protest is heard, no 
courts or indictments, at this communism of wealth, this 
anarchism which threatens, not individuals, not a party, but 
the entire Republic; when throughout the northwest the 
virgin soil is being exhausted to raise grain, make pork and 
beef, the producer receiving hardly the cosl of production. 
and when the product reaches the seaboard so encumbered 
with railroad and other charges that meat three limes a 
day, our former boast, is often denied the laborer; when to 
the relief of the Nation conies the president of a powerful 
road, with the exhilarating and comforting assurance that 
this great unrest, this persistent demand of labor for re- 
Ward sufficient to furnish substance, this clamor of pro- 
ducers that grain shall return in price enough to pay the 


bare price of production is only an indication of unusual 
content and prosperity and a promise of greater beneficence 
and glory to be spread over the Republic: when the tenant 
class is yearly increasing: when three-fourths of all the 
farms in the Eepublic are mortgaged; when the additions 
of wealth are largely to those who count possessions by 
thousands of millions, and labor must return thanks for the 
privilege to toil for reward which hardly provides board 
and clothing, there is a crisis impending. Could those lead- 
ers who have placed the Republican party in peril, stripped 
it of its usefulness by denying living principles, compelling 
the active present to feast only upon the memories and 
reminiscences of the past, draw nearer to the hearts and 
hearthstones of the masses, seek to give a genuine protec- 
tion to honest labor, there would soon be "life in the old 
land vet." 

You remember when Sumner charged slavery with being 
the great crime against nature. Corporations have taken 
the place of slavery. Unfortunately there is no Sumner to 
arraign it. while it is being strangled by those intrusted 
with its care and perishing in the face of the very genera- 
tion — the actors and theatre of its greatest achievements. 
Corporations and their servants, like slavery and its mas- 
ters, can learn nothing by experience: blinded by pride, 
impelled by avarice and greed, will listen to no suggestions, 
make no concessions in recognition of justice and right until 
disaster gathers about them. The democracy carried 
slavery and fell, although in falling it did not entirely 

The Republican party has carried monster corporations 
equally as unrelenting and exacting, and is reeling-, stumb- 
ling and falling with the terrible load. And the humble 
warner waving the signal flag of danger is run down and 
crushed as an enemy in the path of bloated, unrelenting-. 
and unreasoning- power. 

Shades of Sumner. Lincoln. Seward, Chase, and the great 
army of martyred heroes, who we trust are not allowed to 
snffer pangs becaitse of the political debasement which must 
be endured by the remnant of the grand Union Army at 
the spectacle that the Republican party has lost the popu- 
lar branch of the government, has lost the executive. And 
now. reckless, nerveless leaders tell us there is a crisis, as 
they madly beat the waves threatening- to submerge the last 
feeble, frail resting place; and in their insane folly talk 
about straight, reliable partisans to be elected in defiance 
of the express demands of the people to save what is left in 
the upper branch of congress. In the same spirit and in 
the same hope they talk of the horrors of an overflowing 


treasury and blindly suppose relief will come bo the people 
by draining it out rather than stop unjust and oppressive 
taxation, which fills it by draining the pockels of the people. 

Year by year the party becomes weaker even here. The 
desperate remedy is prescribed that the influence and 
wealth and tools of huge corporations shall be invoked to 
overthrow the people and secure a temporary victory while 
the leaders appear as unconcerned as to the real cause of 
danger and safety as was Nero when he fiddled at the 
destruction of Rome. During this time waning power is 
departing from the senate and in their desire to save they 
contribute to the certainty of defeat. 

And thus it becomes more necessary that those occupy- 
ing seats in this body should receive their commissions 
directly from the hands of the people. A political crisis is 
approaching, when, driven from the popular branch, from 
the executive, the last resting place of a once great party, 
which had done more for mankind and made a larger chap- 
ter in history than any preceding, can alone be secured 
on this cold and majestic eyrie only by not allowing the 
Republican senators to be elected by Democratic votes a 
wisdom equal to the ostrich which thinks its body secure 
by hiding its head in the sand. 



March 4th, 18S3— March 4th, 1895. 

Charles Frederick Manderson, Brevet Brigadier General, 
United States Senator from Nebraska, and a lawyer by profes- 
sion, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February !). 1837. 
He was the son of John Mariderson, who was born in 1799 in 
County Antrim, Ireland, of Scotch-Irish ancestry and emigrated 
to- America when a small child, and lived nearly all his life in 
the city of Philadelphia, where he was well known and where he 
died in 1885, at the age of eighty-six years. The mother of 
Charles F. Manderson was Katherine Benfer, who was born in 
the city of Philadelphia, was of German extraction, and died in 
that -city when our subject was a small child. 

Charles Frederick Manderson received his education in the 
public schools of Philadelphia, and, when of proper age, was 
admitted to the High School of that city, an excellent institu- 
tion, and under the general direction of Professor Hart, who 
was president of the faculty. At the age of nineteen he re- 
moved to Canton, Ohio, where he studied law and was admitted 
to the bar in 1859. In the spring of 1860 he was elected city 
solicitor of Canton, and was re-elected the next year. 

General Manderson was married at Canton, April 11th, 1865, 
to Rebecca S., daughter of Hon. James D. Brown, a lawyer of 
prominence, who died at Omaha, Nebraska, in 1871. His wife's 
maternal grandfather, John Harris, was one of the first settlers 
of the state of Ohio, and a lawyer who achieved high profes- 
sional standing and renown in the early history of the State. 

On the day of the receipt of the news of the firing 
on Fort Sumter, Mr. Manderson enlisted as a private with 
Captain James Wallace of the Canton Zouaves, an independent 
company of which he had been corporal. Mr. Manderson and 
Samuel Beatty, an old Mexican soldier, then sheriff of Stark 
County, received permission from Governor Dennison to raise 
a company of infantry in April, 1861. They recruited a full 


company in one day; Manderson being commissioned as its first 
lieutenant, and Beatty captain. In May, 1861, Captain Beatty 
was made colonel of the 19th Ohio Infantry, and Manderson w;is 
commissioned captain of Company A of the same regiment, lie 
took his company into western Virginia, among the first troops 
occupying that section, taking station at Glover's Gap and 
Mannington. The 19th Ohio became a part of the brigade com- 
manded by General Rosecrans in General McClellan's army of 
occupation of Virginia and moved up the Kanawha valley. The 
regiment participated with great credit in the first field battle 
of the war, known as Rich Mountain, on the 11th of July, 1861. 
Captain Manderson received special mention in the official re- 
ports of this battle. In August, 1861, he re-enlisted his com- 
pany for three years or during the war, and in this service he 
rose through the grades of major, lieutenant colonel and colonel 
of the 19th Ohio Infantry, and on January 1st, 1864, over 400 of 
the survivors of his regiment re-enlisted with him as veteran 
volunteers. The battle of Shiloh, during which Captain Man- 
derson acted as lieutenant colonel, caused his promotion to the 
rank of major and he was mentioned in the reports of General 
Boyle and General Crittenden for distinguished gallantry and 
exceptional service. General Boyle, commanding the brigade. 
says in his report: 

Captain Manderson deported himself with cool nerve and 
courage and personally captured a prisoner. 

He was in command of the 19th Ohio Infantry in all its en- 
gagements up to and including the battle of Lovejoy's Station 
on September 2nd, 1864. At the battle of Stone River or 
Murfreesboro, his regiment lost, in killed and wounded, two 
hundred and thirteen men out of four hundred and forty-nine 
enlisted men taken into the engagement. It won distinguished 
renown and exceptional mention for its participation in this 
great battle and the official reports gave particular credit to its 
charge in the cedars, which checked the enemy's advance upon 
our right and restored the line of battle to one that could be 
maintained. General Fred. Kneliar, who commanded the 79th 
Indiana, said in his official report: 

NEBRASKA IN THE r. S. SENATE. '■'<■'>'> 

1 1 may not be improper to remark that the behavior of 
my regiment, which had but few opportunities for drill, 
and had not been long- in the field, may be attributed in 
a great measure to the splendid conduct of the 19th Ohio. 
Major Manderson commanding, the effect of whose example 
was not lost upon the officers and soldiers of my regiment. 

Major Manderson was promoted to be lieutenant colonel and 
colonel for bis conduct at the battle of ■ Stone-River. General 
Grider, commanding the brigade, says: 

The command was splendidly led by its officers, among 
whom was Major Manderson. who exhibited the utmost cool- 
ness and daring. 

During its three years aud its Aeteran services, the 19th Ohio 
Infantry participated in the following campaigns and battles: 
Shiloh, siege of Corinth, action near Farming-ton, movement 
from Battle Creek, Tennessee, to Louisville, Kentucky, Perry- 
ville campaign. Crab Orchard, Stone River, Murfreesboro, Tulla- 
hoina campaign. Liberty Gap. Chickamauga, siege of Chatta- 
nooga, Orchard Knob. Mission Ridge, Knoxville campaign, At- 
lanta campaign, Cassville, Dallas, New Hope Church, Picketts 
Mills. Ackworth Station, Pine Knob, Kulp's Farm, Kenesaw, 
affair near Marietta, crossing - the Chattahoochee River, Peach 
Tree Creek, Siege of Atlanta, Ezra Chapel, Jonesboro, Lovejoy's 
Station, Franklin, Nashville, and pursuit of Hood's army. 

During the Atlanta campaign, Colonel Manderson commanded 
a demi-brigade composed of the 19th Ohio, 79th Indiana and 
9th Kentucky. 

The brigade commander says of the battle of New Hope 
Church in his official report: 

The second line commanded by Colonel Manderson and 
composed of the 19th Ohio, the 79th Indiana and the 9th 
Kentucky, advanced in splendid style through a terrific fire. 
Officers and soldiers acted most gallantly, the regiments 
of the second line particularly, which advanced in admirable 
order over very difficult ground and determinedly main- 
tained their ground against very superior numbers. Con- 
spicuous for gallantry and deserving of special mention is 
Colonel C. F. Manderson of the 19th Ohio. 

• While leading his demi-brigade composed of the 19th Ohio. 


IMli Kentucky, and the 79th Indiana in a charge upon the 
enemy's works at Lovejoy's Station, Georgia, on September 2nd. 
1864, Colonel Manderson was severely wounded in the spine and 
right side, which produced temporary paralysis and great 
suffering and rendered him unfit for duty in the field. 
General Kneflar, commanding the brigade, says officially: 

I cannot say too much of Colonel Manderson, who was 
severely wounded and always conspicuous for gallantry 
and skill. 

General Wood, who commanded the division, says of the 
charge upon the enemy's works: 

It was gallantly made and we lost some valuable officers, 
among them Colonel Manderson. 

The ball being extracted and much disability arising there 
from, Colonel Manderson was compelled to resign the service, 
from wounds, in April, 1865, the war in the West having practi- 
cally closed. Previous to his resignation he was breveted 
Brigadier-General of Volunteers United States Army, to date 
March 13th, 1865, "for long, faithful, gallant and meritorious 
services during the War of the Rebellion." This distinction 
came to him on the recommendation of army commanders in the 
field and not by political influence. 

Returning to Canton, Ohio, General Manderson resumed the 
practice of law and was twice elected district attorney of Stark 
County, declining a nomination for a third term. Tn 1867 he 
came within one vote of receiving the nomination for congress 
in a district of Ohio, then conceded to be Republican by several 
thousand majority. 

In November, 1869, he removed to Omaha, Nebraska, where 
he still resides and where he quickly became prominent in legal 
and political affairs. He was a member of the Nebraska State 
Constitutional Convention of 1871, and also that of 1875, being 
elected without opposition by the nomination of both political 
parties. He served as city attorney of Omaha, Nebraska, for 
over six years, obtaining signal success in the trial of important 
cases and achieving high rank as a lawyer. For manv vears 



he has been an active comrade in the Grand Army of the Re- 
public, and for three years was commander of the Military 
order of the Loyal Legion of the District of Columbia. He was 
elected United States Senator as a Republican to succeed Alvin 
Saunders, his term commencing March 4th, 1883. 

He was re-elected to the senate, without opposition, in 1889, 
and with exceptional and unprecedented marks of approval 
from the legislature of Nebraska. His term expired March 3, 
1895. In the Senate he has been chairman of the Joint Com- 
mittee on Printing and an active member of the following com- 
mittees: Claims, Private Land Claims, Territories, Indian 
Affairs, Military Affairs, and Rules. Many valuable reports 
have been made by him from these committees, and he has been 
a 'Shaping and directing force in legislation of great value re- 
lating to claims, the establishment of the private land-claims 
court, the government of the territories, the admission of new 
States, pensions to old soldiers, aid to soldiers' homes, laws for 
the better organization and improvement of the discipline of the 
Cnited States army and for the improvement and better 
methods for the printing of the government. 

In the second session of the 51st congress, he was elected by 
the United States Senate as its President pro tempore without 
opposition, it having been declared by the senate after full de- 
bate to be a continuing office. 

The following letter antedates Mr. Manderson's second sena- 
torial election. 

State Capitol, Lincoln - , Neb., Jan. 1st, 1889. 
Hon. Charles F. Manderson, Washington, D. C. 

Dear Senator: The political situation in Washington 
seems to demand your presence at your post of duty, to 
look after pending legislation and the interests of the peo- 
ple of this State, which you, in part, so ably represent. 

Your honorable and consistent record in public life, your 
untiring and zealous work in behalf of the Republican party 
and its principles; your labor for the old soldiers, and the 
glorious fight you have made for the National Republican 
cause in the State and Nation, we fully appreciate and 
desire to thank you. 

We further say to you, with all the sincerity that the 

:'.::> Nebraska state historical society. 

human heart can give forth, that while you are thus de- 
tained at your post of duty, we will also be at ours and 
see to it that you are triumphantly elected to the National 
Legislature as your own successor. 

Each wishing- you a happy and prosperous New Year, we 
remain. Yours obediently, 

(Signed by 101 members of the Nebraska Legislature.) 

Mr. Manderson was sworn into office, as a senator for Ne- 
braska, on the 3rd day of December, 1883, in the last session of 
the 48th congress; and was in due time assigned, for committee 
duty, to those of Private Land Claims, Territories, Transporta- 
tion Koutes to the Seaboard, and Claims. 

Having busied himself mostly with the investigation of ques- 
tions that pertained directly to his own state and region of 
country, for the space of three months, he was fortunate in the 
selection of a theme on which to make his first oratorical effort 
before his deliberate and dignified associates; a theme on which 
the soldier's patriotism could dominate the lawyer's acquisitions 
in sustaining a military verdict. He stated the question at 
issue, as follows: "Adopting the language of the advisory 
board, it asks that the Congress shall annul and set aside the 
findings and sentence of the court-martial in the case of Major 
Gen. Fitz-John Porter and restore him to the position of which 
that sentence deprived him." His introduction was very con- 

Gentlemen of distinguished ability occupying places at 
both ends of the capitol, lawyers of great erudition whose 
reputation is national, soldiers of distinction whose names 
are "as familiar in our mouths as household words,"' have 
spoken and written upon the theme until it seems almost 
worn threadbare. 

The plea of the novitiate for kindly recognition was delicate 
and beautiful: 

Here in the face of the world, for nearly a quarter of 
a century, has progressed a contest where the stake was 
dearer than life — a struggle to vindicate impeached honor, 
to clear smirched loyalty, to brighten tarnished reputation. 
What wonder is it, then, that the interest continues and 
that even the fledglings of the senate show desire to record 
the reasons that prompt their votes for or against this bill? 


And then how adroitly "the fledgling's" locality was defined: 

When the court-martial assembled, in the fall and winter 
of 1862, with General Hunter as president and Generals 
Hitchcock, King-, Prentiss, Kicketts, Casey, Garfield, and 
other distinguished military leaders, — I was of the army 
of the West, far removed from Washington, and where by 
reason of our distance and the fact that we had usually 
sufficient on hand to keep us very busy, we knew but little 
- of what was croine - on in the armies of the East. 


But it had become a matter of history that General Grant, 
and others, had at last joined the advocates of General Porter 
and in this preliminary skirmish that obstruction must be re- 

The first article presented to me, and carefully read, was 
the paper of General Grant, "An Undeserved Stigma," pub- 
lished in the North American Review, and this was followed 
by the letters of General Grant, Terry, and others; then the 
defensive pamphlet of Mr. Lord, and the report of the 
majority of the Committee on Military Affairs of the senate. 

But a judge could not rest with the defendant's side of the 
case alone, and hence Mr. Manderson carefully reviewed the 
testimony of the United States; and if the banner of General 
Grant was to lead the Porter procession, there was another like- 
ness, of clear-cut features before which uncovered heads bowed 
"The experienced lawyer, the sound jurist, the great patriot, the 
compassionate man — Abraham Lincoln — reviewed the action of 
the court." 

Anxious not to appear ungenerous in anything he said: 

I would gladly join the ranks of those who, from a desire 
to do justice as they see the course of justice, or from mo- 
tives of mercy as they see it right to be merciful, will take 
the stain of over twenty years' duration from this appeal- 
ing old man; but under the facts and law, as I see them, 
whether this proceeding be one of judicial review or the 
exercise of clemency, this bill should not pass. 

There having been a great asperity in this behalf, and the Ne- 
braska senator desiring to cover no concealed feeling beneath a 
judicial robe, the following disclaimer was uttered: 


I do nm saj thai Fatz-John Porter deserved death. I do 
urn believe he was either a traitor to his country or u 
coward. Of what offense 1 believe him guilty, under the 
proof and all the proof, whether taken before the court- 
martial, or the advisory board. 1 will seek to show before 
I gel through. 

Having established the dignity of military courts, as created 
by constitutional provisions, illustrating with opinions from 
treatises on military law, the conclusion was educed, "A court- 
martial is the proper and only tribunal for the trial of military 
officers." This proposition was ably sustained, excluding con- 
gressional interference by reference to supreme court decisions, 
opinions of attorney generals and distinguished military writ- 
ers, culminating in the declaration, "If congress controlled en- 
tirely, the military system would then turn to despotism." 

The senator then proclaimed an axiomatic truth — "Obedience, 
strict, prompt, unquestioning, active, whole-souled, painstaking, 
willing, cheerful obedience is the highest duty of the soldier." 
Supplementing this with The language of Hough in his Prece- 
dents on Military Law, and of Dr. Hart's treatise and of 
O'Brien on American Military Law, and testing the exculpatory 
evidence of General Porter by these accredited doctrines, he 
reached the conclusion that Porter held his superior officer 
(Gen. Pope) in contempt. 

He was jealous of his leadership. He dreaded a victory 
that would advance him further. He did not desire defeat 
to our arms; but he was not anxious to see Pope win a 
victory. Ah! the curse of this jealousy among the leaders 
of the armies of the East. McClellan, Hooker, Burnside. 
Meade, Pope — all fell as its victims. I thank God that the 
g-enerals of the armies of the West knew not the base feel- 
ing. Generous rivalry there was between the divisions and 
corps comprising the armies of the Tennessee and the Cum- 
berland, but amongst great leaders, — McPherson, Logan, 
Sheridan, Thomas, Grant, Sherman, there were no heart- 
burnings from jealousy, hatred and ill will. [Applause in 
the galleries.] 

An army incident, certain to touch a patriotic chord, to con- 
demn a tardy step, and show the star of Western fealty in the 
ascendant, furnished a splendid conclusion: 


Mr. President — But a few months before the day when 
Porter rested idly in the shade while the loud-mouthed can- 
non gave to him unheeded invitation, a far different scene 
was enacted in the West, and 1 would like to hold it up in 
contrast. The capture of Fort Donelson had opened a clear 
pathway by water and by land to our forces, and Grant, 
with his army, was near Pittsburg Landing-. The glorious 
victory of Thomas at Mill Springs, the fall of Bowling Green 
and the surrender of Nashville had cleared Middle Tennes- 
see for the marching columns of Buell. Along the beaten 
roads during the pleasant spring days they moved. On 
April 6. with the impetuous Nelson and the gallant Critten- 
den in the lead, the head of Buell's army approached Savan- 
nah on the Tennessee River. The day was nearing- its close 
and the tired men were longing for camp and rest. Sud- 
denly the faint sound of a distant gun. Another and an- 
other in quick succession. The straggling lines of troops 
instinctively gather in more compact form. Without com- 
mand to that effect the marching step quickened. The sullen 
boom of the artillery was more distinctly heard as the 
distance lessened. 

The fact was apparent. Our brothers of the army of the 
Tennessee were engaged. The battle was on. but miles 
away and across the deep and rapid river. A long and weari- 
some march had been made that day lrv these divisions. 
Tired and hungry and likely to so remain, for there were 
no cooked rations in their haversacks and the wagons miles 
to the rear and not likely to come up. The leaders of 
these commands need no orders to hasten on and let the 
rest be taken after the battle is lost or won. The "sound 
of the guns" is all the order needed. The "old sea dog'* 
Nelson, taking to water, naturally. I suppose, leaves the 
main road and leads his division over a shorter one through 
swamps. Crittenden hurries on to Savannah. The waiting 
transports are loaded to the guards. The river is crossed 
and Grant's gallant troops, disheartened by the long day's 
fight at fearful odds, welcome with glad shouts and tears 
of joy the leaders and men to whom the din of arms is an 
invitation and "the sound of the guns" an order. The rich 
reward is that on the next day the battle of Shiloh is con- 
tinued and won. victory is wrested from the jaws of defeat, 
and the rebel retreat to the south goes on. [Applause in 
the galleries.] 

Mr. President — I oppose this bill because of the law and 
the facts; because of the dang'erous precedent and the bad 
example: because it is destructive of discipline and injuri- 
ous to the well-doing of oiir army: because I believe it to 
be eternally right to do so. 


The delivery of this speech indicated, not merely what par- 
liamentary eloquence was to gain in the future, but what the 
present acquisition was, so rich in research, in scholarly adorn- 
ment, and oratorical presentation. 

On account of constitutional make and moral perceptions, his 
memorial addresses^ whether for senators or members of the 
house, have been exceedingly felicitous. When Senator An- 
thony, of Rhode Island, passed away, he said of him: 

The poet of the early English, grand Geoffrey Chaucer, 
says, "He is a gentleman who does gentle deeds," and the 
life of our departed friend is so full of the constant per- 
formance of such deeds that he made himself of the true 
gentry and issued his own patent of nobility. 

He did not seem to tire of such well-doing. The passing 
of the years and the coming on of old age brought physi- 
cal change, but "that good gray head which all men knew" 
was ever the servant of the kind heart. 

Speaking of the life of Congressman Duncan, of Pennsylvania, 
we have the following: 

I was charmed with the symmetry of his life and could 
not but admire the features I have so feebly portrayed. A 
life so beautiful, a career so even, gave promise of a useful 

It is most apt to depict him growing with the years of 
experience into the trusted legislator, the wise councilor, 
respected by all men, of service to the state, until with 
ripened age came fuller honors, and at last with the full 
allotment of years would come the end to the rounded life. 
But it was not so to be. "God's finger touched him and he 

His eulogy upon General Logan was a genuine bugle blast 
from morning call to "lights out": 

I first saw Logan in front of the Confederate position 
on Eenesaw Mountain when his corps made that desperate 
assault upon Little Kenesaw — so fruitless in results, so 
costly in human life. The sight was an inspiration. Well 
mounted, "he looked of his horse a part." His swarthy 
complexion, long black hair, compact figure, stentorian voice, 
and eyes that seemed to blaze "with the light of battle," 
made a figure once seen never to be forgotten. In an action 
he was the very spirit of war. His magnificent presence 
would make a coward fight. 


In a strain peculiarly fitting the character of the man he 
finished his tribute to the virtues of Senator Pike, of New Hamp- 
shire : 

The final end of all to our friend canie in such form that 
Ave might wish our death to be like his. Much of oppor- 
tunity for preparation for the dread summons, a gradual 
weakening of the physical and mental powers, and then, 
"the end of all here." Shelley well describes it: 

"First our pleasures die — and then 
Our hopes and then our fears — and when 
These are dead the debt is due, 
Dust claims dust— and we die too." 

But unlike the author of Queen Mab, who saw nothing - 
beyond the grave, and to whom death was an eternal sleep, 
our friend believed, with all the strength of an earnest, 
honest nature, in the soul's immortality. The "pleasing 
hope, the fond desire," the trusting belief held him through 
all his life and permitted him to look upon death as 

"The great world's altar stairs 
That slope through darkness up to God." 

When funeral honors were being paid to his friend, comrade 
and colleague, James Laird, Senator Manderson gave a sketch 
of an enthusiastic military career, such as fancy might have 
faltered to adorn; and of a professional possibility filling the 
measure of the most exalted ambition. But, 

"The aeolian harp that heaven's pure breezes fill 
Must breathe, at times, a melancholy strain," 

and hence the finale: 

To me there is something - pitiful in the loneliness of the 
last few years of this short life. He had no near relative 
living at the time of his death. He was the last of his race. 
The father, the strong - preacher, died in his youth. His two 
oldest brothers were killed on the field of honor near his 
side in the early days of the war. His younger brother 
died of a distressing accident some years ago. There was 
left him no kin save the dear old Scotch mother to whom 
her "boy Jamie" Avas all in all. How fondly he cherished 
her. She made her home with him and desolation entered 
the door when her form was .carried through it to the lone 
couch of everlasting sleep. 

When memorial addresses were delivered in honor of General 
W. T. Sherman, Senator Manderson's contribution revealed him 


as one who comprehended the true magnitude of the coming 
war of L861, before the civil authorities were able to grasp its 
far-reaching proportions; and also refuted the charge of cruelty 
in Avar, as the skillful surgeon should be exonerated who used 
the knife unsparingly in order to save the life of the patient. 
He said of the march to the sea: 

There was in front of the Union soldier a foeman worthy 
of his steel. The conduct of the Confederate army under 
its skillful leaders in its masterly retreat during- that cam- 
paign is one that is unequaled in the history of war. And 
had there not been at the head of the Union forces a soldier 
so admirably equipped as Sherman, I don't believe that 
Atlanta, the gate city of the South, would have been ours. 
The capture of that city, the opening of that gate permit- 
ted the "March to the Sea," over which oi-ators grow elo- 
quent, and which produced the familiar song which will live 
forever in the poetry of nations, and be the tune of inspira- 
tion to the daring of soldiers while war shall be. 

In his eulogy upon the character of Senator Barbour, of Vir- 
ginia, including a sketch of his distinguished ancestry, fortunate 
education and professional success, there occurs a paragraph 
beautiful in conception and tastefully uttered: 

Mi;. Maxdersox: Mr. President, the interesting details of 
the symmetrical life and well-rounded career of John S. 
Harbour have been given to the Senate by the distinguished 
gentleman who was his associate and colleague in the per- 
formance of public duty in this chamber. The recital is like 
unto a steady march to sweetest music. 

From the forming of the column in the Old Dominion, 
nearly three quarters of a century ago, down through the 
long line to the time when the parade was dismissed under 
the shadow of the dome of the nation's capitol, the move- 
ment was regular and majestic. 

His march of life ended in May last. Death came in form 
i he most acceptable. No lingering illness with its hours of 
suffering- and painful anticipation of the end. He was with 
us performing his task during the day. the evening was 
spent in his library in converse with family and friends. 
The morning's sun rose and -with it his spirit left the clay. 

In his last memorial speech, ending his tenth year in congress, 
Senator Manderson illustrated his ability to weave into original 
forms, historical facts and existing incidents. 


From a thrilling description of the battle of Stone River, 
where he and the deceased Senator Gibson of Louisiana led 
adverse forces, and the statement that they were also at Shiloh, 
he continued: 

There is upon the presiding officer's desk (and my calling' 
the attention of the senator from Louisiana to it was the 
occasion of my making these remarks here) a gavel pre- 
sented to me a little over a year ago by the men who served 
with me in my regiment. It is made up of woods gathered 
from the fields of several of the battles in which my regi- 
ment was engaged. There is no battle mentioned on the 
woods of which that gavel is composed that Senator Gibson 
did not serve upon the one side and I upon the other. 

But, sir, there has come from this long and fearful con- 
flict, as I believe, nothing but mutual respect, and I believe 
that respect, aye. a warm and hearty admiration, not to say 
affection, unites now the men who fought upon the two 
sides of this great struggle. In saying- this I desire to say 
nothing that shall detract from or minimize in the least 
the conviction I had then, and have now, that on this side, 
what I may call our side, the Union side, we Avere fighting 
for that which was everlastingly right; and I thank God, 
and I believe that every ex-Confederate soldier thanks the 
God of battles, that the result has been what it is — a Union 
saved and a Union preserved. If there *are any not now 
satisfied with the result they are not to be found among- 
those who fought on either side. 

Senator Manderson signalized his entrance upon the duties of 
the 49th congress, January, 1880, by an elaborate discussion of 
a more efficient organization of the infantry branch of the army. 
He discarded the idea of danger to a republic from a larger and 
more efficient army and endorsed the language of General Mc- 
Clellan that the army as an institution "has never called the 
blush of shame to the face of an American,'' and of John C. 
Calhoun, Secretary of War, that the fancied fear of danger 
"partakes more of timidity than wisdom." 

Mr. President — Mr. Calhoun had limited experience bear- 
ing upon this subject, however, compared with those here 
to-day who saw the country pass safely through the dark 
days of the War of llebellion and witnessed the vast con- 
tending hosts disappear. so magically. And yet the veterans 
of both sides, Union and Confederate, what thorough 

• • 


soldiers they had become! Many of them so youthful that 
they knew no other calling but "the pride and pomp and 
circumstance of glorious war;" the rest with civil pursuits 
completely abandoned and their places in the busy marts of 
the world filled by others; all inured to the field, with the 
habits of the military life fixed upon them; full of love for 
their old leaders, — for they had followed Grant, Sherman. 
Lee and Johnson, — these men disappeared among the ranks 
of civilians, losing their identity except as they were known 
as the most liberty-loving of citizens. 

He declared that "the same lamentably defenseless condition 
thai exists to-day has usually existed and nothing but dread dis- 
aster and criminal sacrifice of blood and treasure have ever 
seemed to arouse us from our lethargy." He instanced the war 
of 1812, wherein "we suffered insult after insult to the flag, and 
ship after ship was searched upon the high seas, and that the 
blush of shame mantled the cheek of many a patriot of that day. 
The war came at last; but how bitter the recollection of Hull's 
surrender, the capture of the Capitol by a force of 3,500 men, 
and the burning of the public buildings. The only bright spot 
in the history was the victory at New Orleans, won after the 
terms of peace had bGen made." 

He gave the amount of the standing army at the commence- 
ment of the Mexican war at 5,300 men. And could General 
Taylor have marched 10,000 men to the Rio Grande, he fancied 
that war might have been prevented; and had 15,000 regulars 
assembled on the field of the first Manassas the incipient flame 
of rebellion might possibly have been quenched. 

Of the settlement of international disputes by peace con- 
gresses, hereafter, he said — "God speed the time when this shall 
be so, but it will not be in our day or generation." 

Among the threatening dangers, worthy of present considera- 
tion, he instanced the "murderous Apache in ambush among the 
rocks, or sweeping from his mountain hiding place to murder 
the settler"- —the restlessness of the Navajoes — tribes on the 
border of Kansas menacing — 25,000 Sioux on the North Ne- 
braska line vainglorious over the Custer massacre — 25,000 arms- 
bearing adults among the Mormons — riots in the large cities — 
"seed planted by the socialists and nihilists in what they con- 


sider rich soil in this laud of free speech" — possible complica- 
tions with 4 oreign nations — our position with reference to the 
Isthmian Canal, and the interest we have in $50,000,000 invested 
in Mexican railroads by our people: "'These and others that will 
suggest themselves to you are the fertile causes that may at 
any time 'Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." " 

After arraying the opinions of Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, 
secretaries of war and presidents in behalf of his bill, and ven- 
tilating English, German and other European infantry methods, 
and explaining how regiments of twelve companies each would 
be more efficient in battle, in preserving life, and furnishing an 
immediate opportunity for promotions, he came to a conclu- 
sion with a delicate admonition: 

Let us suppose that a frontiersman needs a rifle to protect 
himself from savage foes. We will say that for $15 he can 
get an old model, with defective mechanism, which at the 
critical moment may miss fire. For $16 he can get a rifle of 
approved pattern, true to its aim and sure to deal death to 
an assailant. To buy the former would be to save a dollar 
and risk destruction; but should the frontiersman make 
such a choice his mistaken economy would be characterized 
as the grossest stupidity. 

I need not make the application. Do not let us be so 
stupid, but pursue the course that has every military 
authority worthy of consideration to support it and none 
against it. 


Later on in the session he is found in a spirited running de- 
bate with Dawes, of Massachusetts, Hale, of Maine, and Logan, 
of Illinois, on the subject of a 5,000 addition to the standing 
army in order to meet the necessity of the vastly increased ex- 
panse of settled territory in the great Northwest; and from long 
residence in the region and from personal contact with Indians 
in camp, council and hunting grounds, he became a very intelli- 
gent and formidable antagonist. But since he has been so fully 
represented in two masterly efforts involving army questions 
there seems no necessity for a further analysis of this, which 
closed with an anecdote at the expense of Senator Hale: 

Mr. President — I proposed to show that the efficient com- 
mander of the Potomac differed somewhat from the senatn.- 


from Maine. I remember a story of a glib young lawyer 
who advanced a remarkable Legal proposition to the court, 
and was told by the judge, "My young friend. I am very 
much surprised to bear you make a statement of that kind, 
and claim it to he law," and opening a volume of Black- 
stone said. "lUackstoue says so and so" — a proposition 
directly the reverse of thai just stated. The attorney was 
not at all emharrassed and said. "Well, your honor, there is 
where Blackstone and 1 differ." 

In the early days of the 50th congress General Manderson in- 
dulged in a discussion, time and again, upon the subject of pen- 
sions, and defended the Grand Army of the Republic in its ob- 
jects, its elements and broad catholicity. He declared it a 
society founded upon deep seated sentiments of patriotism, so 
burned in as to have become akin to religion and one which 
completely commands the confidence of the people. Its watch- 
words are fraternity, charity and loyalty. There belongs to it 
men of all political parties. At its post meetings and its de- 
partmental and national encampments men of all possible poli- 
tics take active and prominent part, advising conservative ac- 
tion and conducting into proper paths. McClellan and Grant, 
Hancock and Logan, were all members of this patriotic order, 
desiring no higher position in it than that of comrades, and 
claiming no superiority over the enlisted men they had so often 
led to victory. By its creed every one of its members had 
promised "to assist such former comrades in arms as needed 
help and protection, and to extend needful aid to the widows 
and orphans of those who had fallen." This promise is not mere 
lip service. "By their fruits shall ye know them.*' He said, in 
a combat of words with Senator Blackburn of Kentucky; 

I felt somewhat fearful when T heard the senator from 
Kentucky describe in his graphic way the position of this 
Grand Army of the Republic, with knapsacks packed, arms 
upon their shoulders and ready, as he said, for the field, 
and saw his martial air, hold front, and the mounting by 
him of 

"barbed steed 
To frighl the souls of Eearful adversaries," 

that we were to have a renewal of the unpleasantness; but 
a moment's consideration satisfied me that notwithstanding 
the fierce appearance of the senator from Kentucky we 


had nothing- to dread upon that score. I think we all know 
him well enough to know that the language used by him on 
one occasion heretofore was heartily meant, that he "long* 
ago sheathed his sword in the friendship of the men who 
fought against him." 

In reply to the charge of having- improperly assailed the 
President of the United States he responded: 

I have no word either of apology or explanation for any 
reference that I have made to the President of the United 
States. I made, as I think I had a right to make, comment 
and criticism upon his action with reference to the veto 
of the pension bill of last session. I made, as I think I had 
a right to make, even under the strictest construction of 
parliamentary rule, reference to this bill, as to what might 
be its probable future as to defeat or victory by reason of 
the experience of the past. 

Later on in the same first session of the 50th congress the 
senator took part with Senator Vest, of Missouri, in a discus- 
sion of the causes which had enabled Chicago to control so large 
a share of the cattle trade of the great Southwest, at the ex- 
pense of St. Louis. 

In this debate he gave evidence of a very thorough knowledge 
of the production of the beef-producing region — the causes cir- 
cumscribing the range limits, as homesteading and pre-empting, 
— the amount handled by the mammoth packing houses of 
Armour, Hammond, Morris, Swift and Libby of Chicago, and 
with prices of purchase and sale, together with interest Ne- 
braska has in feeding her surplus corn to the grass-fed herds of 
the plains. 

Another question of prime importance to the region of Ne- 
braska bordering on Colorado, and to the far west and south- 
west was that of irrigation. He had seen what it had done in 
Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, wherever tried on 
a small scale, and had seen the alkali plains of Humboldt 
Desert "blossom as the rose," as the result of being placed 
"under ditch." Hoping much from a national effort at reclama- 
tion, he proffered a cordial support to the sisterhood of the 
barren plains. 

Senator Manderson was very fortunate in being a member of 


the majority party in the senate, which made it possible for 
him to be the constant chairman of a committee and a member 
of others of great importance. A military officer, also, that 
popular branch of the service demanded and received his most 
enthusiastic aid. 

The end of his first senatorial term of office was very pleas- 
antly, politically and officially closed by him as one of the tel- 
lers in joint convention of Senate and House, in the matter of 
the official count of the vote for President and Vice-President, 
for the constitutional term commencing March 4th, 1889. 

Senator Man derson : The total number of votes cast is 
401, of which Benjamin Harrison, of Indiana, receives for 
President of the United States 233, Grover Cleveland, of 
New York, 168; and of which Levi P. Morton, of New York, 
receives for Vice-President of the United States, 233 votes; 
and Allen G. Thurman, of Ohio, 168. 

During the term of six years, the Congressional Record cred- 
its him with remarks upon sixty-eight subjects and with the 
presentation of nineteen amendments, thirty-three motions and 
resolutions, one hundred and ninety-two bills and joint resolu- 
tions and two hundred and nineteen reports from committees. 

On entering upon his second term of six years, December 3, 
1889, possessing not only experience in the modes and forms, 
but the advantage of large acquisitions of material for current 
work, and that confidence which results from acquired success, 
his status established as a parliamentary speaker, there was no 
temptation to obscure the labors of the committee room by the 
glamor of the forum. And hence he made the 51st congress one 
of intelligent, painstaking work; officiating at the funerals of 
Senator Beck, of Kentucky, and of General W. T. Sherman, and 
in the capacity of visitor to the West Point Military Academy— 
and from the committees on Territories, Printing, Indian and 
Military Affairs, and of conferences, presenting 191 reports, 
with 106 bills and joint resolutions, thirty-two motions and 
resolutions and many amendments — and having acted as a con- 
feree between House and Senate on twenty-four different oc- 


Of remarks in fifty-six cases, on various topics and of various 
lengths, no case involved a set speech, but were explanatory of 
multifarious questions. 

In one of these intellectual bouts with a western senator, who 
charged that it was an inconsistency for a protective senator 
like Mr. Manderson to offer an amendment in behalf of "free 
white pine/' the Nebraska senator made a courteous, polished, 
but damaging reply. 

Me. Manderson: The eloquent voice of my friend from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Spooner) has not been heard in such earnest 
and forcible appeals upon any other of the items of any 
of the schedules of this bill, but it is not to his discredit 
that it is so. He appeals eloquently and earnestly for a 
local interest. He represents one of the great timber and 
lumber producing states of the country and I do not won- 
der that he seeks by every effort in his power to advance 
the supposed welfare of that industry; but it is that local 
interest that prompts him to raise his voice, just as it is 
the interest of my own locality that prompts me to sug- 
gest this amendment. Mr. President, I do not think that 
the senator from Wisconsin has outstripped me in devo- 
tion to this protective principle, so far as my votes upon 
this bill are concerned. I do not believe there is any 
state in the Union that exceeds in devotion to the general 
principles of protection, under which the whole Nation 
has prospered, the state that I have the honor, in part, to 
represent; but at the same time it has certain desires and 
wishes, exactly like other states, based, if you please, upon 
pure local and selfish prejudice. 

When a proposition was pending for the purchase of certain 
historical collections, subject to the opinion of the Librarian of 
Congress, that they were authentic history, Mr. Manderson 
volunteered a very facetious criticism: 

Mr. President — We are told that this is a work of fully 
one hundred volumes, and of seven or eight hundred folio 
pages in each volume, made up of the character of his- 
torical material which is mentioned in this report. I am 
afraid that even if the life of Mr. Spofford should be pro- 
longed to that old age to which we all wish him, he could 
do nothing else for the rest of his life but read these 
ponderous tomes and would die before he was well into 
the work. If this marvelous test is to be applied to all 


works of a historical character proposed to be bought I 

am afraid we shall purchase none whatever for the con- 
gressional library. Take all the great historians, even our 
own historians, Prescott and Bancroft, and it' their works 
are not to be bought provided there is nothing in them 
but authentic history by the judgment of one expert I 
am afraid they would all be ruled out and none be pur- 
chased. Even the book of books, the Bible, has received 
most severe criticism as to its being authentic history, 
and under a rule, such as is proposed here, we could hardly 
take it into any public libraiw of the country. 
I think it is Burns who said: 

"Some books are lies frae end to end, 
And some great lies were never penned." 

And you will find that in every historical work there 
can be found chance for criticism, and unauthentic state- 
ments claimed, such as might be raised against this pub- 
lication. It would defeat the object of the bill to adopt 
any such, amendment. 

On the subject of distributing half a million dollars among 
numerous sectarian Indian schools, so one should not overreach 
another, his words were brief but comprehensive, condemnatory 
of sectarian aggressiveness, and a slight reminder of New Eng- 
land's volunteer sympathy and counsel "at long range." 

I do not believe in offering with one hand either food 
or civilization to the Indian and with the other attempt 
to cram into him sectarian teachings. There has been an 
unseemly spectacle presented in this whole matter, in this 
unchristian combat and competition that has existed among 
different denominations, for the purpose of getting more of 
the amount that is to be paid to these sectarian schools. 
It might, perhaps, be better to take them from their reser- 
vations, rent houses for them if you please, in the Eastern 
Slates, and maintain them there in idleness, and let their 
children attend the common schools of the country, i-ather 
than pursue the present policy. 

Bur the highesl honor the Senate can bestow upon a member, 
came to Senator Manderson, March 2d, 1891, when he was 
elected president pro tern, of that body, succeeding John J. Tn- 
galls, resigned. 

Entering upon the duties of presiding officer of the senate in 
the absence of the vice-president, and ambitious to wield the 


delicate trust accurately and satisfactorily, he still fouud time 
to signalize the first session of the 52d Congress with a record of 
eighty-four bills and joint resolutions introduced, and one hun- 
dred and nine committee reports, with the presentation of nu- 
merous petitions and papers, motions and resolutions and re- 
marks upon more than forty occasions. 

His espousal of the new subject of National Highways and 
the introduction of a bill in that behalf was accompanied with 
the subjoined remarks: 

In that wonderful progress that has been made during 
the existence of the Kepublie by the building and develop- 
ment of railroads and the growth of canals, which latter 
growth has received some stoppage in the last few years, 
we seem to have lost sight of the necessity, for the good 
of the body politic, that good roads should connect the 
great business centers of this country and connect all its 
parts. We are now entering on a new era, so far as the 
use of common roads is concerned. 

History, it is said, repeats itself; and I have no question 
but that there wall be a repetition of very ancient history 
in the construction ultimately by this government of great 
highways or boulevards that shall connect metropolitan 
centers, and the use thereon of different modern vehicles. 
Take the wonderful bicycle, by which a man is able to 
outstrip the horse and make an average over the common 
dirt road of fifty or sixty miles a day. No one man can 
foresee what will be the final development of that excel- 
lent implement. It will ultimately become the carriage 
not only of passengers, but of light freight. 

We are just on the threshold of an electrical development, 
destined I think to revolutionize conditions of travel. By 
some system of electric accumulation or storage batteries 
light vehicles will be propelled at it wonderful rate of 
speed over these highways. 

As they are maintained we will repeat the experiment of 
the early days, and the general government, by liberal aid 
to states or municipalities, or perhaps of its own accord, 
and with an expenditure that shall be wholly federal, will 
build national highways. 

I do not believe there coidd be a better expenditure of 
public money than to aid the states in the construction of 
a great model highway that would connect the City of 
Washington with the City of New York, passing through 
the cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia. Every farmer 
and producer along the road would be infinitely benefited. 


When the question of opening the World's Fair at Chicago 
on Sunday was the theme of surpassing interest and excitement, 
Mr. Manderson placed himself squarely upon the record: 

But if we are to deal with this question, it seems to me 
there is a happy medium between the two extremes. I 
think it would not be well that this exposition should open 
its gates and that there should be the clangor of machinery 
and all the disturbance and haste on Sunday that charac- 
terize other days of the week; but I do believe that, in 
the interest of decency and good order, in the interest of 
a more Christian observance of Sunday itself, it would be 
well that some portion of this exposition should be open. 

There will be in the City of Chicago upon every first day 
of the week hundreds of thousands of strangers. Are they 
to be turned out upon the streets? The churches will not 
be able to hold them, although Chicago is a city of great 
churches. Many, perhaps, will not desire to attend church. 
What are they to do? Every enticing- place that is vicious 
in its tendency will be open to them. Such places within 
easy reach of Chicago, by rail or by steamboat, will be 
open to them. I think it w T ould be infinitely better if these 
people should be admitted to those grounds. 

Let the machinery cease, but let the buildings be open 
for the inspection of visitors; let the grounds be open that 
those people may gather there, if they see fit to do so, 
and there make Christian and religious observance of Sun- 

On the last day of the 52nd Congress, March 4th, 1893, the 
following record was made in the senate: 


Mr. Gorman: Mr. President, I submit a resolution which 
I ask may be at once considered, and I trust it will be 
adopted unanimouslv. I ask that that resolution be read. 

The Vice-President: The Senator from Maryland asl-cs 
for the present consideration of a resolution, which will 
be read. 

The resolution was read and unanimously agreed to, as 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Senate are due and are 
hereby tendered to Hon. Charles F. Manderson, President 
pro tempore of the Senate, for the uniformly able, courteous, 
and impartial manner in which he has presided over its 


The election of a Democratic President of the Senate, and the 
Senate and the control of the body having passed into the hands 
of the Democratic party, caused Senator Manderson to address 
(he Senate in executive session March 22, 1893. 


Mb. Manderson: Mr. President, two years ago there came 
to me the distinguished honor of election as the President 
pro tempore of the Senate. No suitable time has seemed to 
come when I could make that recognition of this distinc- 
1ion which I should like to do, and I desire now to express 
my deep sense of obligation and my very hearty thanks to 
my political associates on this side of the chamber, by 
whom the distinction was proposed, and at the same time 
to thank very heartily those of opposing politics, who made 
no nomination against the selection of the republican cau- 
cus. There came, therefore, to me this place by the unan- 
imous vote of the Senate of the United States. I thank all 
from the depths of my heart for this distinction, and I 
further want to express my obligation for that forbearance 
on the part of all which has enabled me when I have been 
the occupant of the chair to administer, I hope with some 
satisfaction to the Senate, the duties that devolved upon 

Eecognizing a change of condition and perhaps also a 
change of theory, I now tender my resignation of the posi- 
tion to the Senate and ask to be excused from further duty 
in that regard. 

Mr. Sherman: I move that the resignation of the hon- 
orable Senator from Nebraska (Mr. Manderson) as Presi- 
dent pro tempore of the Senate be received and accepted. 

The motion was agreed to. 

Mr. Voorhees: Mr. President, at the close of the last ses- 
sion the Senator from Maryland (Mr. Gorman) offered a 
resolution, which was unanimously adopted by this body, 
thanking the distinguished Senator from Nebraska (Mr. 
Manderson) for the able, courteous, and most satisfactory 
manner in which he had discharged the duties of the high 
office which he has just now resigned. There the matter 
might rest; but it has been sugg-ested that in addition, in 
taking - leave of him in his official capacity as President 
pro tempore of the Senate, we express on this side our thanks 
anew and our best wishes for him in every relation of life 
hereafter. The relations just sundered were delightful. He 
rendered them pleasant to us all; and we will bear them in 
memory as long as we remain here and through life. 



The first session of the 53d congress, being a special one, Au- 
gust 7, 1894, found Mr. Manderson active as ever, with the multi- 
farious duties of ma uy committees. 

During the first regular session, in which the Democratic con- 
gress repealed the McKinley tariff bill, and passed the so-called 
^^'ilson bill, the Senator indulged in numerous discussions, es- 
pecially upon points involving Nebraska interests. 

Upon the sugar beet manufacture he delivered a speech or 
treatise, of great length, including the culture of sugar from all 
other sources — a marvel of comprehensive condensation. In it 
he appeared as the intelligent farmer, the chemical specialist, 
the general manufacturer, the historical expert, the judicial 
critic and the professor of finance. 


I believe, Mr. President, as firmly as I believe in my own 
existence, that this country has advanced and progressed 
to its present enviable position among the nations of the 
earth because of the American doctrine of protection. It 
has been frequently attacked, but never in a more subtle 
and more dangerous way than in the bill which is before 
us for consideration and action. 


1 vote, Mr. President, here, representing a prairie State. 
not only for protection upon beet sugar and the products 
of the farm, but I vote for protection to the loom, to the 
factory, to the foundry, to the lumberman, to the miner. 
I do not represent standing upon this floor simply a part 
or the whole of the State of Nebraska. I am a Senator of 
1he United States, and whether I am in the other House as 
a Representative or here as a Senator, no pent-up Utica 
like district or like state shall contract my legislative pow- 
ers. [Manifestations of applause in the galleries.] 


There set sail some time ago a ship known as "Tariff 
Reform." At a distance she was fair to look upon, and 
"walked the water like a thing of life." but closer inspec- 
tion and nearer view showed the suspicious character of 
the craft. Her sharp bow. with low hull and sloping masts. 


raking- aft, and rakish appearance, proclaimed the dread- 
ful traffic in which she was engaged. Her destination was 
the port of free trade; her cargo was concealed under her 
hatches. American interests were in her hold; the very life 
of American manufacture was there; the best interests of 
the farmer and almost the very existence of the laborer 
in this country were under her decks, for sale abroad. 

Her crew — T will not say "a motley crew," although it 
seemed to be composed of "many men of many minds" — 
were constant ly on watch for fear that disaster might 
come to them by reason of uprisings in the hold of the ship, 
but the hatches were battened down. In the lockers of her 
quartermaster was a great supply of bunting, but the 
favorite flag most frequently run to the peak was the 
union jack of Great Britain; not the American flag, al- 
though she had sailed from an American port with an 
American manifest. 

When under full sail, and apparently about to reach the 
port of free trade without difficulty, there came trouble 
among the crew, a kind of mutiny, and yet a strange sort 
of mutiny, for it was the outbreak of those who had become 
disgusted with the traffic upon which they had entered, 
with the mission which they were about to accomplish, and 
rising against the more desperate of the crew, thej r took 
partial command of the ship. At what port she may finally 
enter who can tell? 

The compiler of these few disjointed extracts regrets that 
space will not allow a satisfactory presentation of the results of 
patient, thorough preparation. 


I realize that speech to convince men in this body is a 
waste of time. "Though one should rise from the dead 
ye would not repent." The longer I stay here the more I 
am convinced that speech, except for home consumption or 
for placing - oneself right upon record, is a useless labor. 
I never rise here to address the Senate without feeling 
that I owe an apology to myself for doing it. But for this 
great industry I have made this long appeal. I have made 
it earnestly because I know whereof I speak when I say 
there is no industry — I believe I could say there are no 
half dozen industries combined — so important for the well 
being of this country as the maintenance of the production 
of sugar. 



During the continuance of the tariff debate he closed a plea 
for the State's manufactures and agricultural products with a 
brilliant record of progress: 

Mr. President — The State of Nebraska, with 75,995 square 
miles, has an acreage of 47,077,359 acres. Its population in 
1880 was 452,042, and in 1S90, 1,05S,910. With this great, this 
most extraordinary and phenomenal increase in popula- 
tion, there was an increase in the aggregate of its debts 
and on all except the State debt. With a State debt in 
1880 of $439,799, in 1S90 the State debt was reduced to 
$253,879. The county debt in 1S80 was $5,120,302. and in- 
creased in 1S90 to $5,510,175. 

The municipal debt in 1880 was $1,102,172, and because 
of the growth incident to towns, the necessities of sew- 
erage, of lighting, of street improvements, paving, water, 
etc., increased in 1890 to $7,124,506, an increase of over 
$6,000,000 municipal debt. The school district debt in 1880 
was $827,641, and increased in 1890 to $2,648,212, an increase 
of nearly $2,000,000, making an increase of the total debt 
from $7,489,974 in 1880 to $15,536,772 in 1890. And yet, with 
this doubling of the debt — State, municipal, county, and 
school district — the per capita debt in 1880 was $16.56, and 
the per capita debt in 1890 had been reduced to $14.67. 

The assessed valuation of property in Nebraska in 1880 
was $90,585,782, and in 1890, by the census, the assessed 
valuation had increased to $184,770,305, being of real estate 
$115,181,167 and of personal property $60,589,13S. 

I take these statements from the statistics for 1893. 
The true valuation upon all real estate and improvements 
was $708,413,09S, being an average of $14.41 per acre, of 
which the farm lands were valued at $402,358,913 and the , 

personal property was worth $350,000,000 in addition. 

1 will now give a most extraordinary statement to show 
how farm lands have increased in valuation during these 
ten years. The number of farms in 1880 was 63,387: in 
1890, 113,608, being an increase of 79.2 per cent. The value 
of farms in 18S0 was $105,932,541; in 1890 $402,358,913, be- 
ing an increase in the ten years of 279.8 per cent in the 
value of the farms of the State. 

The number of tillable acres had increased from 9,944,826 
in 1SS0 to 21,593,444 in 1890, being an increase of 117.1 per 
cent. The total valuation at conservative estimates of the 
real estate and personal property in tfie state of Nebraska 
by the census of l^O was $1.060,000,000 — a very good show- 


ing for a population of 1,250,000 or thereabouts. The rail- 
road mileage had increased from 705 miles in 1870 to 1,953 
miles in 1880; 5,407 in 1890; 5,524 in 1892. 

The amount of the exchanges at the clearing house of 
principal towns of a State is a pretty good index of its 
growth and of fair prosperity. At the Omaha clearing 
house in 1887 the clearings were $137,220,835; in 1890, $245,- 
062,456; and in 1893, a year of depression the country over 
and when you would have thought there would have been 
an immense decrease, the clearing house receipts had in- 
creased to $315,244,799. 

Another very good index as to prosperity or adversity 
for the year 1893 would be the report of commercial fail- 
ures, and I should like to draw, if I had the time, a com- 
parison between the State of Nebraska and many of the 
Eastern States as to commercial failures. In 1891, there 
were in Nebraska 395 commercial failures, being 1.92 per 
cent of the whole number of business firms, the liabilities 
being $3,288,365. In 1893. when you would suppose there 
would have been a very great increase of failures in the 
State, they have been reduced to 343 in number, being 1.68 
per cent of the whole number engaged in business, with 
liabilities reduced to $2,210,613. 

Mr. President, the showing- as to business failures is a 
very satisfactory one for the West. I refer to this because 
I think the West has been very greatly misrepresented and 
misunderstood upon this floor and elsewhere. Taking the 
commercial failures of the year 1893, in the Eastern States 
the failures were 1.80 per cent; in the Middle States, 1.15; 
in the Southern States, 1.71; in the Pacific States, 2.27, and 
in the Western States the average was but .95. 

To show how deeply we are interested in this agri- 
cultural schedule, I desire to call attention to the 
farm products and the increase of farm products in the 
State. In 1S80 there was planted in corn 1.919,600 acres; 
in 1S90, 3,072,800 acres; in 1893, 6,241,226 acres; the pro- 
duction in bushels being 59,507,600 in 1880; 55,310.000 
bushels in 1890, and 157.278,895 bushels in 1S93; worth in 1880 
$14,876,900; in 1890. $26,548,992, and in 1893, $42,465,302. 

The product of hay in 1880 was on 409,104 acres; in 1893 
on 2,071,730 acres, producing in 1880. 564,564 tons and in 
1893. 2,589,633 tons, being an increase from $2,03S.076 in 1880 
to $12,611,659 in 1893. 

The potato crop in 18S0 was 15,750 acres; in 1S93. 112,853 
acres, producing in 18S0, 1,086,750 bushels, and in 1893, 4,965,- 
532 bushels, being an increase in production as to value 
from $662,917 in 1880 to $3,922,770 in 1893. 

The production of wheat has fallen off from 1,520.315 acres 

:;i;fl Nebraska state historical society. 

in 1880 to 1,228,493 in 1893, and on account of the low price 
of that commodity in 1893 as compared with 1880, the pro- 
duction as 1o value was $4,275,156 in 1893, as against $9,433,- 
554 in 1880. Corn, as to Nebraska, is a more natural crop 
than wheat. I will not now speak of the production of 
beet sugar, having fully discussed that question a few days 

The State has increased in its farm animals to a very 
enormous extent — 30,511 horses in 1870; 204,864 horses in 
iss(); 542,036 horses in 1890. worth $37,787,194, increased to 
708,519 in 1893. There were 2,632 mules in 1870, 19,999 in 
1880, 45,992 in 1890 and 46,939 in 1893. 

There was an increase in oxen from 50,988 in 1870, and 
5-J7.363 in 1880, to 1,306,372 in 1890, and 1,613,223 in 1893. 

The increase in the number of milch cows has been 28.940 
in 1870, 161,187 in 1880, 420,069 in 1890, and 535,536 in 1894, 
worth $10,501,861. Sheep have increased from 22,725 in 1870 
to 199,453 in 1880, to 239,400 in 1S90, and to 277,952 in 1893. 
The increase in the number of swine in the State is simply 
enormous. In 1870. 59,449; in 1880, 1,241,724; in 1890, 2,309,- 
779, and in 1893, by these statistics, 2,088,964, worth $16,811,981. 
I have computed from the statistics that are upon my 
desk the value of the output of Nebraska in farm products 
alone in the year 1893, showing nothing of the result of the 
manufacturing industries, which has been very great but is 
not pertinent to this schedule of the bill: 

Corn $42,500,000 

Hay 12,600,000 

Potatoes 4,000.000 

Wheat 4,250,000 

Oats 5,300.000 

Rye 350,000 

Barley 285,000 

Buckwheat 110,000 

Honey 150,000 

Poultry 300,000 

Eggs 200,000 

Butter 4,200,000 

< heese 50,000 

Milk 500,000 

Cattle, swine, sheep and horses 40,000,000 

Flaxseed, sugar broom corn, wool, fruits, 
etc 10,000,000 

Total $124,795,000 

Making nearly $125,000,000, which is a most conservative 
estimate. I really think the products of the State, even at 
the low prices that obtained in 1893, were over $150,000,000, 
rather than under that amount. 

Mr. President, this astonishing growth is one that we 
who stand up for Nebraska look upon with very great 


pride, and it is the best possible response that can be made 
to those who are disposed to complain over existing condi- 
tions and predict dire calamity. It cannot be poured out 
of the mouth of a cornucopia. 

This enormous increase in population and in material 
wealth has been had during- the years that we have lived 
under the present American system, and while we have been 
in advance as to rate of growth of many other sections of 
the country, it should be a most gratifying fact to every 
American that this country has made such tremendous 
strides during the years that it has existed under the pro- 
tective acts of 1861, 1883, and 1890. 

Near the conclusion of the 53d congress, just before the ter- 
mination of his second official term, closing twelve full years, 
Mr. Manderson went upon record with the following sentiments, 
in the spirit of peace and good fellowship: 

1 know that on the battlefield about Chattanooga and at 
Shiloh the survivors of both the great armies have met for 
the purpose of interchange of views. On the 6th and 7th 
days of last April there met at the battlefield of Shiloh or 
at Pittsburg Landing prominent officers of both armies. 
They explored and went over the field together. It was a 
delightful object lesson in that harmony and unity of feel- 
ing that we all now have with reference to matters of this 

Those great armies have passed away except those who 
have grown gray and are the survivors of the conflict, and 
with the passing of the years the animosities that were 
enkindled by the war have disappeared. We who fought for 
the Union and were of the army of the country have ever 
been ready to recognize the valor and the bravery of those 
who fought upon the other side, believing just as earnestly 
and sincerely now as we believed over a quarter of a cen- 
tury ago that we were right and they were wrong, and the 
tacts of history have justified verj T fully our conclusion in 
this regard. 



March 4th, 1893— March 4th, 1899. 

William Vincent Allen, of Madison, was born in Midway. 
Madison County, Ohio, January 28, 1847; removed with his step- 
father's family to Iowa in 1857; was educated in the common 
schools of Iowa and attended the upper Iowa University at 
Fayette for a time, but did not graduate; was a private soldier 
in Company G, Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, during, 
the war of rebellion, the last five months of his service being on 
the staff of Gen. J. I. Gilbert; read law with Hon. L. L. Ains- 
worth, at West Union, Iowa, and was admitted to the bar May 
31, 1869, and practiced law from then until elected Judge of the 
District Court of the Ninth Judicial District of Nebraska, in 
the fall of 1891. He moved from Iowa to Nebraska in 1884; was 
married May 2, 1870; was elected United States Senator, to suc- 
ceed Algernon Sidney Paddock, February 7, 1893, for the full 
term of six years, commencing March 4, 1893. His term of 
service expired March 3, 1899. 

The first appearance of Senator Allen in a legislative session 
was in the extra one commencing August 7, 1893, convened by 
order of President Cleveland, to consider and relieve the country 
from financial panic. 

Having been a resident of Nebraska only nine years, he had 
yet to acquire state and national recognition by force of char- 
acter and talent. 

('(tming from the ranks of a new party, which had equally in- 
flicted political injury upon each of the old ones, the pious of the 
leaders drew upon their Bible treasures for, "What will this 
babbler say?" Rut it was immediately evident that he came not 
to "sit at the feet of Gamaliel," but to "tread upon his toes," as 
indicated in his first speech, August 23, 1893. 

Mil. Ai. i.k.n: I deem it to be the highest duty of a mem- 
ber of this chamber, now that the nation is confronted with 
gloom and threatened with financial and industrial ruin, 
to lay aside all partisan tactics and prejudice and give to 


the proper solution of this important question his most 
enlightened and profound judgment and fervent devotion; 
and I must confess that I was somewhat surprised and 
pained on the second day of this session to witness a fruit- 
less and partisan discussion, somewhat acrimonious, and in 
my judgment entirely unprovoked, precipitated upon the 
Senate, which consumed valuable time to no useful purpose. 
When witnessing such scenes I am not surprised that the 
American people are losing confidence, if they have not 
already lost it, in the ability and purpose of congress to 
legislate in their interests. 

He did not come into that august presence to apologize for 
his party but rather to utter its eulogy. 

Mr. President, I am an humble member of a new political 
party that has recently come into existence and public 
notice, made necessary by the constant drifting of the Na- 
tion from its original constitutional moorings into the shal- 
low and treacherous waters of unchecked power. The 
people — and I speak of the masses — have so frequently ap- 
pealed to the general government for wise and humane 
monetary legislation, only to have their appeals fall on deaf 
or unsympathetic ears, that it became necessary as a mat- 
ter of self-preservation for them to create a new political 
party, founded upon Jeffersonian simplicity, and impera- 
tively demanding a return of the Nation to first principles 
of government; and I am pleased to say that this party, 
full of hope and confidence, is hourly growing in numbers, 
in courage, intelligence, and discipline, and will, sooner or 
later, force the two old parties of* the Nation into admin- 
istering the affairs of the government in the interest of the 
people, or into political disintegration and death. 

He magnified their sagacity: 

The People's party of America, while taking strong 
grounds on the subject of national taxation, asserted in the 
most positive terms that the crowning question of this 
country and this age was the question of money; and in 
less than five months from the close of the election in 
November last the Nation was confronted with an indus- 
trial and financial depression such as has not been wit- 
nessed in this country for fifty years, if indeed its equal has- 
ever been known. 

To-day the Democratic and Republican parties are brought 
face to face with a condition of public affairs that was fore- 
told by the common people months before it happened. 


Now within the arena, with banner bearing the motto, "In war 
enemies, in peace friends," as though "to the manner born," all 
comers are challenged in unequivocal terms. 

Mr. Presidenl — Is the President correct in his conclusion 
that the Sherman act is the cause of our trouble? In my 
judgment, Mr. President, the Sherman act has nothing to 
do in the slightest degree with the evil that confronts us. 
Xo one has become frightened at the ability o'f this gov- 
ernment to redeem every pledge it has made, as fast as its 
pledges shall become due. 

While we all understand that the purchasing clause of the 
Sherman act is a miserable makeshift, resorted to and en- 
acted to avoid the blessing of the free and unlimited coin- 
age of silver, as has been confessed in this chamber, yet it 
is wiser by far to retain it until something better is offered 
in its place, than to surrender to an enemy who has been, 
constant in season and out of season for twenty years to 
strike down silver and deprive the people of one-half of 
their constitutional money; thus increasing in enormous 
proportion the debts of the people, shrinking the value of 
their property and labor, and making the rich richer and 
the poor poorer. 

Sir. the Sherman act is the last feeble barrier that stands 
between the patriotic and industrious masses of our people 
and that horde of insolent, aggressive and ravenous money- 
changers and gamblers of Lombard street and Wall street, 
who for private gain would, through a shrinking and con- 
tracted volume of money, turn the world back into the 
gloom of the Dark Ages with all its attendant evil and 
misery. We cannot suffer this to be done; we must stand 
like ;i wall of fire against its accomplishment, and only when 
the measure that is to succeed the present law is shown to 
us and enacted into a low can we with safety repeal the 
Sherman act. 

Illustrative of the promptness with which Senator Allen 
espoused official duties, the fact is that on the ninth day of the 
session he offered an amendment to a bill, providing that in 
terest should cease upon bonds as the basis of bank note issues 
(lining the time such notes were in possession of the bond- 
holders, and upon request, volunteered a few explanatory re- 
marks, concluding: 

T desire to say that a majority of the people whom I rep- 
resent, I will say nine-tenths of the people of the State of 


Nebraska, are unalterably opposed to anything which looks 
like a perpetuation of the national banks. The time has 
come when we should take some radical steps to eliminate 
them from our institutions, and it occurs to me that this 
amendment, and especially the second proviso of it, if 
adopted, would give the country warning that we intend, 
as soon and as speedily as possible, to drive out of existence 
the national banks of issue. 

He was neither astonished or alarmed at an exportation of 
gold, since the director of the mint stated that Austria and 
other European governments were raising the rates of exchange 
in order to enlarge their- stock of gold; and especially since the 
International Gold Trust had forced some inferior nations to 
ii gold basis. Said he: 

Mr. President, of late we have heard it boldly asserted 
here and elsewhere, that silver is not the money of the 
constitution; and from the expression of the President in 
his message that "gold and silver must here part company," 
we have a right to believe that he, too, entertains this view 
of the question. I must confess my utter astonishment at 
this assertion, in view of the language and purpose of the 
constitution, the history of the time when it was framed and 
adopted by our ancestors, the treatment of the question 
by congress in our coinage legislation, the voice of the 
judiciary when speaking on the subject, and the treatment 
of the matter by the various political parties in their 
respective platforms. All these, when impartially consid- 
ered, demonstrate that silver is, and ever has been, the 
money of the constitution, and it cannot now be abandoned 
by congress without a flagrant and inexcusable refusal on 
our part to. in good faith, enforce, in the interest of the 
nation at large, a power expressly enjoined upon us for 
the general welfare. 

In behalf of silver coinage he gave the history of Washing- 
ton's time — of the constitution — the approving opinion by 
Webster — decisions of U. S. courts and friendly legislation for 
a, term of 81 years. He supplemented this with many resolu- 
tions of Republican and Democratic conventions, both state and 
national. And finally overwhelmed Senator McPherson with a 
deluge of authorities to the following effect: 

Intrinsic value of a thing stamped or coined has nothing 
to do with the question of power. Such metals so stamped 


are not issued or put in circulation on the faith or credit 
of the United States government, no pledges are made to re- 
deem them, and they may possess little or no intrinsic 
value: yet it is not denied that such pieces of metal so 
stamped or coined may be lawfully issued and made a legal 
tender and thus become lawful money of the United States. 

He was often very fortunate in giving a condensed view of 
arguments and statements, in a few well chosen words, as in 
the case of "balance of trade": 

Mr. President, we have been told that the nation in whose 
favor the "balance of trade" exists at the close of the trad- 
ing season is to be considered the most fortunate nation, 
and that we must so order the affairs of this country as to 
annually obtain this balance of trade. A balance of trade 
is only a national blessing when it represents some profit to 
our people. If it is bought by the sale of our products far 
below their cost, and at a sacrifice of our civilization, it is 
a curse rather than a blessing. Of what benefit can it be 
to the people of this country if they should obtain the 
entire stock of European gold by a sacrifice of their prop- 
erty and labor, while Europe may be enjoying their products 
as well as profits'? If the balance of trade is to be pur- 
chased at a sacrifice, we have only to indulge in such luxury 
for a few years to completely pauperize our labor and 
destroy our national wealth. It would be better for our 
people, better for our aggregate wealth, if the balance of 
trade should be annually against us than to purchase it at 
too great a sacrifice. 

Also in reference to equality or parity: 

How is it expected to institute a comparison between two 
unequal things — two things that are, according to an imper- 
ative law of nature, considered as articles of commerce- 
traveling in opposite directions? Gold daily growing more 
scarce and in greater demand throughout the civilized 
world, and silver crippled by being denied equal coinage 
privileges at the mints, growing more plentiful, with les- 
sened money \ise, it must be expected that their commercial 
value will radically differ. But put both metals upon an 
equality before the law, and they will stand equal in the 
commercial and monetary world. I do not doubt that the 
very moment silver is permitted free access at the mints 
its price will go up throughout the civilized world. Only 
last week the London silver market advanced in anticipation 
of the action of congress retaining the present Sherman 


One valuable feature of the speech was an analysis of the gold 
of the world, showing that it was controlled largely by European 
and foreign powers; and the unavoidable conclusion: 

We have, then, one of three remedies open to us — 

First. We can issue bonds and pui'ehase gold, and by that 
means saddle uppn the industries and people of this coun- 
try an endless national debt; or, 

Second. We can resort to overexpanded bank credits in 
the future as we have been doing- in the past; or, 

Third. We can tap the silver mines of the Rocky Moun- 
tains and cause to flow into our volume of currency a 
stream of silver equal to the demands of our people. 

Which will we do? 

Mr. President, if we adopt the first course offered to us 
by gold monometalists. we have no assurance that the gold 
which we purchase and put in the treasury to-morrow will 
remain there twenty-four hours. The same means by which 
the treasury has been depleted and looted in the past of its 
gold may be resorted to in the future, and we will be com- 
pelled to issue more bonds to buy more gold, and by this 
means a perpetual national debt will be created and will 
rest upon our people for years to come. There is no end — 
there can be none — to a system of this kind. 

If we resort, on the other hand, to bank credits, we resort, 
in my judgment, to an infinitely worse scheme. I am not 
prepared, so far as I am concerned, to have this govern- 
ment abandon the constitutional power of coining and con- 
trolling money. The power to coin and regulate the value 
of money, and control its volume, is a vital sovereign power 
devolved by the constitution on congress. I am not pre- 
pared for the time when this government shall abandon 
this sovereign power, which should be exercised in the in- 
terest of the masses of the people, and farm it out to 
bankers, brokers, and gamblers in stocks and bonds, that 
they may tax the industries and energies of this country 
ad libitum. 

This maiden effort was prefaced with the statement that he 
had, in part, the honor of representing "nearly one million and 
a half of American citizens" though he feared he might be 
charged with too early seeking an opportunity to be heard on 
the floor of the Senate. 

By the time he came to the following conclusion, the members 
were fully satisfied that they "had a foeman worthy of their 


Mr. President I began this discussion with reluctance an .! 
I close it with reluctance: for. scattered over the gTeal 
plains of our country, in its woodlands, on its mountain 
sides, and iti its valleys, are millions of our countrymen who 
are suffering ineffable misery in consequence of this unholy 
warfare waged upon their rights. 

Their eyes are turned toward this city, and they are now 
earnestly looking and listening for the decree that is to 
go forth from this chamber, enslaving them and their chil- 
dren for generations to come, or that is to strike from them 
the chains of financial bondage and set them free. 

if we act wisely and patriotically, and give to the people 
of our country a sufficient volume of sound and scientific 
money to enable them to set all the energies of nature and 
man at work producing wealth, once more the sunlight of 
prosperity, like the natural sun that dispels the mist and 
the dew, will kiss away the clouds of doubt and fear, and we 
will witness* an era of prosperity more wonderful than the 
world has ever known. 

On the 13th day of September we find him declaring that 
senators who are officers or stockholders of banks should nor 
vote in cases where pecuniary interests are involved, on the 
principle of the common law, excluding judges and jurors from 
action in cases where they were pecuniarily interested. 

On September 27th his speech was a plea for deferring action 
on the absorbing question of "unlimited coinage of silver'" till 
the States of Washington, Wyoming and Montana could elect 
each another Senator: 

Here is a question, Mr. President, of vital importance not 
alone to those states but of vital importance to every state 
in this Union. The evil that may be done by the adoption 
of the measure before the Senate for the unconditional 
repeal of the Sherman act cannot be measured by to-day 
nor by to-morrow, and it cannot be measured for ages to 
conic. It is a measure that ties the industrial classes of 
this Nation to the chariot wheel of the plutocrat now and 
hereafter. It is a measure that shrinks one-half of the value 
of the property and labor of this country. When the people 
of the great mountain states, six in number, and three ter- 
ritories, if I am not incorrectly informed, are upon the 
verge of starvation, when the cry of (iod's poor for some- 
thing to eat is heard in a land of plenty, when the cry of 
the child stung by hunger is to be heard in those states. 



is it not proper that the Senate of the United States should 
pause for a sufficient length of time to permit three of 
those states to be fully represented here? 

On September 30th lie is heard on the subject of a double 


Mr. Allen: If a dollar, of whatever material it be com- 
posed, possesses debt-paying- qualities, is it not as good as 
every other dollar? Would it not be as wise to say of a 
watch, composed Of steel, brass and gold, that it is three 
watches instead of one, as to say that we have a double or 
different standard of money? 

On the 3rd of October, when there was a disposition to deny 
certain information to congress he proclaimed: 

That except in mere matters of diplomacy, which are i Q 
charge of the executive branch of the government, the legis- 
lative branch is entitled to all information essential to assist 
it in the discharge of its duty upon a resolution or request, 
not merely that it may have it in the grace of another de- 
partment, but that it has a constitutional right to it, with- 
out any equivocation on the part of the other branch of 
the government? 

October 4th, on the subject of contraction he said: 

I wish to call attention to the fact that in 1S66 the govern- 
ment commenced the process of contracting its currency, 
and before 1S73 it had called- in over $600,000,000 of its paper 
money and destroyed it. 

October 11th, on the subject of majority rule he was very 

Mr. President — It is quite true that a majority have a 
right to rule in this country, but they have a right to rule 
only when the minority have expressed their opinion accord- 
ing to legal methods and in accordance with .the constitu- 
tion or the statutes creating and g-iving power to the 
minority to express themselves. Nothing is better settled 
in this country (and I diverge at this point for a moment) 
than that this is a government of laws, not of men; and 
whenever the constitution gives a minority the right to con- 
test the ground occupied by a majority and eventually bring 
them to their senses, if they have lost their senses upon 
any public question, the minority have a right to do that 
without being charged with being filibusters or obstruct- 
ing the orderly conduct of the government. 

370 nebraska state historical society. 

Prelude to Speech of October 7, 11 and 12. 

The real question at issue was, Shall an act be passed denying 
the right of the government to further purchase silver for 
coinage, without restoring to the people the right of "unlimited 
coinage,'' which they had possessed for 81 years prior to 1873? 

Half the Democrats of the Senate, with a majority of the 
Kepublicans, making a small majority of the whole body, were 
willing to repeal the purchasing clause of the Sherman act of 
1890, without restoring "free coinage," while the balance of the 
Democrats, with a minority of Republicans and the four Popu- 
lists, were willing to repeal the act, and in the same bill restore 
the "unlimited coinage of silver." 

In behalf of the last proposition Senator Allen delivered the 
introduction of his astonishing speech October 7th, and on the 
11th commenced again and continued it from 5 p. m. to 8 a. m., 
October 12th — fifteen hours. 

The supposed majority could not stop debate, because the 
Senate had no rule allowing a call of the previous question. So 
they determined to keep the Senate in perpetual session till, 
overcome for want of sleep and rest, the silver advocates should 
submit to a final vote. 

They further determined that they should not transact any 
other business during the time they were exhausting their en- 
ergies, and hence refused to adjourn the Senate for two weeks 
but used a recess to carry them over from day to day. 

So when the chaplain opened the Senate with prayer October 
1st, they dismissed him for the time being, as that day was to 
last till they could force a vote. 

Of this parliamentary strategy Mr. Allen spoke as follows: 

Mr. President — Another singular thing - is that there has 
not been a legislative day since ten days ago. One week 
ago last Tuesday we started upon a legislative day and we 
are continuing that day now. 

It has been a time-honored custom — whether it is a rule 
or not I do not know — -that the proceedings of this body 
should be opened by prayer. There has not been a prayer 
offered in this chamber in ten days. I desire to say, Mr. 
President, that in my judgment it was fitting that this Sen- 


ate should cease listening- to prayers at the time it did and 
when it started into the accomplishment of this most 
iniquitous of all legislation in our national history; and I 
suppose after a time, when this unconditional repealing act 
takes place and gold is set up as the single standard and 
the sole god of some, the men of Wall Street and Lombard 
Street, whose sympathizers are here and elsewhere outside 
of this chamber, will come together and sing that good old 
song — 

"Nearer, my God, to Thee, 
Nearer to Thee," 

for gold is their god. Not only so, but in consequence of 
not having another legislative day, this government is put 
at the absolute mercy of one man. It is a complete revo- 
lution of our government. It takes here, for instance, 
unanimous consent for the last ten days to get a measure, 
however important it may be, before this body. Suppose 
something should occur requiring our instant attention, it 
would require the unanimous consent of Senators here to 
enable us to consider it. There is a complete change in the 
organization. The right of petition, held sacred under our 
constitution, regarded as sacred by every citizen of this 
land, is cut off here in consequence of this continuous ses- 
sion. Every safeguard guaranteed to the people of this 
country by the constitution must be abandoned or imper- 
iled for the instant accomplishment of this infamous 
scheme. This is something that in my judgment ought not 
to exist in a legislative body of the dignity and responsi- 
bility of this. 

During the night sessions the majority learned that "chickens 
come home to roost,'' for silver party advocates decided that a 
quorum of the Senate should be present at all times, and as 
often as the repealers betook themselves to cots and lounges in 
the cloak rooms for slumber, a call of the Senate was ordered, 
and thev had to return and answer to their names. 

At 8 o'clock on the morning of the 12th the majority saw their 
theory of wearing out Silver Senators completely exploded by 
the "bright and early 1 ' Senator from Nebraska. 

Mr. Allen: Mr. President — There are many other inter- 
esting features of this question which I have failed to dis- 
cuss, yet I think a sense of duty to other Senators, who 
have not yet had an opportunity to speak upon this ques- 
tion, requires that I should give waj' this morning to Sena- 
tors who are prepared and who are desirous of being heard. 


I shall lake occasion hereafter, if the opportunity offers 
itself, to submit some observations upon some important 
branches of litis very important question which I have not 

vet discussed. 

During the delivery of the speech twenty-two Senators, by 
the courtesy of the speaker, entered the list with questions and 
replies until they consumed half his time with pertinent, im- 
pertinent and irrelevant issues. 

Mr. Allen sustained his positions with extracts from twenty- 
four accredited authors upon financial and economic questions, 
showing great and patient research. 

His time was broken in upon by about a dozen roll calls. In- 
tending to be courteous and fair in all things, but pertinaciously 
beset by Senators of both the old parties, a reformer's aggres- 
siveness and tact stood him in good demand, and evinced a will- 
ingness to select his own weapons and stand by his colors. 


In reply to Mr. White of Louisiana he said: "Mr. President, 
I do not propose to stand here and answer such questions as 
are put to me by the Senator from Louisiana. The Senator from 
Nebraska will pursue his own course in this debate." 

To Mr. Squire: "I do not think I will permit the Senator from 
Washington to inject anything into my speech." 

To Mr. Hoar: "I do not know what the Senator from Massa- 
chusetts means, whether he means to insult me. I do not think 
that his question calls for an answer." 

To Mr. Gallinger: "I do not care anything about what the 
Senator from New Hampshire believes. He should be more 
careful of his language. The Senator from Nebraska under- 
stands the ordinary English language and its use." 

To Mr. Palmer: "Several Senators have attempted to make 
me assault my own state. It is not only disagreeable, but it is 
not true." 

Mr. Allen having called Senator Palmer to order, for charging 
him with speaking against time, said, "I will not suffer an im- 
putation of that kind to be made without a denial." 


Mr. Palmer: The Senator will deny if he chooses. I have 
expressed the belief that no mortal nian who intends simply 
to instruct can speak twelve or fourteen hours. 

Mr. Allex: I am not here with a brass collar around my 
neck as some other Senators are in this chamber. I am not 
here to do the bidding- of some man who puts chains upon 
my neck and tells me what to do. 

Long as this prelude is, it only gives a mere glimpse at the 
concomitants of a speech of national fame. 


Mr. Allen said: 

Mr. President — The first time I appeared in the Senate I 
felt as though I ought to apologize for doing so. The first 
time I had occasion to submit some observations upon the 
measure now under consideration I felt that I was under 
an obligation to apologize to the Senate for doing so and 
for breaking what I understand is an unwritten rule which 
has been in force in this body for many years, that a new 
member shall listen rather than talk. I presume if any 
apology is due from me to-day it is not to the Senate or 
the United States, but to Wall Street and Lombard Street 
for delaying somewhat the passage of the measure now 
before the Senate. 

I have no desire. Mr. President, to consume unnecessary 

Mr. Stewart: Will the Senator from Nebraska yield that 
I may suggest the want of a quorum? 

Mr. Allex: Xo. I do not care for a quorum. 

Mr. Stewart: All right: but I think Senators would learn 
something if they would come here. 

Mr. Allex: I will make them hear me whether they are 
here or not. 

Proceeding at once to grapple with what he denominated 
political fallacies, he announced as the first: 


Mr. President — Our friends upon the other side have 
taught many political heresies, and one of the heresies 
taught by them in this discussion has been the chief of 
heresies, intrinsic value. My friend, the Senator from Ore- 
gon (Mr. Dolph), on two separate days sent out for a dic- 
tionary, had it brought in here, and read it to us to show 
that there was such a thing as intrinsic value in money. 


What is meant by intrinsic value? The advocate of the 
gold standard tells us that intrinsic value is that commer- 
cial value which resides in the money, thing or metal, and 
that there must be a correspondence between that thing 
and the coin value or the money is fiat money, and there- 
fore unsound. 

The material of which money is coined or on which it is 
stamped is withdrawn from the field of commerce when 
being used as money. It is as dead in its effect upon the 
commercial value of the class of articles to which it belongs 
as though it were in the bowels of the earth or in the bot- 
tom of the ocean; it is taken out of circulation as an 
• article of commerce, and is used exclusively as a medium 
of exchange, performing the money function and losing its 
place as an article of commerce. 

Works on political economy of recent date are discarding 
this doctrine of intrinsic value in money. It is the function, 
the office performed by the thing called money, which gives 
it its money value. It is the volume, the number of units 
in circulation, and which are exchanged against all other 
things, which gives money its proper power and its proper 
money value. There is no more necessity for a dollar's 
being made of gold, or silver, for that matter, than there 
is for a yardstick to be made of ivory or gold. You might 
as well say that by measuring a yard of cloth with a yard- 
stick made of gold, you would give the cloth measured 
more value than it would have if it were measured with a 
yardstick of wood or some other inferior material. The 
wealth resides in the articles which are exchanged, and not 
in the money which effects the exchange. 


That a gold standard would not produce contraction. 

Mr. President — Suppose in this country a law were passed 
prohibiting the consumption of one class of meat products, 
does not every citizen know that the prices of other classes 
which were not prohibited would be doubled in value? 
The demand would be doubled for them, and that is what 
increases prices. If the government should, for instance, 
strike down wheat, if it should be decreed that the people 
should not eat wheat bread, would it not create a greater 
demand for corn, oats, and other kindred products? It cer- 
tainly would, because the functions performed by wheat 
would be transferred to other products. So it is with silver. 
Whenever the government strikes down silver, and says that 
it shall not be used for money purposes, and puts the entire 


basis of the currency upon gold, that increases the value 
of gold and gives it a greater purchasing power than it 
would otherwise possess. That is contraction. 


But one of the principal arguments used against the use 
of silver is what my distinguished friend from Illinois (Mr. 
Palmer) lamented awhile ago as overproduction. It is 
claimed, and claimed seriously, that silver is being produced 
in such great quantities as to cause an overproduction of 
the metal, and that the fall in the bullion price of the metal 
is caused thereby. Therefore my friend from New Jersey 
(Mr. McPherson) says the parity cannot be maintained. 
Why there is overproduction we are not told. Never was 
there a ranker fallacy promulgated upon the face of the 
earth than this doctrine of overproduction. There is not 
a respectable political economist, from the days of the 
senior Mill to the present moment, that has taught it. It 
is simply one of those fallacies that we find constantly 
urged from the stump, that we find constantly advocated 
by a certain class of newspapers, the effect of which is to 
mislead the people. 

Eight here, Mr. President, let me say that gentlemen who 
advocated this doctrine of overproduction never seem to 
think of the fact that in this land of plenty, where over- 
production exists, as they claim, want is constantly increas- 
ing; and that there are hungry men, hungry women, and 
hungry children in a country where prices are falling, as 
they claim, in consequence of overproduction. 

It is under consumption and the lack of means of distri- 
bution, one principal element of which is money, that pro- 
duce local and temporary congested conditions in trade. 

And it is characterized as a fallacy here and throughout 
these works [Reading]. 

It is perpetually reappearing in different forms, among 
which may be here specified the belief that our colonies 
are useful because they provide a market for our exports. 

When the people of this country, the farmers and labor- 
ers, and what I may properly term the great masses of the 
common people, feel the effects of this system of contracted 
money, they are told that their misfortune is due to over- 
production; that they produce too much, that God is too 
bountiful, that the people suffer too much corn, wheat and 
oats to grow, and produce too much food. Therefore, in 
.1 land of plenty, in consequence of there being too much, 
there must be starvation and hunger as a result. In con- 
sequence of too much, laboring men must be poor. 



Mr. Aixen: Another of the fallacies taught, in my judg 
ment, in this discussion is the fallacy of the balance of 
trade. I do not mean to say that the balance of trade is 
not desirable under certain circumstances, but I do mean 
to say that a balance of trade in and of itself, bought by 
a sacrifice of the property and labor of the people, is a 
curse rather than a blessing. Too long the people of this 
country have been told that a favorable balance of trade 
was per se evidence of prosperity. Suppose that every gold 
dollar upon the face of the earth was bought by this Nation 
at the sacrifice of the price of our labor and our property, 
would that be any evidence that we were a prosperous 
nation under those circumstances? 

It is only when a balance of trade represents some profit 
to a nation that it is a favorable balance of trade; it is only 
when it represents some profit to its people that it is desir- 
able. If it is bought at too great a sacrifice, if civilization 
itself has to be impaired, if labor has to be debased, if we 
are to be brought down to the conditions prevailing in 
Europe, then we do not desire to pay the price for the 
balance of trade in gold dollars. 


I ask any Senator in this chamber when he talks about 
maintaining a natural parity between gold and silver, is 
it possible? Certainly not. If there was a natural law of 
equality between the two metals, would not one grain of 
the metal, silver, be worth as much as a grain of gold? If 
there was a natural parity existing', would not that be true? 

The relation of gold and silver, like the relations of any 
other articles, must be controlled by the law of supply 
and demand. 

As long as Senators talk about the commercial value in 
the money metal or the money thing, there can be no such 
thing as a parity between gold and silver, because today the 
demand puts the price of one up and the price of the other 
down, when to-morrow, next w r eek, next month or next 
year the conditions may be entirely different, and the metal 
that occupies one position to-day may be absolutely re- 
versed then. That is simply following the supreme law of 
supply and demand. So it is mere nonsense to talk about 
maintaining the parity when a natural parity does not exist. 

But if you can establish and maintain a parity when you 
leave the fallacy of intrinsic value, then you come to the 
sensible basis, the basis which controls this matter; when 


.you declare by statute that so many grains of silver shall 
have the force of money as compared with a grain of gold, 
when the power of the law behind that makes it perform 
the office of money, gives it full legal tender and debt-pay- 
ing power, and establishes a law of equality between the 
two metals while being used as monej'. That is the real 
parity, and the only parity that can either be created or 


Mr. President — It is true that every dollar of gold that 
left these shores during the last few months has returned, 
except about $16,000,000, and that will return if these men 
who control the money market will permit it to return. So 
that if its departure was due in any measure to the Sher- 
man act, then with equal propriety we may say that its 
return is due to the same act. 

Gold will shift from America to England, back and forth, 
according to the demand for gold itself, wherever the rate 
of interest is the highest. If there is a greater demand for 
it in England than there is here, it will go there. Like every- 
thing else, whenever the demand is greater for it here 
than it is in Great Britain, when it is worth more here, it 
~will come here. So we are engaged in the enterprise of put- 
ting the gold of the world upon an auction block and enter- 
ing upon a wild, nay, a senseless, bidding for the possession 
»of gold, sacrificing our property and sacrificing the pros- 
perity of our people in a senseless race of that kind. 


We have been told repeatedly, and are daily told, that 
there is such a thing as sound money in the country and 
such a thing as dishonest money. 

Mr. President, there is not a dollar in this nation, with 
full legal tender qualities, from its origin to this moment, 
"that was not an honest dollar and worth as much as any 
other dollar. It is only because the volume of gold is 
scarce; because it is in the grasp of the Shylocks, because 
they control it and, through it, control the destinies and 
the progress of the peoples of the Earth that we hear so 
much about the necessity of sound money — of honest 
money. This very heresy of intrinsic value is one of the 
things that has been seized upon to deceive and mislead the 
"people, thus permitting a gang of aggressive money-chang- 
ers to control the destinies of the people through a limited 
-volume of money, through the control of gold. 


I repeat, sir, during the interesting discussion in this cham- 
ber, extending now over sixty days, no Senator has offered 
a reason (if he has I have not heard it) why any special 
commercial value should reside in silver or gold or paper 
used as money. 


Now, what is the money power? The expression has been 
used here a great many times. It has been used by myself, 
and it has been used by others. I say to the Senators that 
the money power, in my judgment, is that class of persons 
who control the great debt, bonds, stocks, and mortgages 
of this country and of Europe — that body of men who are 
directly interested in a constantly appreciating money, 
whose fortunes are made out of bonds, mortgages, stocks, 
and evidences of indebtedness of various kinds; that body 
of men, small though it may be, in this country and in 
Europe Avho are combined against the prosperity of the 
farmer and laborer throughout the civilized world — that is 
the money power. 

In his conclusion he traced England's oppression of the 
original American colonies, her acts of tyranny in the revolution 
of 1776 and in the war of 1812; and characterized the bill as a 
monster of iniquity. 

This is a Trojan horse; but underneath and behind this 
whole scheme I see two monster Shylocks, like Argus, hun- 
dred-eyed, and like Briareus, hundred-handed. One of these 
is England, and the other the Shylocks of Wall Street and 
the East, both alike reaching out their long, bony and 
merciless hands for their pounds of flesh, regardless of the 
welfare of the laboring classes and producers of this coun- 
try, regardless of the prosperity of this country, but inter- 
ested solely and alone in their own selfish aggrandizement. 

In 1811, when the charter of the United States Bank ex- 
pired, the stock of which had been paying an annual divi- 
dend of from 8 to 10 per cent, it was discovered that the 
English had gotten control of nearly all the stock. Since 
then she has gradually gotten control of our carrying trade, 
bleeding us of millions of dollars every year. She has got- 
ten control of large areas of our public lands, of immense 
tracts of our coal, timber, and mineral lands, which she has- 
bought for a song, and from which she will reap immense 
profits. She has bought large interests in our most profit- 
able flour mills, our breweries, stockyards, and manufac- 
turers. She holds our bonds and has made millions specu- 


lating in them. She draws annually from the United States 
over $100,000,000 in the shape of interest and profits alone. 
Notwithstanding all these things the agent of the Roths- 
childs now comes in the year 1893, in the year of the Colum- 
bian Exposition, and the one hundred and seventeenth year 
of our Independence, and demands of our Secretary of the 
Treasury in these United States of America that he issue 
$150,000,000 worth of bonds. 

American. British, Grecian and Roman history, with ancient 
mythological and patriotic allusions, gave special force to his 
closing words. A journal at the capital, not in sympathy with 
Populist views, said of this remarkable effort: • 

It is an effort that does credit to the patient research of 
the Nebraska Senator and contains a vast amount of sta- 
tistical information. It also shows that whenever an 
emergency arises requiring such a speech Mr. Allen is fully 
equal to its requirements, and that when it comes to col- 
loquial debate on the floor of the Senate, he is quite as 
readj- in answering interrogatories as in propounding 

It is furthermore apparent from the classical peroration 
with which Mr. Allen closes his remarks that come what 
may he is never to be driven from his position or cajoled 
out of it. "So far as I am concerned," he says, "I ask no 
favors and wear the collai* of no man; and when the Shy- 
locks of England, Wall Street and the East, and their coad- 
jutors, ask that the rights of the people be surrendered, 
my answer, so far as I am concerned, will be that not one 
jot or tittle of those rights shall be surrendered while life 
lasts, if I can prevent it; we will meet them in Bceotia 
before they proceed to Attica, and we will not permit them 
to put their shirt of Nessus upon the back of American 
labor. We bid the Shylocks and money lords, here and 
hereafter, open and bitter defiance." 

Subsequently, before the final vote taken on the repeal bill, 
allowing no favors to silver, Mr. Allen said : 

I am sorry to see what may be called a backdown to some 
extent on the part of some of the advocates of free silver. 
If I had the experience in legislative work of some of the 
Senators who entertain the views I entertain, I should not 
only stay here until next summer but I would stay until 
next year, and I would continue to stay until the admin- 
istration changed before this law should be uncondition- 
ally repealed, and before the great wrong which will be 


inflicted upon the American people by this unconditional 
repeal should be done to them and their interests. 

I say now. Mr. President, if there are any Senators in 
this chamber who have the true interests of the American 
people at heart, if there are enough of them who will raise 
the banner of the free and unlimited coinage of silver and 
carry it to victory here, I believe victory can be accom- 
plished; and for one I will stay with that banner as long- 
as my strength lasts, entirely regardless of the time it may 
take to fight this battle. 

During the session of ninety days, Mr. Allen showed, by the 
introduction of resolutions of inquiry, and committee work, 
ability and fidelity, which had their culmination in the presenta- 
tion of a resolution for arresting immigration "until a change 
in the labor market.'' But the adjourning fall of the Vice-Presi- 
dent's gavel precluded action. 

First Regular Session Fifty-Third Congress. 

His record made in the extra session indicated that in future 
he was to be found among the careful workers in committees, 
and able debaters upon the floor of the senate. Early in the 
session Senator Allen is found vigorously contesting with Sen- 
ators Hoar of Massachusetts, Hunton of Virginia, and Faulkner 
of West Virginia, in behalf of grantors in trust deeds, as against 
grantees, who have generally had everything they desired. From 
numerous debates running through several, months, upon tariff 
reduction, only a few items can be extracted, for want of space. 


Me. Allen: I say that the policy of taxing materials 
that go into the homes of this country is unwise. It should 
be the policy of a great and enlightened nation like this 
to refrain from taxing anything which is essential to the 
preservation of human life. The necessary homes which 
shelter our people from the blasts should be free from taxa- 
tion, if it is possible to render them free. All the cloth- 
ing and food necessary to protect and sustain our people 
should be free from taxation if possible, or at least, the 
lowest rate of taxes should be levied upon them. 

We use much rough lumber in the construction of fences 
and of outbuildings. These things are a necessity to the 
people of the State of Nebraska, and not only to them, but 


to the seven or eight million people who live in the prairie 
States; and yet you are perfectly willing to take these 
people by the throat and hold them up, as the highwayman 
holds up his victim, and take money out of them for the 
purpose of putting that money in the pockets of a few men 
along the northern border of the United States. 


I desire to see the time come in this country when sugar 
shall be free. Although I represent in part a great common- 
wealth where the sugar beet can be eultivated with profit, 
and one of the largest beet sugar factories in the United 
States is situated in the county in which I have the honor 
to reside, I do not believe that it is either wise on the part 
of this government to adopt the bounty system as a policy, 
nor do I believe the government has power under the con- 
stitution to encourage the development of anything by a 
system of bounties. 

I recognize, however, that when the government has 
offered a bountj r , and upon the strength of the offer con- 
tained in the statute an industry is developed which per- 
haps would not be developed but for the granting of the 
bounty, whether the government had the power or not, 
it certainly ha£ morally no power to suddenly take the prop 
from under that industry and permit it to fall without any 
warning of its purpose to eventually recede from the bounty 

Therefore when my colleague offered his amendment, 
which looked to a gradual reduction of the bounty system, 
until it would expire in 1905, dropping one-tenth each year, 
I voted for it. When he offered his amendment proposing 
to make the bounty 1 cent instead of 2 cents a pound, I 
voted for it, because both propositions looked to the grad- 
iial extinction of the bounty system, and because to so 
vote would not seriously wrench the industry which is be- 
ing developed in my state today. 


No, Mr. President, that is not the trouble with the West- 
ern farmer. The trouble with the Western farmer, in the 
first instance, is that he is eaten up by excessive rates of 
transportation. By the time he hauls his products across 
the mountains from the prairies of Nebraska fifteen hun- 
dred miles to New York market, he has consumed a valua- 
ble portion of the product of his field, and by the time he 
invests the money he gets out of the remainder in highly 


protected articles of consumption, he is left practically 
without any surplus for his year's labor. 

Give the farmer of the West an equal show in the race 
of life, and he does not ask protection from any govern- 
ment; give him an opportunity to buy in the open market, 
as he is compelled to sell in the open market; and control 
in his interest, and in the interest of the country at large 
to some extent, the question of transportation, and the 
farmer of the West does not stand in congress asking for 
protection or assistance at our hands. 


The debate, having elicited much asperity, evoked a spirited 
reply to Mr. Chandler of New Hampshire. 

Mr. Allen: Mr. President, I desire to say in as polite 
language as I can to the Senator from New Hampshire 
that his statement or insinuation that there is any bargain 
between any person on this side of the chamber or in the 
chamber at all and myself is entirely untrue, and I am in- 
clined to think that the Senator from New Hampshire knew 
it was untrue at the time he stated it. I have made no 
bargain. I propose to make no bargain. I propose to vote 
as I see fit upon this measure and upon every other meas- 
ure that comes before the Senate. If when the pending 
bill is finally finished it is in my judgment a better measure 
than the law now in force, I shall vote for it. If it is not, 
I shall vote against it. In that respect I desire to assure 
the Senator from New Hampshire that I am a free lance. 

I desire to state in this connection that it is none of the 
Senator's business how I propose to vote upon this or upon 
any other measure. I am not here to represent his views 
upon any question. I am sent here to oppose his views upon 
a majority of the questions that come before this body. 

Apparently upon the Napoleonic motto, that nothing had been 
accomplished while anything else remained to be done, Mr. Allen 
exceeded his former records and made the third Or short session 
of the 53rd Congress one conspicuous for thorough and incessant 
work. In a voluminous defense of the Populist party and its 
creed, he charged a union of the Democratic and Republican 
parties for the salvation of the country, as they understood 
salvation, and a unity of effort in charging the Populist party 
as the advocate of vagaries and lack of leadership. 


Mr. President — Sir, from a vote of a little over 1,000,000 
in 1892, the Populist party cast a vote of practically 2,000,000 
in 1894, an increase of almost 100 per cent., a greater vote 
than placed Mr. Lincoln in the White House in 1861. I thank 
God this moment that the light is beginning to dawn to-day 
upon the common people of this country out of the dark- 
ness and gloom and wrong and oppression through which 
they are and have been passing; that a ray of light shines 
over the broad expanse of this country, and in my judg- 
ment in 1896 both the old parties will practically pass out 
of power and this new party be brought into control of 
the government in all of its branches. 


His Populist creed, as given, included the coinage of both 
gold and silver at the ratio of 16 to 1, supplemented by a legal 
tender paper currency — taxes limited to the necessity of the 
government — a graduated income tax — trusts and combinations 
injurious to commerce, labor and industry to be prohibited — 
abuses of pooling and watering stocks and discrimination in 
railroad rates, and of corporations, to be corrected by law — con- 
tract labor denounced — opposition to army and navy increase in 
time of peace — election of President by direct vote of the people 
— pensions for disabled soldiers — denunciation of anarchy — 
purity of the ballot box — opposition to interest bearing bonds, 
and government divorcement from banks. 


Finding $835,534,088 outstanding paper money, by law re- 
deemable in coin, he argued that the Secretary of the Treasury 
should redeem in silver where it was evident that an attempt 
was being made to deplete the treasury of gold coin for the 
purpose of forcing the issuance of gold bonds, payable in gold, 
and to perpetuate a national debt, and enlarge the issue of 
national banks. In this spirit he denounced the issue of $500,- 
000,000 bonds payable in fifty years. 

In 1874, when there was a run upon the Treasury Depart- 
ment, when this country was experiencing a financial panic, 
the then Secretary of the Treasury issued $26,000,000 of 
treasury notes in excess of the number now in existence. 


I nder the provisions of the statutes which are preserved 
to-day the Secretary of the Treasury has ample power to» 
issue $54,000,000 of treasury notes, non-interest bearing 
noti-. Why not issue those notes and coin the seigniorage, 
amounting, all told, to $109,000,000, and by that means 
prevent the issuance of bonds and discharge the current 
obligations of the .Nation. 


As the session approached its close, he delivered a speech of 
great research and force, in favor of an investigation of 
Alabama, alleging anti-republican government, and in the con- 
eluding sentences made plain his theory: 

I do not desire to be understood as saying that the States 
have no rights as States. Our government is a government 
of enumerated powers. If a power is not expressed in the 
constitution or is not necessarily implied to carry out some 
granted power, it does not exist, and cannot be exercised. 
Nor am I a believer, upon the other hand, in the doctrine 
that any state in the Union can say that the general gov- 
ernment cannot pass its lines and protect its citizens. 
When this country guaranteed to every state in the Union 
a republican form of government, it carried with it the 
power, and the duty as well, to pass the lines of the state- 
that might deny to a citizen any of the privileges or im- 
munities of citizenship, and to protect him in their enjoy- 


Near the close of the 53rd Congress, while protesting against: 
appropriating money for the support of a "tin soldiery"' in the- 
District of Columbia, at a time when benevolent citizens were- 
voluntarily aiding "drouth stricken people in the Northwest,"* 
Mr. Allen delivered the following graceful benediction: 

Sir, while I am on my feet speaking on this question I 
wish on behalf of a million and a quarter of as honest, 
loyal, and intelligent citizens as there are in the United 
States, who reside in my own beloved commonwealth, to 
tender their thanks and mine for the splendid action of 
Georgia, Louisiana and other States, South and East, in 
bringing relief to a drouth-stricken people. Those people 
are struggling honestly and faithfully to build up this 
country and to build up their own private fortune. Misfor- 
tune has overtaken them for a second time. For the sec- 


ond time in succession their crops have been destroyed, and 
they are practically dependent upon the charity of their 
fellow citizens of the other states. I wish to say to the 
representatives in this chamber of the states I have men- 
tioned, that the gallant men and women of those states 
have the earnest prayers and thanks of the people of the 
State of Nebraska. 



39th Congress. March 2nd and 3rd, 1S67. 

Hon. T. M. Marquett was born near Springfield, Clarke County, 
Ohio, in 1831, and graduated from the Ohio University at Athens 
in 1855 when 24 years of age. Having visited Kansas and Iowa, 
he made choice of Nebraska as a future home in 1856, in which 
year he was admitted to the bar. 

After one year's residence in Cass County, he was elected 
three years in succession to the Territorial House of Representa- 
tives; and so well were the voters satisfied with the ability, 
courage and capacity of the young statesman, that he was called 
upon to serve them four years in the Council (answering to the 
State Senate) subsequent to 1860. 


To prevent confusion of facts relative to the first election to 
Congress, in Nebraska, under the State Constitution in 1866, it 
should be remembered that it took place during the 39th Con- 
gress while Mr. Hitchcock was territorial Delegate. Mr. Mar- 
quett held toward it a dual position, being elected both as mem- 
ber and delegate. In case admission of the State should occur 
during that Congress, Mr. Marquett was elected member of the 
unexpired term. Or, if it remained a Territory during the 40th 
Congress, he was to serve as a delegate. But if it was found 
a state in the 40th Congress, Mr. Taffe was elected to meet that 
emergency. Accordingly when it became a state in the expiring 
days of the 39th Congress, that retired Mr. Hitchcock, and made 
Marquett member for two days closing the 39th Congress. Be- 
coming a state also superseded Marquett's election to the 40th 
Congress, and advanced Mr. Taffe to the membership. 



Mr. Marquett has remained at the bar, in absolute devotion to 
his profession, from the date of his admission, and has been 
resident attorney, at Lincoln, for the immense and complicated 
business of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company 
since its establishment in Nebraska. Many friends pressed him 
for United States Senator when Mr. Tipton was re-elected in 
1869. Without a stain upon his professional honor, his name 
stands high upon the roll of the State's most cherished and 
honored lawyers. 

Of his spoken eloquence, upon the stump and at the bar, but 
little has been recorded, for an utter neglect of his intellectual 
progem r has been the characteristic of a modest and fearlessly 
independent personality. 


In the most noted trial of the State in which Mr. Marquett 
was an attorney, in defense of Gov. Butler, he closed a most 
elaborate and powerful speech with the following appeal: 

Senators — The blow, unarrested, falls not alone on him. 
Would to God it did! Would to God that no wife, no child 
were to feel its crushing weight! Senators — You this day 
stand upon the banks of a Rubicon, beyond whose flood lies 
the dreary waste of political strife .and dark contention. 
Humanity bids you pause. But yesterday the people placed 
upon the brow of David Butler a wreath intertwined with 
the laurel; to-day it is proposed to write there a brand of 
infamy; a burning brand; a brand which time cannot erase, 
•and which not even the good angels above can wipe out, or 
hide from human view. 

Senators — As 1 close this case, let me remind you that 
those appeals of the counsel to the effect that the people 
demand the conviction of the accused, — that you need not 
show crime, or even a corrupt motive, — is only asking you 
to trace backward from the sunlight of today to those dark 
ages when a court, spurning evidence, yielded to outside 
clamor and sent a sainted Baxter to the block, and bade 
Algernon Sidney tread the narrow steps of the scaffold. 
Posterity will review our acts, and cannot do otherwise than 
condemn you if, by your verdict, you pronounce him guilty 
when the people have declared him innocent. 

Around you in this crovt ded hall, in the galleries and cor- 
ridors, are those who anxiously await your verdict. God's 


own justice bids you at once break this dreadful suspense, 
calm those palpitating hearts, dry the tear which forbidden 
comes, and answer the prayers so earnestly made by pro- 
nouncing the magic, — and now by the behests of justice 
made golden,— words of "not guilty." 


On the 2nd day of March, 1867, the Globe report of the House 
proceedings, in Congress, has the following entry: 

Mr. T. M. Marquett, of Nebraska, appeared, and having 
taken the oath to support the constitution, and the oath 
prescribed by the act of June 2nd, 1862, took his seat. 

The next business before the House was the presentation of 
certain resolutions, affirming the refusal of ten states lately in 
rebellion, to adopt the 14th Amendment to the Constitution; 
and that as long as they continued to refuse its adoption they 
would not be entitled to representation in the House; and 
refusal long persisted in would merit more stringent conditions. 

The object of the amendment in question was to define citizen- 
ship, and it declared all persons born or naturalized in the 
United States to be such and equally entitled to the protection 
of the laws. This, of course, included all the emancipated 
slaves. It also provided a national penalty for a State's deny- 
ing any one the right to vote, "on account of race or color or 
previous condition of servitude." It also excluded certain parti- 
cipants in the rebellion from seats in Congress and from other 
positions, and declared the sanctity of the national debt. Next 
came the very elaborate veto message of President Johnson, of 
a bill "To provide for the more efficient government of the rebel 
states." The question was, "Shall the House pass the bill, the 
President's objections to the contrary notwithstanding?" 

Up to this time, the voice of the State of Nebraska had never 
been uttered upon a recorded vote; but upon sustaining a ruling 
of the presiding officer, Mr. Marquett broke the silence by voting 
"Aye," and did the same on Mr. Blaine's motion to suspend the 
rules, that the bill might be carried over the veto. And then, 
of course, on the final vote he was found with the constitutional 
majority of 135 against 48; and the law was passed and Ne- 


braska placed squarely upon the platform of the Republican 
Congressional reconstruction, "amid thunders of aoplause on 
the floor and in the galleries." Again, during the same day, 
came another veto message, of "A bill to regulate certain civil 
offices," which was so conspicuous, finally, in the impeachment 
of Andrew Johnson; and once more Mr. Marquett voted in the 
affirmative on its passage. Another affirmative vote of much 
value was upon the joint resolution to enable the United States 
to participate in the Universal Paris Exposition of 1867. But 
the last time he responded to the roll call was to suspend the 
rules and instruct a committee to report a bill to reduce mem- 
bers' salaries, and before the result could be announced, the 
hour of adjournment having come, the Speaker, Mr. Colfax, de- 
livered his valedictory address, proclaiming the inexorable fact 
— "As these parting words are said, another Congress wait for 
our seats." The seat occupied by Mr. Marquett for two days 
was at once labeled for John Taffe, of Dakota County, who was 
elected to the 40th Congress; and in the selfsame hour Senators 
John M. Thayer and T. W. Tipton put on the robes of office in 
the chamber at the other end of the Capitol. Had Mr. Marquett 
been elected to the 40th Congress as a member he would have 
made an efficient and popular representative. Of his ability 
his constituents had ample evidence in his career in the ter- 
ritorial legislature, and at the bar and upon the hustings dur- 
ing the years of slavery aggression, Civil War, and the earlier 
period of reconstruction. One can easily learn the value of first 
things and events by turning to the pages of the Illustrated 
History of Nebraska, where mingle in prodigal profusion 
records of first arrivals, marriages, births, deaths, erection of 
temples, and society organizations and especially the manners 
of those who landed from her "Mayflower" and first pressed her 
"Plymouth Rock." 

Accordingly, when the subject of this sketch shall have passed 
his "three score years and ten," bedecked with legal laurels, 
fellow citizens, proud of the splendid progress of a recon- 
structed government, will cherish the consecrated first State 



March 4th, 1867— March 4th, 1873. 

Hon. John Taffe landed in Nebraska and settled in Dakota 
County in 1856, in the 29th year of his age, having been born 
in Indianapolis in 1S27. His early instruction was received in 
the common school and academy and became the foundation of 
a legal education. 

Two years after his arrival he was elected to the Territorial 
House of Representatives and in 1860 we find him presiding 
over the Council, answering to the State Senate. 

In 1862 he was commissioned Major of the Second Nebraska 
Cavalry, and during a 15 months' service, was with General 
Sully's expedition against the Indians, in which the Second Ne- 
braska under Col. Furnas received the hearty commendation 
of the general commanding. 

Several times having received votes in congressional conven- 
tions he was finally nominated and elected a member of the 
40th, 41st and 42nd Congress, in the years 1866, 1868 and 1870. 
After leaving 'Congress he was Receiver of Public Moneys in the 
U. S. Land Office at North Platte, Lincoln Countv. 

On the occasion of his death in 1884, in an obituary notice of 
him in the Historical Transactions of the State Societv, we have 
the following: 

In his congressional course Mr. Taffe was a faithful 
worker in the interest of the state of his adoption, energy 
and zeal being the predominating 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 
the 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 practice of his profession, taking some interest in min- 
ing operations. • • 

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

The increased votes cast at the several dates of Mr. Taffe's 
three elections show the growth of population; being S,922 in 
1866, 15,042 in 1868, and 20,342 in 1870, while his majorities, 
first of 748, and second of 2,406, and third of 4,408, indicate 
the growth of the Republican party. 

At the same time his competitor in each canvass was a man 
of acknowledged ability, of unblemished character, and estab- 
lished citizenship. First, A. S. Paddock, since U. S. Senator; 
then A. J. Poppleton, in the highest degree an ornament of the 
Omaha bar; and third, Judge George B. Lake, after Chief Justice 
of the State Supreme Court. 

In the election of Mr. Taffe there were two points in the 
State's favor relative to a faithful service; the first arising 
from the fact that her representative possessed a legal educa- 
tion, and the second, that he had legislative experience, and 
practice in the application of parliamentary law. But as to any 
sudden acquisition of reputation in the new arena of action, 
the chances were decidedly against the incumbent, for the spirits 
that had raised the storm were determined to ride the waves; 
and already the prow of the Impeachment Steamer was facing 
the Senate in the case of President Andrew Johnson, floating 
from her masthead, for the enlightenment of all new comers— 
"Vessels large may venture more; but little boats should keep 
near shore." In addition to this the new member's associations 
were of Territories, Lands and Indians, all intimating soil, with 
no "distance to lend enchantment to the view." While he never 
attempted to be offensively aggressive, his sympathies were 
all on the side of the harassed and exposed emigrants from 
Indian raids and plunderings, and hence he had to meet the 
popular clamor in behalf of the "noble red man." 


With great perseverance he tried to secure an amendment 
to an appropriation bill, to the effect that where members of 
a tribe went upon the "war-path," annual payments should be 
made only pro rata to those remaining peaceable. To the chair- 
man of the Indian Committee he said: "If an Indian goes into 
a white man's stable, in broad daylight, and takes away a horse, 
while the government is paying an annuity to that tribe, I would 
like to know what' remedy the white man has under the law." 

Mr. Shanks of Indiana having explained that if application 
were made to the Interior Department within three years the 
claim could be settled, Mr. Taffe continued: "I submit, with 
due respect to the gentleman, that, as a matter of law, he is 
entirely mistaken. I hold that to-day, if there are a thousand 
Indians in a tribe, nine hundred and ninety-nine of whom are 
on the 'war-path,' they can commit depredations and still receive 
their annuity from the Government under existing laws ; and 
no white man has any remedy for any of their depredations." 

On a subsequent day he said: 

I would like to make a brief statement. I said day before 
yesterday that as the law now stood no mone3 r appropriated 
by the Government, no article contributed by the Govern- 
ment to these Indians was liable for any depredations com- 
mitted by them. In other words, all the depredations that 
they have heretofore committed, and all that they may 
hereafter commit, under the law and under the amendment 
framed, I believe, by the gentleman who now has charge of 
this bill, were to be exempt from all claims, whatsoever, of 
citizens of the United States. 

And in addition to that we make an appropriation to 
prosecute any citizen of any state, or of the West, whoever 
pursues, upon a reservation, an Indian with a horse he has 
stolen. I hope I may not be misunderstood. That was 
voted down in this house two years ago. But as the law 
certainly is now, though it is denied by the chairman of the 
Committee on Indian Affairs, we are to have no redress 
whatever. You can make no reprisal under penalty of the 
law; and there is an appropriation to punish you for pur- 
siiing an Indian upon a reservation, with stolen property. 
That is the law of congress today. I offer this amendment 
so there shall not be a premium upon robbery and scalps 
on our western frontier. 


The amendment was voted down. In answer to Mr. Farns- 
worth, of Illinois, he said: 

I can answer the gentleman's question. He asks what they 
do with the seeds. They take the machines, the mowing 
machines and the reaping machines, sent out by the govern- 
ment, and burn them; and cook the beans and eat them. 

Mr. Taffe's fidelity to the work of the Committee on Terri- 
tories, of which he was chairman in the 42d Congress, and his 
general reputation as an intelligent worker on the committees, 
caused Mr. Dawes, of Massachusetts, to give him an unmerited 
compliment and mistaken criticism, as follows: 

The evil, if there be one, has existed from the beginning. 
My friend from Nebraska, Mr. Taffe, has for years been a 
member of the Committee on Public Lands, discharging his 
duties with singular abilitj'; yet it has never occurred to 
him to advocate this change in the law until somebody in 
the other branch thought that it was a suitable matter to 
be put in an appropriation bill. 

Mr. Taffe: The gentleman from Massachusetts is mis- 
taken. I have never been a member of the Committee on 
the Public Lands, whether with ability or without. [Laugh- 

Mr. Dawes: The gentleman ought to have been, and I 
thought he was. 

Recurring on another occasion to Indian Affairs, he said: 

In regard to the 22,000 Indians on the upper Missouri, for 
whom $750,000 are appropriated. I claim in the first place, 
there never were 7,000 of them to be fed by the Government, 
and further than that, nearly one-half of them have been 
on the "war-path." I ask that thej r only shall be paid when 
they are at peace with the Government. Twelve men in one 
body have been killed in my State by Indians this year, and 
one or two separately, and I protest against paying a prem- 
ium on white scalps, by giving the marauders blankets and 
guns and ammunition to perpetrate these outrages. If I did 
not misunderstand the gentleman who has charge of this 
bill, he stated that he hoped for a better state of things 
before these appropriations are paid. 

In those days of fleecing the government, when robbery was 
the rule and honesty the imaginary exception, we find him ven- 
tilating the conduct of mail contractors. 

Mr. Taffe: My information is that Wells, Fargo and 
Company only carry mail matter when there is no express 


to be transported, and that when there is express freight 
th.'\ will carry it to the exclusion of mail matter. 

I live at Omaha on this thoroughfare, and I have lived 
there for twelve years. I do know that there are a large 
number of responsible citizens who declare that they have 
seen mail matter upon the ground and left for days exposed 
to destruction. 

I know furthermore, that Indians constantly bring in mail 
bags to the military posts, that they have found thrown 
out and left upon the ground. 

In the House, February 27th, 1871, Mr. Taffe ottered an amend- 
ment to an. appropriation bill increasing the amount from 
125,000 to |50,000 for continuing the construction of a United 
States Court House and Postoffice in the city of Omaha. 

Mr. Speaker — At the time this improvement was com- 
menced the Secretary of the Treasury was called on to 
make a recommendation. Accordingly the Secretary sent 
in another list of buildings, among which was the building 
at Omaha. 

After the first appropriation was made the citizens of 
Omaha subscribed and paid $25,000 for the purchase of the 
land on which this building was to be erected. 

Now I cheerfulty. admit, and I will not undertake to dis- 
guise the fact, that we want a building that will cost more 
than $100,000. After we have had an appropriation of $25,- 
000, after we have had the implied promise of the govern- 
ment that the building shall be prosecuted, after the citi- 
zens of Omaha have themselves purchased the ground at a 
cost of $25,000, we think it not unreasonable that the ap- 
propriation in this bill shall be increased to $50,000. I hope 
the amendment will not be considered as obnoxious to the 
objections raised by the gentleman from Massachusetts. 

I will not urge this appropriation on the ground that it is 
all the State gets; but it is a fact that we do not happen to 
have large rivers running through the State, or lakes that 
require to be excavated; hence we cannot ask immense 
appropriations for rivers and harbors, but we ask the con- 
struction of this building as necessary for the accommoda- 
tion of the government officers and on account of the com- 
mercial importance of Omaha. 

After an adroit and eloquent argument by Mr. Van Wyck, 
of New York, in behalf of Omaha and the appropriation, the 
amendment was agreed to, much to the delight of Mr. Taffe and 
his grateful constituents. 



March 4th, 1873— March 4th, 1877. 

When Lorenzo Crounse came to Rulo, Richardson County, 
Nebraska, in 1864, he seems to have been the "right man in the 
right place." The immediate community and the Territory 
stood in need of self-reliant citizens, and one who had made 
professional life possible, by teaching in winter, in order to 
acquire a legal education, had certainly demonstrated this 
potent quality. Born in Schoharie County, New York, January, 
1834— admitted to the bar in 1856— married in 1860— Captain 
of Battery K, 1st Regiment New York Light Artillery in 1861 — 
wounded at Cedar Mountain in 1862 and in same year resigned 
and resumed practice till 1864 — he was therefore 30 years of 
age when he settled upon the shore of the turbid Missouri. 

A republican in politics, he at once affiliated with the soldier 
element, and being of sound morals, his legal acquirements in- 
dicated him as worthy of legislative and constitutional conven- 
tion honors. 

His advocacy of the adoption of the first state constitution 
satisfied the people of his fitness for Associate Justice of the 
Supreme Court, to which he was elected in 1866, and in which 
he presided till 1872. when elected a member of Congress. 


On the 1st day of December, 1873, at the beginning of the 
43rd Congress, Judge Lorenzo Crounse responded to the roll 
call of Nebraska. At the previous session of the 42nd Congress 
a salary bill had been passed to equalize the pay of members; 
but the party in power had been charged with great extravag- 
ance in appropriating money, which their opponents pressed so 
vigorously, that a portion of themselves joined in the popular 
demand for the repeal of the act. Accordingly, in the first hours 
of the session, many who voted for and received their pay under 
the denounced law joined the army of repealers; and out of the 


first nineteen bills placed upon the House calendar, sixteen were 
for repeal, or a radical change of the enactment, some going so 
far as to advocate a reduction of salaries till all amounts re- 
turned should leave their salaries as under the former law. But 
this theory received its quietus when Butler, of Massachusetts, 
demanded that all "back pay," in former years, under similar 
laws, should also be refunded. Amidst the clamor of the day 
Mr. Crounse delivered his maiden speech. In this brief effort he 
denounced political death-bed confessions, pell-mell retreats, and 
cringing supplications; but also recognized the fact of "vox 
populi, vox Dei,'- when not issued from Hades. 

Mr. Crounse: I am not advised very particularly in re- 
gard to the amendment offered by the gentlemen from Ten- 
nessee (Mr. Maynard). While I might at the proper time 
and under proper circumstances vote for it, I apprehend 
that at this time it will embarrass what I think is the prin- 
ciple which is controlling this House. 

I have sat here for some time listening attentively to this 
debate on the salary question, for the purpose of discover- 
ing, if possible, what principle is guiding this House in 
this action. It is conceded that the act of March last found 
its warrant in the Constitution, and that it had precedent 
after precedent to support it. It is conceded on all hands 
that, so far as the action of this House is concerned, it is 
fully warranted' by law. Now, if I have been able to dis- 
cover the motives which prompt the action of this House at 
this time it is a reflex of the principles and the sentiment 
which it is said emanate from the people, and which brands 
the act of the last Congress in regard to salaries as a fraud 
in toto. That is why I would have liked to support the 
amendment of the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Poland), 
for the purpose of testing the honesty of the House. 

It is a very cheap business for gentlemen to make their 
proclamations of obedience to the will of the people, and 
all that; but, sir, it costs something when gentlemen have 
to put their hands right down into their own pockets and 
pay $5,000 for such a proclamation. I say I am totally op- 
posed to attempts to make this sort of cheap reputation 
for honesty and frugality; and I am glad to have an oppor- 
tunity to proclaim my conviction on this question. I desire 
that my acts upon this floor shall be characterized by hon- 
esty of motive. I want not to be scared by any false 
clamor; nor will I co-operate with those who create such 


clamor and then run from it, hastening- in a sort of scram- 
ble to see who can run fastest, and dive deepest, and stay 
down longest. [Laughter.] Such a course is belittling; it 
is degrading to the dignity of the House. If we do a right 
act, let us stand by it, clamor or no clamor. It is not, I 
say, the province of a statesman to cower before the clamor 
of his constituents. It is his duty to mold public sentiment. 
If we find, upon full examination, that it is necessary to 
increase our salaries to $10,000, let us do it; if we find it 
necessary to bring them down to $5,000, let us do it. But 
let us consider the question like gentlemen and like states- 
men. Let us not stand here trembling in our shoes lest Ave 
may not return to these seats again. I let no consideration 
of that kind weigh with me. There is an old French say- 
ing, "What must a people be whose god is a monkey?" I 
say, what must a people be who are to be satisfied by idle 
clamor and protestations of bowing to the popular will? 
I have but little confidence in a large part of these pro- 
testations. I make no reflection upon any member; but I 
appeal to all whether there has not been a sort of heart- 
lessness and emptiness in much that has been said here. 

If it should be the disposition of this House to repeal the 
act of last March, so as to put all these salaries back in 
statu quo, I shall stand with other gentlemen in support of 
such a measure; and when the proper time comes, I will 
consider fairly, squarely, and honestly this question of sal- 
aries; but at present let us repeal the act in toto, if that is 
a proper reflex of the sentiment of the people. 

Busied with committee duties and keeping up a very volum- 
inous correspondence with interested constituents, he next ad- 
dressed the House in opposition to army reduction. This 
occurred February 4th, 1874, when he ran counter to the or- 
thodox doctrine of Indian Affairs. 

Mr. Chairman, so far as this bill contemplates a reduc- 
tion of the army it will have my opposition. There are con- 
siderations of a general nature, perhaps, which might lead 
us to oppose this bill, lying in the fact that this Govern- 
ment should keep an army sufficient to protect itself and to 
maintain its dignity. 

I wish, however, to speak more particularly from my 
standpoint. With the present number of the army I find 
there are allotted to my State but 1,032 soldiers. That, I 
know, is wholly inadequate to meet the demands of the 
citizens of that State. And I might speak in behalf of the 


Territories beyond the State I represent, which have no 
uiii' on this floor. 

But I speak understanding^, I speak intelligently, I 
think, when I say that this number is wholly inadequate 
to tht- demands of the people of Nebraska. And when I 
speak for the people of Nebraska I do not speak for that 
long-haired set of bullies whom some gentlemen may con- 
sider as the representatives of the frontiersmen. I speak 
for a class of men who have been induced to emigrate to 
that western country in search of free homes, and -honest 
yeomanry, men who called for the construction of the 
Pacific Kailroad, and who are seeking to develop the re- 
sources of that far off country. 

Sir, it was an ill-advised remark of the gentleman having 
charge of this bill when he suggested that necessity might 
demand that we retract the borders of civilization. Sir, it 
would be a sad and humiliating confession for this Govern- 
ment to declare its inability to protect any of the citizens 
within its borders. I demand for the people of my section 
. that protection to which their honest energy entitles them. 
I am not speaking- in the interest of contractors. I repu- 
diate the intimation which fell from the lips of some gen- 
tleman, that the West is clamorous for the increase of the 
army as contributing, perhaps, to the benefit of the con- 
tractors. I speak not for that class of men. I say that the 
man who has not read of the troubles existing upon the 
borders of my own State has given but little attention to 
the history of this country. I could produce here letters 
from the Governor of my State, received within the last 
day or two, in which he asks for military protection to the 
settlers. I might refer to the columns of the daily news- 
papers, by which it could be shown that almost every morn- 
ing we are startled with news -of raids by the Sioux and 
other Indians upon the peaceful settlers of that State. Such 
things retard the settlement, not only of our State, but of 
the entire West. It is important that the Government should 
adopt such a policy as shall give to settlers that feeling of 
security which will encourage emigration. 

When Mr. Shanks, of Indiana, demanded evidence of Indian 
hostilities, Mr. Crounse replied: 

I can give the gentleman the authority of the Governor 
of my State, a gentleman who needs no eulogy at my 

Mr. Shanks: We want evidence, not eulogies. 

Mr. Crounse: If the gentleman wants a scalp I have not 
provided myself with one to show him. [Laughter.] 


Mr. Shanks: This general talk amounts to nothing; I 
want facts. 

Mr. Cbotjnse: The gentleman would not probably be con- 
vinced if an angel from Heaven came here to bear testi- 
mony. But if the gentleman could put himself in the posi- 
tion of my people, he would occupy a different attitude on 
this question. 

In a discussion on removing the restriction from the timber 
culture law, which allowed only one quarter in each section to 
be secured under its provisions, he contended that, if repealed, 
"Men of enterprise and capital would go into this matter upon a 
broad scheme. If the object is, as I suppose it to be, to secure 
the growth of timber, it seems to me that this restriction should 
be taken from the bill." 


When Thurston County, Washington Territory, asked per- 
mission to issue bonds to a short line railroad, being deprived 
by an organic act, Mr. Crounse became a warm advocate of 
their course; and in addition to other arguments said: 

I come from a state where this sort of legislation has 
prevailed to some extent; and I know that upon the whole 
it has been beneficial to the State of Nebraska. I represent 
to-day upon this floor not less perhaps than three hundred 
thousand souls; I represent a state that has not less than 
twelve hundred miles of railroad. Every foot of that rail- 
road has been built by just the kind of aid which is sought 
here. And I know further that not one foot of that rail- 
road would probably have been built to-day had it not 
been for such aid, and- Nebraska would to-day have been 
almost a wild without it. 

The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Burchard) is one of a 
number of representatives whose constituencies are worth 
millions, and who, without their great railroad interests, 
would, as it were, be worth nothing. The railroads, and 
they alone, have built up the states which they represent. 
This territory is away off by itself; it is represented here 
by a delegate who has the simple privilege of opening his 
mouth, but who has no vote upon a question of vital in- 
terest to his people. For some reason or other in the 
organic law of that territory was a clause prohibiting giv- 
ing aid of this kind. That delegate has brought forward 
here a case which I think in all particulars must commend 


itself to the good judgment of every member here. His 
people cannot at once raise the means for building this 
road. They are willing, however, to put an incumbrance 
upon their property of every kind, not to exceed 9 per cent., 
and let the burden be distributed equally over them all. 
when by a two-thirds vote it shall be deemed advisable by 
the people. With all these guards around the bill it does 
seem proper that the gentleman making this request, per- 
haps the only one which he will ask in behalf of his Terri- 
tory, should not be refused by this congress. 


The question being on an appropriation of $50,000 for the 
erection of a fort in Nebraska, Mr. Crounse said: 

I send to the Clerk's desk and ask to have read the recom- 
mendation of General Ord, who is in command of that dis- 
trict in favor of this appropriation. 

The Clerk read as follows: 

"I have again to call attention to the exposed condition 
of Nebraska, north of the Union Pacific railroad, and ex- 
tending from the Missouri River for three hundred miles 
westward, in which there is not a single military station. 
This country is as rich as any other portion of Nebraska, 
but the fear of Indians has retarded its settlement. It has 
been subject to frequent raids from the Sioux, from Spot- 
ted Tail's and now from Red Cloud's reservation. When 
on a recent visit east of the first named chief he did me 
the honor to call, with his lieutenants and concubines, at my 
office, I called his attention to a raid which some of what 
were considered to be his people had just committed on the 
peaceable Baptist and Danish settlers on the Loup, he re- 
plied in quite a haughty manner that he had not come here 
to be talked to in that way. As I had no power to con- 
trol his movements, or make him or the people whom he 
claimed to rule respect the property of the white settlers, 
the touching upon facts put an end to further conversation. 
I think a post should be established somewhere about mid- 
way on a line drawn from Fort Randall, on the Missouri 
River, to Fort McPherson on the Platte. It need not cost 
to exceed $50,000, and under the sense of security which 
it would give to settlers the rapid increase of a tax-paying 
population would soon repay the outlay." 

Mr. Crounse: I would say in addition to that that this 
appropriation is warmly recommended by the Secretary of 
War. I have not his letter here, because this matter has 
been sprung upon the House at a time when I did not antic- 
ipate it. In addition to that, I would say that General Sher- . 
man told me personally — and I think I report him cor- 
rectly — that if he had only $50,000 at his command for 
protection of this kind he would appropriate it for the 


construction of that post asked for in Nebraska to the 

exclusion of any other place. This appropriation has been 
recommended for several years in succession by the general 
in command of the army; and I may say. what is perhaps 
familiar to members of the House, that the Indian depreda- 
tions committed last fall, not yet a year ago, in Xebraska. 
when the Sioux entered the very heart of the western part of 
the State and had a contest with the Pawnees, resulting 
in the slaughter of seventy or eighty persons, occurred in 
organized counties of the State of Xebraska because of the 
want of this military post. If we had had such a post there 
we could have intercepted their approach. They came 
immediately from the north into the part of Xebraska 
named, and this post woidd have been directly on the line 
which they must necessarily have passed over, and its 
establishment now would promote the safety and security 
of the settlements of Xebraska. This appropriation is not 
only asked in the interest of Xebraska, but of all emi- 
grating to and interested in the settlement of the West. 
Xebraska has asked nothing at the hands of Congress dur- 
ing this term but this, and this is a measure in behalf of 
the security of life and the advancement of civilization. It 
is as little as Congress can do for the State: and in view 
of the fact that all the officers of the army, the Secretary 
of War, the general of the army, anil the general in com- 
mand of the department, indorse the appropriation in the 
strongest language. I hope it will he made. 

When anything breaks the monotonv of the Great Sahara of 
American Eloquence (the Congressional Reports), the bene- 
factor deserves a medal, an ovation or a monument. With what 
delight do we turn from the frigidity of accumulated statistics, 
naked statement or windy declamation, the concentrated in- 
gredients of a parliamentary automaton, to find revealed a liv- 
ing statue, in the attitudes of attack and defense, of lofty in- 
dignation and tender regard, shielding the weak against the 
oppressor and paying a tribute of independent thought to the 
dignity of unpurchased manhood. During the dark and bloody 
days of the rebellion of 1861-64 about as much power was 
wielded in Congress by party leaders, in their sphere, as was 
awarded to generals in the field; and the "rank and file'' of 
ordinary representatives were as docile under command as the 
soldier who carried the musket. 


With equal promptness Hardee's Tactics and the constitution 
were superseded, and with equal celerity the army deserter and 
political recusant executed. 

Even conceding the imperious demands of emergencies, there 
was danger of establishing pernicious precedents. 


If fifteen minutes were a liberal respite after the finding of 
a drum-head court-martial, so fifteen minutes' discussion before 
demanding the previous question might amply suffice on the 
way to the political gibbet. 

On the 2nd day of June, 1874, still in the first session of the 
43d Congress, Judge Poland, of V T ermont, Chairman of the Judi- 
ciary Committee, reported back a bill relative to courts and 
judicial officers in Utah Territory. 

Having allowed two members to propose amendments, Mr. 
Crounse asked to be allowed a single remark, to which Mr. 
Poland replied, "Not a word." It should be remembered that on 
such occasions the distinguished chairman wore a blue swallow- 
tailed coat, with brass buttons, which seemed to punctuate the 
denial. Having spoken fifteen minutes he demanded the prev- 
ious question and offered the delegate from Utah £orty-five 
minutes, with such clemency as he used to accord convicts be- 
fore pronouncing sentence of death. 

Mr. Crounse: I hope the previous question will not be 
sustained. This bill is too important to be forced through 
under the previous question. 

Mr. Cannon, of Utah: I yield ten minutes to the gen- 
tleman from Nebraska (Mr. Crounse). 

Mr. Crounse: Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Commit- 
tee on the Territories I have had some opportunity to con- 
sider the questions involved in this bill, and I did hope that 
the opportunity would present itself, when I might present 
to the House some of the considerations which are here 
involved and which relate to the details of this bill. In 
the consideration of a question so important as this the 
House cannot afford to be swayed or governed by passion 
or prejudice. Standing up here in defense of what I 
believe to be a proper system of law for the government 
of this Territory, I wish to disclaim in advance any dispo- 
sition to defend the system of polygamy. I am not here 


for that purpose, but I am here to join hands with all who 
wish to put down this system by proper and legitimate 


Sir, we should not confound this question of polygamy 
with the question of framing a proper system of laws to 
govern the Territory of Utah. Our action upon this bill 
will become a precedent for the future. If to-day we can, 
under the guise of an assault on Mormondom, frame a 
system of laws which in the future may be evoked as a 
precedent in order to oppress people of other Territories, 
it would be indeed a dangerous step for us to take. I re- 
gret, sir, the sentiment that I see displayed around me. 
Within the hearing of my voice, when I was contending 
here that this bill should be submitted to proper consid- 
eration by the House, and that the previous question should 
not be insisted on without full discussion of its several 
provisions, I heard gentlemen say that they did not care 
what was in the bill; that they were going for it anyhow. 
Sir, if we act in such a spirit as that, what hope is there 
for any people who are to be run down by the United 
States Government. 


Upon this question in relation to the government of the 
Territory of Utah the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Poland) 
seems to have identified himself with the subject from the 
very outset. The annals of Congress show that each session 
a "Poland bill" has been introduced. It is generally intro- 
duced on the first day of the session, and is referred to 
the Committee on the Territories and to the Committee on 
the Judiciary. It seems that this gentleman has tak6n, in 
familiar language, "the job" of fixing up the affairs of 
Utah. And when I respectfully asked the liberty to pro- 
pound a question while the gentleman was making a state- 
ment here, he found it convenient to deny me the right of 
propounding interrogatories or correcting what I regard 
misstatements, when he would tolerate other gentlemen 
whom he knew to be in sympathy with the bill. The gen- 
tleman from Mississippi (Mr. McKee) could get up and 
interrogate him at pleasure, and it was entirely convenient 
and pleasant for this to be done; but the gentleman knew 
from my connection with the bill that it would perhaps 
not be profitable to tolerate any questions on my part. 

Mr. Poland: I certainly intended no discourtesy to the 
gentleman. I had only fifteen minutes in which to explain 


Hie bill, :iikI I had no time to yield for interrogatories. Tf 
the language I used to the gentleman appeared i<> be dis- 
courteous. I beg- his pardon. 

Mr. (i;hi \>i:: I accept 1 lie apology, but the tacts are 
there and the inference can be drawn. When I wanted to 
make an inquiry and to correct a misstatement, at that time 
the gentleman could not tolerate a question; no. sir; not 
a bit of it. But when others propounded inquiries, then 
there was an opportunity, and a disposition to allow them 
to do so. 


Now, in order to make this bill palatable to the House, 
if I may use the term, it must be prefaced with sonic 
imaginary grievances, or the statement of the condition 
of affairs which really does not exist. It becomes necessary 
to refer away back to the early history of this people, when 
they were isolated, away off, and when they had imposed 
and inflicted upon them United States officials who by their 
arrogance became intolerable. At such a time they may 
have rebelled, and such circumstances must be made a pre- 
text for calling forth action on the part of Congress to-day. 
But I say, look over the Territory of Utah to-day and see 
where is the rebellion which is talked of here, where is the 
detinance of law. Canvass and scan the organic act organ- 
izing the Territory and by which the people 'are allowed 
to make laws for themselves. Look over those laws and 
compare them with the laws of any other territory of the 
United States, and then see where they fall short. Not one 
word is brought forward here, beyond general assertion 
that things are all wrong there, for the foundation of this 
action on the part of Congress. 

The gentleman says that while the United States ap- 
points its marshals, the Territory, in defiance of law. 
appoints its marshals. Why is this? The office of United 
States marshal is as distinct from the office of territorial 
marshal as day is from night. Their offices run in differ- 
ent directions. One is charged with the execution of tie- 
writs, processes, etc.. emanating from the United States 
courts and in United Stales cases. 1 have the record of a 
case here where the judges who were sent out to Utah 
attempted to set aside the territorial marshal. That Ter- 
ritory saw fit under its laws to appoint a marshal; for 
what? For the disposition of matters arising under their 
laws, and in no way in conflict with the laws of the United 



Now. that they have a right to do. If that is denied them, 
then one of the first principles of a republican system of 
government is gone and wiped out. When a people in a 
territory cannot be accorded the right to enact their own 
laws — those that relate to themselves, as long as they do 
not conflict with the Constitution of the United States, and 
if they cannot select their own officers to execute those 
laws, then I say you are striking down the very first prin- 
ciples of American liberty. You are taxing- men without 
representation; you are demanding - obedience to laws which 
they have no voice in making, and you foist upon them offi- 
cers to execute the laws under no responsibility to the 
people governed. It is a proposition unheard of in the 
history of American law-making or jurisprudence. 

I say then that the charge brought here was that they 
elected a territorial marshal in defiance of the laws of the 
United States, which provided a United States marshal. 
Judge McKeon. of the supreme court of that Territory, took 
that position: a position never taken before in any other 
territory of the United States. That case was brought to 
the supreme court of the United States, and how was it - 
terminated there? I have the record before me. but cannot 
take time to read it. Hero is the information filed by the 
United States officer and the answer of the territorial mar- 
shal, where he distinctly says that he disclaims any right 
to interfere in the control of United States affairs; that 
he is elected under the organic act relating- to the affairs 
of Utah, is elected by the legislature of Utah, and in pur- 
suance of that election he acted in the discharge of his 
duties as such in serving writs and processes which em- 
anated from the court as far as they related to territorial 
matters; for instance, the crime of larceny, murder, or 
any offense which is made such by the laws of the Terri- 
tory of Utah. In those cases where the processes went 
forth through the territorial marshal, he executed the writs 
and processes, as he had a right to do, and as he should do, 
they involving no infraction of any law of the United 
States. But that, I say, is made an offense. 


When I asked from the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. 
Poland) the privilege of interrupting him that I might in- 
quire whether or not the United States had not sustained 
that position, I was denied that courtesy. This bill must 
be pushed down our throats as though this House w r ere a 
lot of willing- subjects only too ready and anxious to go to 
any length that gentleman may dictate. This measure is 


to be put through under the whip and spur of the previous 
question. But an hour — one poor hour — is given to the dis- 
cussion of matters involving the rights of one hundred 
and thirty-five thousand j>eople, whose only fault is that 
they entertain religious convictions differing from those 
entertained by gentlemen here. I tell you, sir, it will not 
do for this congress to assume a mock regard for particu- 
lar laws while unmindful of others. Let every man turn 
his sight inward; let him stand before the forum of his 
own conscience; let him ask himself whether he has any 
religious convictions at all. Men who have none at all are 
perhaps too apt to be intolerant toward those who have. 
I say that while I deplore the system prevailing in Utah, 
while I am not in sympathy with that form of religion, 
while I desire and hope that in the progress of civiliza- 
tion it will be wiped out, I hope the American Congress 
will not act hastily in this regard. 

As I wish to be sparing of the time of the gentleman 
from Utah (Mr. Cannon), I can only say that I did hope 
to assail this bill in its detail. There are several views I 
would like to submit in which I am satisfied this House 
would concur with me. 


I am satisfied that this House would not upon delibera- 
tion enact the seeming - anomaly of having one set of peo- 
ple make laws while officers appointed by another and 
distinct authority are to execute those laws. Why, sir, by 
this mode of proceeding you strike down the very law- 
making power itself. If these people cannot have their 
own marshals and their own prosecuting attorneys, to pro- 
ceed against offenses arising under their own laws, they 
will make no laws. They will wipe out their laws entirely 
if they cannot have a voice in executing them. Examine 
all the laws that have been passed since the organization 
of this Government, and where will you find that any like 
this has been enacted? 

Mr. Eldreoge: The gentleman will allow me to suggest 
to him that the marshals selected by the local authorities 
of Utah sustain precisely the same relation to that Terri- 
tory that our sheriffs bear to the respective states. There 
is no difference or distinction in that regard. 

Mr. Crounse: Precisely. That is what I wish to have 
understood by the House; that we are asked to enact a 
law which is in defiance of all precedents in our legisla- 
tion, and for no sufficient reason; because the system of 
polygamy, if it is to be assailed at all, is to be assailed 


under the laws of the United States. Congress should not, 
and I say cannot in consistency with the principles under- 
lying 1 our institutions, enact laws which will thrust upon 
that people a set of Government officials responsible to no 
one except the Government here at Washington. 


I say that this people does not deserve such treatment. 
Aside from the question of their religion they are entitled 
to the same rights, immunities and privileges which would 
be claimed in behalf of any other people. They have shown 
themselves law-abiding and industrious. You may look 
over all the States and Territories of this Union, and no- 
where will you find the rate of taxation lighter than in 
that Territory. In this respect the people of that Terri- 
tory have made a record which ought to be the envy of the 
general government and of every state government. I say 
that people who have behaved in this manner should not 
bring down upon their heads the enactment of laws which 
must simply operate to enrich United States officials and 
turn the people over, bound hand and foot, to the tender 
mercies of officers whom they have no voice in choosing. 

While I would not antagonize the bill in gross, I hope 
that as presented here and sought to be forced through it 
will be voted down, and that the opportunity may be given 
to correct and modify it in those essential particulars which 
I know this House upon calm consideration would not ap- 
prove. As a Congress we cannot afford to act upon the 
principle which I intimated at the outset appeared to be 
influencing many members here. I fear that principle 
operates too largely. I have never known a case in which 
the law for the government of a great people who are 
asking to become a state of this Union has been passed in 
such haste, and with so little apparent necessity. 

The foregoing was the most elaborate of the speeches in his 
first' session, and for boldness, directness, and the exhibition of 
a courage to stand by the discarded and unpopular, was worthy 
of high commendation. The index of the Congressional Record 
for the session shows eighteen bills introduced, incidental re- 
marks made on eighteen different occasions, in addition to the 
speeches that have passed in review. During the second session 
of his first term, the usual incident occurred of the unpopular 
demanding an advocate, and finding one in the new member 
from the West. 


Mr. Croi nse: Mr. Chairman— Representing a state which 
includes within her borders several Indian agencies, I per- 
haps would be held inexcusable were I to si1 here and listen 

to the denunciation of Indian agents generally and not 

put in a defense in behalf of those whom I know not to be 
open to such charges. Whatever may be the character of 
others of those who may have been intrusted with agencies 
in the past, I am glad to say that from a personal acquaint- 
ance with some, and from what I know of others in Ne- 
braska, the agents there 1 believe are above suspicion. 
Some have been residents of the State, all well known 
there, and the gentleman from Kentucky could not with 
safety or impunity make the broad and sweeping- charges 
of fraud and stealing there as those in which he has in- 
dulged here. I have taken occasion to visit some of the 
agencies, and have a personal acquaintance in some in- 
stances with the employes and subalterns, and I have no 
doubt but the assistants are well chosen and that the affairs 
of the agency are conducted with honesty and fidelity. 
Speaking- u uderstand ingly , sir. I repudiate the charges so 
unjustly made against gentlemen who are not here in a 
situation to defend themselves. I would be as quick as any 
gentleman on the floor to denounce and hunt down cor- 
ruption in the Indian Department if any exists, but I should 
lie more surprised than any one to find it in the quarter 
of which I have spoken. 


During the first session of the 44th Congress, Mr. Crounse 
called attention to his contemplated vote on a bill for the trans- 
fer of the Indian Bureau to the War Department, believing 
that his constituency required such a vote; and yet his better 
judgment condemned it. 

It is my purpose to vote for the bill. In my judgment. 
if this bill should be passed, a very great mistake will be 
commit ted. If the purpose were to exterminate this race 
of people, to subjugate them, to crush out all spirit or 
disposition for improvement, to surround them with influ- 
ences, at once demoralizing to them and to the army itself, 
why then the passage of this bill would attain the object 
most effectually. But in this enlightened age. with the 
advance already made in the civilization, education and 
Christianization of the Indians, I say that the passage of 
this bill, throwing not only the wild Indians, but those in 


all stages of civilization, advancement and culture, into the 
hands of the military, wholly unfitted by education and 
vocation to continue the work of educating- them, is a move 
in the wrong' direction. 


He also took occasion to illustrate corporate assumptions and 
encroachments in discussing a railroad bill, and referred to the 
Union Pacific bridge tax upon freight and travel. 

To the people I immediately represent it proves very 
onerous. Kaising corn, wheat and like coarse products, de- 
pendent largely for their value upon the rate of transpor- 
tation, they must submit to this extraordinary exaction to 
pass these articles barely beyond the threshold of the 
State. This matter of vital concern to a people whose fuel, 
whose lumber, salt and the like must pay such high tariff, 
does not particularly concern members who may never see 
Nebraska, and whose constituents are indifferent to the 
rates of tolls charged. The contest here is therefore not 
an easy one with a corporation with millions to make or 
lose and which can and does employ the ablest counsel of the 
land, and expert agents to protect its interests. Before some 
of the committees of the House I have met the ablest counsel 
of the land, gentlemen of national repute, while in the 
corridors and lobby some no doubt listen to what T say. 
I am pointed to "agents." or lobbyists employed at good 
prices, by one and another of these companies to "reason" 
with members and protect the company's interests. 

In the last session of his congressional career, while engaged 
in a railroad discussion, he introduced the Union Pacific road 
in the light of a political dictator. 

The experience of the people of Xebraska is not an en- 
couraging one. The Union Pacific Company has even under- 
taken to run the politics of the State. 

At our last convention, when the interests of the road 
were thought to be interested, the unseemly spectacle was 
presented of Jay Gould and Sidney Dillon being at Omaha 
in communication with the superintendent of the road, Mr. 
Clark, at the convention, the wires communicating between 


March 4th, 1877— September 4th, 1878. 

As in the darkness of the night the electric flash reveals the 
form and foliage of the tree that perishes by its stroke, so do 
the memorial addresses of Congress reveal the manly virtues 
and lovable character possessed by the Hon. Frank Welch. 
From these, the first voluminous historian of Nebraska drew a 
biographical sketch; and from them this brief summary must 
be extracted. For all his innate modesty allowed him to report 
in the Congressional Director)/ was "Frank Welch, of Norfolk, 
was elected to the 45th Congress as a Republican." 

Senator Paddock said of him, on memorial occasion: 

Mr. President — I shall not delay the Senate by an extended 
memorabilia of our lamented colleague, Representative 
Welch. He was born on Bunker Hill, Charlestown, Massa- 
chusetts, February 10, 1S35; was graduated at the Boston 
High School, and afterward specially educated and trained 
as a civil engineer. Soon after embarking in his profession 
the duties thereof called him into the West, and finally, 
while yet a very young man, in the year 1857, he established 
his home at Decatur, Nebraska. Mr. Welch was a gentle- 
man in the highest and broadest sense of the term — kind, 
gentle, generous, manly. As might naturally have been 
expected of a young man possessing such qualities of mind 
and heart, he rapidly advanced to the front in society, and 
in affairs in his county and section. He was very soon 
chosen to represent his district in the council or senate of 
the first legislature chosen under state organization, of 
which body he was made the presiding officer. He held 
other positions of honor and trust under both the Federal 

Editoei vl Note.— Frank Welch was born on the Bunker Hill site, Massachusetts, 
February L0, 1835, and had hi* education in the schools of Boston, until his graduation 
from the Eigh School of that place. lli> father had died when he was very small. 
Leaving him to the training of his mother. He chose the work of civil engineering, 
and was engaged in railroad engineering in 1857, on a road terminating at the .Missouri. 
On a printed lisl of the personnel of the territorial legislature of 1855, the name of 
Frank Welch appears, ' age, 24; nativity, N. Y.; residence, Nebraska Center; occu- 
pation, telegraph operator." This does not tally with the information about him sug- 
gested by the various memorialists in "Memorial Addresses on the Life and Character 
of Frank Welch," Washington, 1879. His address is given as Decatur, in 1857; later, 
as Wesl Point. In isi>:i he was married to Miss Elizabeth Butts, of Hudson, New York. 
Be was register of the U. S. land office at West Point from 1S71 to 187ti, when he was 
elected to the lower house of Congress. He died September 4, 1H7.S. 


and State Governments, and in 1S76 was elected a member 
of the Forty-fifth Congress. He represented the largest 
Congressional district in the Union, both as respects terri- 
torial extent and population. He was alone in the other 
House from Nebraska — a state embracing an area of sev- 
enty-five thousand square miles, with a population of nearly 
four hundred thousand — a comparatively new state, having 
innumerable and varied interests in process of development, 
dependent largely upon Federal legislation and Federal exec- 
utive administration for encouragement and protection. 

There was put upon him the labor of three men, and by 
day and by night unceasingly he struggled through the 
protracted and exciting session of last year to do it all. 
Mr. Welch was a man of great energy, industry, and perti- 
nacity of purpose. He would do all required of him although 
he should know the effort would cost him his life; he did 
all, and as many another before him in like circumstances 
had done, he went prematurely to his grave. When the 
session closed, Mr. Welch returned to his constituency very 
much worn and broken in health. He needed rest, but he 
took it not. At once he entered upon an active and an 
exceedingly laborious political canvass. His physical ma- 
chinery could not endure the additional strain put upon it, 
and then the end came, soon and swift but pangless. In the 
evening of the 4th day of September, 1878, in a public meet- 
ing, in the midst of a numerous audience composed largely 
of his political friends and admirers whom he was about 
to address, he was suddenly stricken and fell in death. 

But it was not left to Nebraska alone to garland his tomb. 
Iowa, by the Hon. Mr. Sapp, furnished her contribution: 

Mr. Speaker, I knew him long and well. For him time and 
earth have passed away; he has departed in the meridian of 
his manhood; in the midst of the gl owing hopes of a suc- 
cessful life, like a vigorous tree cut down in the wealth of 
its summer bloom ere the bright green of a single leaf had 
been seared by the blight of Autumn. 

Wigginton, of California: 

We of the Committee of Public Lands all knew him with 
the most unhesitating confidence in and respect for his 
character and abilities as a man, and with a most cordial 
regard inspired by his genial and gracious temper as an 
associate. In the brief course of his parliamentary career, 
if he did not belong to the conspicuous few who compel 
our admiration for the brilliant intrepidity and force, alert- 


ucss and power of intellect which achieve the leadership of 
the tumultuous debate, he had ye1 taken liis assured place 
among those who are marked for sturdy independence and 
self-reliance of thought, conscientious inquiry for truth, 
and a high standard of determination and action, — qual- 
ities scarcely less valuable, though less resplendent, in 
him who serves the people in this hall. 

Mr. Tipton, of Illinois: 

I desire to place upon record to go down to history my 
judgment that he was one of the good men of this land; 
that every purpose, every object of his life was for the 
good of the people; that he had no motive, no purpose 
which in his judgment would injure any man on the face 
of this earth, but on the contrary his life was devoted to 
the good of all. 

Mr. Conger, of Michigan: 

Genial, warm-hearted, gentle, kindly, inoffensive", pleasant, 
and agreeable in all the relations of life, those who knew 
him were won to him by that loving, kindly, generous nature 
of his. He loved his fellow-men, and his fellow-men loved 
him; and many hearts were grieved, almost startled, when 
the news tirst reached them that our quiet friend had 
passed from the living and was numbered with those who 
had gone from these halls for ever. 

Mr. Wright, of Pennsylvania: 

We form our associates, too often with our own party 
men, unless accident brings us in cdose contact with those 
of the opposite party, as accident in the line of my official 
duty here brought me in contact with Mr. Welch. 1 only 
wish 1 could be brought more often hi contact with men 
differing from me in political affinities, if they could be of 
the kind of men that this man who has left us proved him- 
self to be. I bade adieu in this chamber to a friend who 
in life was very near to me. I hope that in the future these 
halls may be filled with men who possess the heart, who 
have the ability, who have the judgment that he had who 
has gone forever. Peace to his ashes. 

The words of Senator Saunders, of Nebraska, may close these 
unusually hearty tributes: 

Our late associate has gone hence, sir. but his memory 
will survive, embalmed in the hearts of those who knew him 
and appreciate his manly qualities. He died, as he lived. 


deserving- and possessing the warm-hearted esteem of many 
and the ill-will, I trust, of none. In private life in the state 
in which he lived he was respected, confided in and beloved 
to a very remarkable degree; and I have never witnessed 
a community apparently more deeply impressed by the 
death of one of its members than in the exhibition of sor- 
row over the death of our deceased associate. 

The integrity of his character, the soundness of his judg- 
ment, and the kindness of his heart were well attested by 
the confidence and affection bestowed upon him in his life 
and the intense sorrow with which his untimely death was 

Let us commend the heart-stricken widow, the fatherless 
children, and the bereaved relatives and friends to the ten- 
der mercies and teachings of Him who doeth all things well, 
and who alone can heal the bruised heart and calm the 
whirlwind of grief in the afflicted soul. 



December 2nd, 1S7S— March 3rd, 1879. 

Thomas J. Majors was born in Jefferson County, Iowa, June 
25th, 1841; received an academic education; removed to Ne- 
braska in 1860; engaged in mercantile pursuits; entered the 
Union array in 1SG1; was made 1st Lieutenant of Company C, 
First Nebraska Infantry, afterward Cavalry, and served until 
1866; mustered out with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 

He was a member of the Territorial Council; served in the 
first State Senate and was re-elected; was appointed United 
States Assessor of Internal Revenue in 1869; was elected a con- 
tingent member of Congress in 1876 and 1878; was elected a 
representative to the 45th Congress in place of Frank Welch, 
deceased; and again elected a contingent member to the 46th 

The election of a contingent member proceeded upon the as- 
sumption that the population of Nebraska had increased so 
much subsequently to the census of 1870, and previous to that 
of 1880, as to entitle her to another member of the House of 
Representatives; but as the discretion was with the House, no 
additional one was granted till, under the apportionment of 1880, 
the State was found entitled to three instead of one. Hence, 
Mr. Majors was never known as a contingent member, but as 
the successor of Hon. Frank Welch, in the third session of the 
45th Congress, which commenced December 2nd, 1878, and ad- 
journed March 3rd, 1879. As this was a short session of ninety 
days only, there was no opportunity for the young and new 
member to signalize his term, either by oratorical displays or 
legislative achievements. 

Subsequently Mr. Majors was twice elected Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor; but in 1891, when Republican candidate for Governor, he 
was vigorously attacked by a leading and powerful paper of his 
party, the Omaha Bee, and defeated, while his party elected the 
legislature and all state officers. 



March 4th, 1879— March 3rd, 1885. 

E. K. Valentine was born in Keosauqua, Iowa, June 1st, 1843, 
and like a majority of valued citizens who have attained emi- 
nence, was educated in the common schools. 

The first call of Mr. Lincoln for troops in 1861 found the en- 
thusiastic youth at the "printer's case," who received a damper 
upon his ardor when informed by a mustering officer that lack 
of age and physical debility precluded his acceptance as an in- 
fantry volunteer. Having met the same impediment in a cav- 
alry regiment, by perseverance he was finally mustered into the 
service in 1862, under a 90 days' call, and subsequently served in 
the secret service at Chicago and St. Louis; ending a military 
career as adjutant and brevet major for three years in the 7th 
Iowa Cavalry, upon the Western plains. 

Coming to Nebraska in 1866, he was subsequently appointed 
Kegister of a United States Land Office at Omaha, and having 
been admitted to the bar, was elected judge of the 6th District 
in 1875, which office he discharged until elected to the 46th 
Congress, where he was continued by subsequent elections 
through that of the 47th and 48th Congress. 

In order to take possession of the judicial office he had to sue 
out a writ of quo warranto upon his opponent who had received 
the certificate of election. The district was so large, and the 
only means of travel by private conveyance and over primitive 
roads, with extemporized hotels, and temples of justice, that the 
"Variegated District'' would have been a graphic designation. 

During his first four years in Congress he was the sole Rep- 
resentative of the State in the House, while its voting popula- 
tion had increased from 8,922 in 1867, to 80,414 in 1882, showing 
a vast increase of legislative and departmental duties. 

From the census of 1880 the apportionment gave him two ad- 
ditional colleagues in 1882. At the commencement of his second 


Congress he became chairman of the Committee on Agriculture 
and during the 48th Congress was promoted to the Judiciary 
Commil tee. 

In the clinics! in the House over the passage of the first bill 
to establish the Departmenl of Agriculture, his labors were 
arduous in committee and conspicuous in the House 1 . On ac- 
count of certain provisions touching the railroad transportation 
of agricultural supplies or products a bitter fight was waged in 
behalf of a substitute for the original bill passed by a majority 
of 175. seven only voting in the negative. In the matter of a bill 
to straighten the northern boundary of the State his efforts were 
intelligently and persistently applied. He did not leave a single 
item of interest unguarded, before a department, in which a 
private citizen was concerned. Nor did he attempt to condone 
state representative 1 delinquencies by irrelevant speeches; but 
where interests were to be defended and attacks parried, he 
was a soldier to the front with a banner unfurled. 

During the administration of President Harrison the Senate 
of the United States made him Sergeant-at-arms, which office he 
discharged to the great satisfaction of the body, and in the true 
spirit of impartiality and fidelity. 


During the reign of slavery in the United State's, when that 
detestable system almost entirely dominated church aud state, 
some owners of human stock couched their contempt for free 
white laborers of the North in that most offensive term "Mud 
Sills.'" And even in L860, at the commencement of the Civil War. 
many Southern gentlemen anticipated the disagreeable neces- 
sity of unhorsing five "Mud Sills" at once, in single combat. 

Mr. Valentine having served through the war, and the mem- 
ber from Kentucky having had a like experience, and appar- 
ently having passed into history, it did not seem proper that the 
conception of "Mud Sills" should be perpetuated as "a survival 

Of the fittest. " 

It was not astonishing, therefore, that a young, vigorous, na- 
tive American, of pioneer history and industrial associations, 
should resent an epithet born of an era of master and slave. 


Me. Valentine: I do not believe that at this late clay 
that rallying cry, or epithet, or whatever you desire to call 
it, of "Mud Sill," will be of any avail to the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Blackburn). 

He took occasion to term the Second Assistant Postmaster 
General a "mud sill" clerk. That kind of talk might have 
been of some avail twenty years ago on that side of the 
House; but I do not believe that, since the "late unpleasant- 
ness," the majority of my friends on that side of the House 
believe that any man at the North is a "mud sill"; and I 
. should think the gentleman from Kentucky had received 
lessons enough upon that question himself not to have been 
found upon this floor, in this debate, terming an officer of 
the United States Government a "mud sill." 

I do not believe that his colleagues will agree with him, 
but will agree with me that this language was uncalled for 
and unnecessary. I have thought it proper that some one 
should make at least some reference to it, so that the epi- 
,thet should not go by unchallenged. 


During a discussion in 1880, in the House, Mr. Valentine 
found a legitimate opportunity to publish the great acquisition 
to the population of the State during the preceding year, which 
he put at over one hundred thousand. He said of a committee: 

In the bill they undertake to say, we will set you back 
where you were sixteen months ago. Now sixteen months 
in the great West is a long time to our people. We grow 
rapidly in sixteen months, and our wants are greatly in- 
creased. Sixteen months in the West, in reference to its 
growth and wants, are as sixteen years in some of the 
Eastern States. 


In the matter of a contested election case, the gentleman from 
Nebraska, in the parlance of the West, "turned himself loose" 
at the conclusion of a very cogent speech: 

If the Democracy of this House oust the sitting member, 
a Republican, and seat the contestant, a Democrat, upon 
the case made and submitted, it will be a most damnable 
but fitting crown of infamy to place upon the brow of a 
once honorable but now dishonored and rejected party; 
and thus close the chapter of its history for 1880, which is 
one of fraud, forgery and frustrated ambition. 



( hi railroads and agriculture : 

Mr. Reagan calls Agriculture and Commerce, as does the 
gentleman from West Virginia, twin sisters. The gentleman 
from Texas says he likes bold men, chivalrous men, men 
who have the courage to grapple with the lion, — monopoly; 
and yet he stands on this floor and asks you gentlemen to 
place internal commerce as a division alongside agriculture. 
Why, when, where, and how, at any time, have the agri- 
culturists of this country come before this Congress or any 
other and by a lobby, or raising- large sums of money, asked 
legislation in their behalf? And yet these gentlemen, who 
stand here and cry "Down with the railroads," say, "Take 
the railroad interest of this country and place it alongside 
of agriculture, as a division under a department of indus- 
tries." Why, Mr. Speaker, how long do you suppose the 
agricultural lamb would exist placed alongside of the rail- 
road lion? 

If they- are set side by side in one department of the Gov- 
ment, is there a man here who does not honestly believe 
that inside of two years the commerce lion would eat up, 
wool and all, the agricultural lamb? 

In vindication of a division of statistics he said: 

Heretofore the agriculturists of this land have had no 
help from these statistical reports. When I say no help, I 
may not be supposed to mean just what I say. We have 
had, it is true, a report coming from the Agricultural De- 
partment two or three years after the information was 
gathered. But we have had no help from the government 
to give the farmers a knowledge of the present status of 
their crops. Grain speculators, grain gamblers, have held 
the agriculturists in their grip for years. They spend thou- 
sands upon thousands of dollars to send agents through the 
entire agricultural regions of the country. If they desire 
to work upon wheat, they send their agents into the wheat 
regions; if upon cotton, they send their agents into the 
cotton regions; and they know by the time the crop is 
gathered, if not before, what the crop is. We want the 
farmers to have the benefit, if there be any, of a short crop 
in Europe or in any other portion of the world. We 
mean them to publish a market report that is authorita- 
tively furnished by the Government of the United States, 
and not made up by boards of trade in the cities of Cin- 
cinnati, Chicago, New York — made by men whose only 
object it is to deceive the farmer and make him believe 
his crop is only worth fifty cents on the bushel when it 
is in reality worth a dollar. 



Of an act to protect settlers on public lands lie said: 

Now under the present system, while relinquishment pa- 
pers are in Washington undergoing this long and tedious 
process of cancellation, some party near the land employs 
an attorney in the City of Washington, who visits the Gen- 
eral Land Office daily, who enters his name as an attorney 
in the case. 

He receives notice, when the entry is cancelled, and im- 
mediately telegraphs to his man, who watches the land office 
at its opening day by day; and in my own personal experi- 
ence, while register of a land office, I have known one man 
to be there thirty consecutive days when the office was 
opened. This person, being the first legal applicant, makes 
entry and defeats the title of the man who has paid for 
the improvement on the land. Thus these attorneys or land 
sharks, in this city, have made hundreds and thousands of 
dollars out of the poor homestead settlers of the West. 

The bill protecting the original settler was passed, providing 
for a thirty days' notice to the settler about to be dispossessed, 
which gave an opportunity to relocate and save his improve- 
ment, much to the delight of the member from Nebraska. 


On a bill to prevent the spread of animal diseases the House 
received a valuable lesson. 

Mr. Valentine: During the Forty-sixth and Forty-sev- 
enth Congresses I had the honor to be a member of the 
Committee on Agriculture, and I was also a member of the 
sub-committee having in charge the question of pleuro- 
pneumonia. I had very much desired to speak at length 
upon this bill but for some reason or other the gentleman 
in charge of it could not find time for me. 

I am therefore compelled to say what I have to say under 
the five minute rule; and as I know that I cannot in that 
time say what I would like to say touching the measure I 
will confine myself particularly to one subject, leaving the 
discussion of the constitutional question to those who have 
addressed the committee heretofore. I find in this bill 
nothing that I cannot subscribe to with reference to the 
constitution of this country. I shall not stop to argue the 
question, but merely state that as my conclusion. I be- 
lieve that the people of this country are in immediate need 


of the passage of this or some bill which will regulate this 
disease of pleuro-pneumonia. While this bill goes further 
than that, and provides for the regulation of all contagious 
and communicable diseases among animals, I shall refer 
more particularly, in the short time I have, to that of 
pleuro-pneumonia. About a year ago, or a little more than 
that, some citizens of Chicago employed one of the most 
experienced veterinary surgeons of that region and sent 
him here. He came to see me and asked if I could point 
out to him the section of this country where pleuro-pneu- 
monia existed. He said he desired to examine some of the 
cattle affected by it. I told him he could find them here in 
the District, or he could go across a few miles into Mary- 
land and find there plenty of cattle affected by it. 

He went over into the State of Maryland and found he 
could not get into the stables, or "corrals," as we term them 
in the West; that the State of Maryland had passed a law 
touching the matter of pleuro-pneumonia; that the gov- 
ernor, under the provisions of that act, had selected a state 
veterinary surgeon; that they found that the disease did 
exist; that they had taken the cattle from the dairymen, 
slaughtered them and paid them the pittance of $10 each 
for their cattle. Therefore he was excluded and could not 
reach what he desired in that way. Then he went down 
to the store, and got a pair of stoga boots, put on overalls, 
and went out among farmers as a common cow doctor, tak- 
ing some prescriptions of charcoal that he said were good 
for that disease. In that way he got into the good graces 
of the farmers; and spent more than sixty days investigat- 
ing the question of pleuro-pneumonia. And he found that 
among the dairy cattle of Maryland in the region surround- 
ing this city that disease existed largely. He found that 
when these cattle became so thoroughly diseased that they 
were no longer fruitful to the owners for giving milk, they 
were sold in the night to Jews, and taken out and slaugh- 
tered and sold to the citizens of Baltimore and this city 
for beef. I say the members of Congress should not sit idle 
and prate about the constitution in the consideration of a 
question like this. They should do something to relieve 
this community and this country from this terrible plague. 
I have no doubt that to-day you are drinking the milk from 
cattle affected by this disease, and that you are eating 
beef-steak cut from them. 



March 4th. 1S83— March 4th, 1887. 

Archibald J. Wearer was born in Susquehanna County, 
Pennsylvania. April 15.1844; lived on a farm until seventeen 
years of age; then entered Wyoming Seminary, at Kensington. 
Pennsylvania, remaining there three years as a student and four 
years as a teacher of mathematics; in 1867 entered the law 
department of Harvard University, remaining till 1869; was 
admitted to the bar at Boston in February, 1869, and immedi- 
ately removed to Nebraska, settling at Falls City in the practice 
of law; was a. member of the Constitutional Convention in 1871; 
in 1872 was elected District Attorney of the First Judicial Dis- 
trict; in 1875 again member of a Constitutional Convention and 
the same year was elected Judge of the First Judicial District, 
and re-elected in 1879, holding the office until a Representative to 
the 48th Congress; and was re-elected to the 49th Congress. On 
account of the rapid increase of population the census of 1880 
entitled Nebraska to two additional members of Congress; and 
accordingly in 1882 Weaver of Richardson, Laird of Adams, and 
Valentine of Cuming County, were elected. This gave a valuable 
combination of talent and experience. Four years of previous 
congressional experience made Mr. Valentine a valuable worker; 
training on the bench prepared Judge Weaver for legal investi- 
gations; while a vivid fancy and impetuous nature made Laird 
an impromptu orator and "picturesque character." 

A bill being before the House for the protection of cattle 
from ''contagious diseases," and men from Xew England argu- 
ing that state laws could answer the purpose, Mr. Weaver ex- 

What has Massachusetts of the cattle industry of this 
country? Not enough to make a breakfast for the people 
of the United States. In Massachusetts, if all the steers 
and stags and bulls were cows, there would be only one 
cow to a family of seven, — scarcely enough to furnish milk 
for the babies. 


Take the great State of Nebraska for example,— with 
one-fourth of the population of Massachusetts, — and her 
700,000 head of cattle, where 500 head of cattle don't make 
:i large herd, but where a single herd, under one charge, 
often embraces thousands of head. How does the argument 
apply to Kansas with her 1,500,000 head, — Illinois with her 
2,500,000 head — to Missouri with her 2,000,000 head, and to 
any of the great cattle growing states of the West? 

The magnitude of the industry, and the danger from Texas 
fever, admonished him that only the interposition of Congress, 
under the clause of the constitution for the regulation of "in- 
terstate commerce," could meet the emergency. 


Judge Weaver was conspicuous in the debates upon land 
grants to railroads, and all questions relative to the administra- 
tion of the public domain. He took a very active part in the 
passage of a bill to regulate railway charges upon lines passing 
into and through states, and illuminated his precise judicial 
style with a flash of irony in the following paragraphs: 

Mr. Brown goes so far as to argue that Congress has no 
power to pass any bill interfering with or regulating trans- 
portation of freight from state to state; but does make 
one strong admission, which forever ought to set the Ameri- 
can people at ease, and operate as an estoppel against any 
railway seeking to gainsay the proposition, namely, that 
Congress has the power to appoint its agents for gathering 
statistical information in reference to any branch of indus- 
try; so that if we never succeed in passing this or any 
other bill, we have at least secured a concession of a repre- 
sentative of 6,000 miles of railroad that Congress may go 
into the statistical business with perfect safety. The gen- 
tleman evidently thinks the creature is bigger than the 
Creator and has reversed the adage, vox populi, vox Dei, and 
come to the conclusion that the voice of Vanderbilt, Gould 
and Huntington is the voice of God. 


During the first session of the 49th Congress he delivered a 
very comprehensive speech for the "free coinage of silver." 

In the opening sentence he charged "a conspiracy to double 
the national burden and the industries of the country, by mak- 
ing money dear, and all species of property cheap." 



Continuing he said: 

Who has ever seen gold dollars doing- the business of this 
country? Gold is not the money that keeps alive the thou- 
sand industries that supply bread for the sustenance, and 
clothes for the protection of the millions. 

After a very thorough statement of our money supply, the 
value of our property subject to taxation, the increase of our 
population, commerce, manufactures and agriculture, and a 
comparison of them all with the great nations of the civilized 
world, there followed the emphatic declaration: 

From the standpoint of national indebtedness, alone, we 
can readily see how impracticable it is to undertake to erect 
a single standard of gold; but when we go a step further 
and consider mechanical, corporate and private indebted- 
ness, and then consider the amount of gold there is in the 
world, together with the annual product, the proposition 
appears too absurd to discuss. 

He knew of but one firm of New York brokers "who have 
shown the manhood to expose the fallacies of this great cry 
against silver," and he added to his speech their very compre- 
hensive circular. 

Mr. Weaver: Mr. Speaker, there is no use in urging this 
question with a view to convincing money kings of this 
country. Their whole put pose is to steal something by legis- 
lation, by act of Congress. Nothing seems to satisfy their 
■ambition but gold. Love of country — patriotism — a desire 
for the prosperity of the masses never found lodgment in 
their ignoble souls. 

Favoritism must stop. The representatives of the people 
must correct the existing evils and legislate for the masses, 
or in absence of this, when there shall be no other hope, 
the barefooted militia will come down from the hills and 
take charge of the Capitol. 

logan memorial occasion. 
Mr. Weaves : 

John A. Logan dead! no, not dead! 

"There is no death! 
What seems so is transition: 

This life of mortal breath 
Is but a suburb of the life elysian. 

Whose portal we call death." 


The noble traits of John A. Logan have been indelibly 
stamped upon the hearts of the American people. His whole 
life .is warrior and statesman was dedicated to giving full 
force and significance to the affirmation of the Declaration 
of Independence — "That all men are created equal; that 
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalien- 
able rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pur- 
suit of happiness." When that mighty effort for the destruc- 
tion of constitutional liberty had well nigh sapped the 
fo\indations of this Republic, when weak and wavering men, 
to avoid the terrible consequences of war, were willing to 
make concessions, looking to the separation of this Union, 
then it was that John A. Logan, rising above all considera- 
tions of party policy, inspired by a patriotism and love of 
country as fervent as that which moved the heart of Wil- 
liam Wallace to, strike mightily for freedom of his country- 
men, then it was, I say, that this great warrior and states- 
man breathed upon the discontented and wavering element 
of his own party utterances of such pure and patriotic devo- 
tion to his whole united country as will make his memory 
as lasting and imperishable as the Republic itself. 

The noble traits of his character in his devotion to his 
country were made more conspicuous because of his life- 
long affiliation with a party that was now engaged in a war 
for the destruction of the Union and the dedication of one 
part thereof to human slavery. 

Before the bugle blast of war had called any of our 
country's defenders to the field, but when every movement 
of the discontented element attested the fearful truth that 
civil war with all its^ dire consequences was about to test 
the national bond, upon this floor, in February, 1861, John 
A. Logan said: "I have been taught that the preservation 
of this glorious Union, with its broad flag waving over us as 
the shield of our protection on land and sea, is paramount 
to all parties and platforms that ever have existed or 
ever can exist. I would to-day, if I had the power, sink 
my own party and every other one with all their platforms 
into the vortex of ruin, without heaving a sigh or shedding 
a tear, to save the Union, or even to stay the revolution 
where it is." 

This was but a patriotic declaration before the clash of 
arms; but in confirmation of his entire consecration and 
devotion to the preservation of the Union we have only to 
let impartial history bear witness. Not content to serve 
his country in the halls -of Congress away from the exposure 
and danger of shot and shell, this brave man rushed into 
the thickest of the battle. Where Logan went victory 


perched upon the stars and stripes. He was the inspiration 
and his soldiers followed him into battle with a spirit of 
confidence and determination that knows no defeat. 

From whatever cause that may be assigned by the faith- 
ful chronicler of events, yet no one will ever attempt to 
gainsay that where John A. Logan went there was victory,— 
there was fighting. He was one whose presence meant a 
contest, a struggle to the death. Let Belmont and Donelson 
and Vicksburg and Corinth, and Champion Hill and other 
battlefields attest to the truth of the allegation. 

In that contest for the preservation of the Nation, for 
right against wrong, for freedom against slavery, for all 
that was good and pure and noble, against all that was 
wicked and wrong and oppressive, wherein from the begin- 
ning of the contest to the close more than two and one-half 
million of citizen soldiers placed their lives upon the altar of 
their country in the contest — we do know that John A. 
Logan was the greatest volunteer soldier, the greatest com- 
mander taken from civil life. He was the recognized leader 
of that great army of volunteer soldiers, and from the close 
of the war has been the defender and champion of the 
cause of the common soldier in the Congress of the United 
States. The defenders of our common country whose valor 
has been attested on a hundred battlefields have lost their 
greatest friend and our country has lost a great warrior 
and pure statesman. John A. Logan has been in the public 
service almost continuously for more than thirty years, and 
during all these years of faithful service his conduct has 
been so pure that not even a suggestion of corruption was 
ever associated with his name. His mission in life was not 
a struggle for the accumulation of gold. He sought not to 
pacify his conscience with the gilded bubble of wealth; he 
neglected not the elements of intellectual and moral great- 
ness for the sordid and perishable things of time. His whole 
life was dedicated to his country, to human rights, to mak- 
ing more firm and lasting the foundations of this Republic. 
He has woven his name in history with illustrious and 
praiseworthy deeds. Oh, that we had more Logans in the 
public service! More whose every thought and every effort 
were given to the discharge of public duty; more who 
sought no opportunity from public position to secure ill- 
gotten gains to the detriment of the general public; more 
who come to high public place because the public demand 
their service and not because the place is made the sub- 
ject of barter or to serve some special interest. 



March 4th, 1S83— March 4th, 1889. 

A formal biographical sketch of Mr. Laird is here omitted in 
order to avoid repetition, since both Mr. Connell, his colleague, 
and Mr. Laws, his successor, incorporated his personal history 
in their memorial addresses of him, which immediately follow 
this article. To eliminate it from their tributes would materially 
mar their productions. But an extract from the contribution of 
the Hon. Mr. Cutcheon, the venerable preceptor of his brothers, 
in connection with the tender words of his comrade, Representa- 
tive Tarsney, make a valuable introduction. 


Mr. Cutcheon, of Michigan: Mr. Speaker, I shall not on 
this occasion indulge in any extended eulogy of our deceased 
colleague. When I first entered this hall as a member of 
this House in December. 1883, one of the first, members to 
greet me was our deceased friend and colleague, James Laird, 
of Nebraska. Our previous acquaintance had been nominal 
only. The interest which I took in him and which he took 
in me had been vicarious rather than personal. When as a 
young man, in 1S59, I left the halls of my alma nutter, the 
University of Michigan, and became principal of a small 
academy in southern Michigan, I found there two young 
men by the name of Laird; and before the close of the term 
there came with them, to attend the closing exercises, a 
lad, as small almost as the smallest of these pages; who I' 
afterwards found was their brother. I lost sight of him 
then and never to my knowledge met him again personally 
until he came to me in this chamber, and introduced 
himself as the same lad, James Laird. In the meantime the 
two brothers who had been under my instruction both died 
in the cause of the Union, as soldiers in the army. This 
trifling circumstance of our first meeting was the slender 
thread that bound us; but when we found ourselves a few 
weeks later in adjacent seats at the same committee table, 
where we served together continuously, side by side, for 
six years, this beginning of acquaintanceship ripened into 
a friendship which lasted as long as life endured. On the 


very first occasion in which I participated on this floor I 
found my colleague and myself upon opposite sides of the 
question. I discovered on that occasion the quality of his 
steel. It was that debate, now historical, in regard to the 
restoration to the army of General Fitz-John Porter. Mr. 
Laird had left his home when a mere boy (I think about 
thirteen years of age), and enlisted in the 16th Michigan 
Infantry; had gone to the front and become one of that 
5th Army Corps which was then under the command of 
Oeneral Porter. So when he found his old chieftain attacked 
here, with all the enthusiasm of his boyish admiration and 
love, and with all the vigor and strength of his manhood 
he came to his defense. I never ceased to admire and 
respect the chivalry, the earnestness and the enthusiasm 
of the man. Whenever he participated in debate his methods 
were earnest, direct and eloquent. There was in his voice 
the sound of the ring of the sabre; there were in his utter- 
ances the rattle of the small arms in battle. 

In the committee room we found him always attentive to 
his duties; always faithful to each trust reposed in him; 
laborious and careful in the examination of his facts, but 
"when his mind was made up, earnest and pertinacious in 
the defense of that which he believed to be right. 


Mr. Tarsney: Mr. Speaker, as I stand here, as it were, 
over the open grave of James Laird, it is not of the lawyer, 
the orator or the statesman I am thinking. It is not in any 
of these characters, though he was great in all, that he is 
recalled to me. I see him now as the playmate of my ear- 
liest boyhood days, the companion and schoolmate of 
my riper youth, and the comrade of the years that fol- 
lowed in the field of arms. James Laird was born in the 
State of New York, but when a mere child his parents 
removed to Hillsdale County, Michigan, then almost a wilder- 
ness. His father was a native of Scotland, a minister of 
the Presbyterian faith, a man of great intellectual power 
and of wonderful eloquence, qualities richly inherited by 
his son. In that same wilderness, with only the advantages 
and comforts afforded in a pioneer community, we passed 
the first years of our lives together in attending- the district 
school. The village academy followed the district school, 
and then came the war with its tests for separating the 
gold from the dross of American manhood. In 1862 we 
both entered the army. In one of the first regiments to 
leave the State at the beginning of the war each of us had 
two elder brothers. In this organization I enlisted and 


joined his brothers and my own; he enlisted in another regi- 
ment, but we were not separated, for .our regiments were 
assigned to the same division. 

Following every battle in which we were engaged, scarcely 
would the tiring cease when he would come with anxious,. 
loving heart to find how fared it with those he loved. Once, 
sir. for him there was a sad coming; it was on the night 
that followed that dread day of the 2nd of July at Gettys- 
burg. He came to find a brother dead; a friend he loved 
missing, and his fate unknown. Sir, the iron of the sorrow 
of that dread night entered his soul and never departed, 
I >ut remained a living sorrow to the last day of his life. 


The appearance of Mr. Laird as a speaker before the House of 
Representatives, sixty days after the commencement of the first 
session of the 48th Congress, February 1st, 1884, deserves 
special notice, inasmuch as he was about to vote with the entire 
party in opposition, and to incur the charge of having failed to 
sustain his own party,. and run the risk of future political dis- 

For twentv-one vears General Fitz-John Porter had suffered 
under the penalty of a court-martial, and during all that time, 
the democratic party had agitated a reversal of the penalty. 

A bill for his restoration to the army and his retirement from 
active duty being before the House, Mr. Laird defined his posi- 

Mr. Chairman, believing as I do. that there is no place 
where the honor of an American soldier should be so safe as 
in the hands of the Representatives of the whole American 
people, I desire to say before the vote is cast, that I shall 
vote first, last, and all the time for the vindication of the 
honor of General Fitz-John Porter. [Applause.] And let 
me remark to the gentlemen who seek to bring the menace 
of future punishment to bear upon the discharge of present 
duty, that if I knew this act of mine would end my bodily 
existence, as you say it may end my official one, then still 
would I do it; and I would thank God that my loyalty to 
my country, as I understand her honor; that my loyalty to 
my general, as I understand my duty: that my loyalty to 
truth as I know it to be, was strong enough to lift my con- 
duct above the possibility of ignominious change to come 
from cowardly considerations affecting my life or future 


I do this not because I am guided by the judgment of the 
Schofield board, or the statement of Ulysses S. Grant, for 
I have not read the one, and have never considered the 
other. Nor are the convictions that I here hastily express 
the growth of a day; they are as old as the injustice he has 
suffered. I do it, because I was with Fitz-John Porter from 
the siege of Yorktown until the attack of the enemy across 
the Chickahominy; from that attack to the battle of Han- 
over Court House, and from that to Mechanicsville, from 
that to Gaines Mill, and throughout his career except when 
I was disabled by wounds [Applause] ; and I want to say, 
Mr. Chairman, it is my deliberate judgment, speaking of 
what I know of Fitz-John Porter, that in all the great 
battles of the English-speaking race, from Bannockburn to 
Gettysburg, there has not been made by soldier a record 
which demonstrates greater loyalty to the cause of his 
country than that made by Fitz-John Porter. Having seen 
him on all his battle fields, I believe it can be said of him 
in action as was said of the soldier of old: "He was swifter 
than an eagle; he was stronger than a lion; and from the 
blood of the slain and the fat of the mighty his sword 
returned not empty." 

After handsomely parrying a question which a member pro- 
pounded, and eulogizing Porter in case of an order to "Charge 
bayonets,'' he exclaimed: "Was that the language and conduct 
of a traitor and a coward? Since the Dutch king proclaimed 
that he would tear down the dikes and let in the ocean there has 
not been a braver speech." Claiming the right of a subordinate 
officer to some discretion in the enforcement of a superior's 
orders he concluded in the following strain: 

Let the advocates of "no discretion" tell me if their 
science of war teaches that subordinates, in the face of bet- 
ter knowledge, shall obey murderous orders, and slaughter 
thousands and stand guiltless in history? 

One word to the gentleman from Indiana. You say that 
Lincoln approved the sentence of the court-martial with a 
full knowledge of all the evidence. I deny it. Abraham 
Lincoln, "So slow to smite, so swift to spare, so great and 
merciful and just," never approved that sentence with a 
knowledge of the evidence. I love the memory of the dead 
Lincoln and all who died with him for the greatest cause 
that ever moved mankind, and I love the honor of the flag 
and the nation for which they died, and because I do, I vote 
for the passage of the bill. [Applause.] 


I raring i his session he served upon the committees of pensions; 
and military affairs; presented twenty bills and joint resolu- 
tions; fifteen petitions; made seven reports from the military 
committee and fifteen from that on pensions; and engaged in 

fourteen discussions. 


During the second session of the 48th Congress, on a bill to> 
relieve settlers from conflict with Railroad Claims, we have: 

Mr. Speaker, is it for this the pioneer has fought? Is 
there no voice that pleads his cause who bravely holds his 
way along the front of civilization, laying deep and strong 
the foundations of a mighty state? From the toil and strife 
of these men sprang Kansas and Nebraska, the first anti- 
. slavery states, even as in the olden time sprang the aveng- 
ing Marius from the "dust and ashes." Thus born into the 
sisterhood of states, they have bloomed as might two pur- 
ple flowers rooted in a pool of human blood. We know 
there is nothing in all the unstoried greatness of this class 
that of itself alone should speak to the judicial mind, but 
when laws are passed for their protection it is meet that 
those who sit upon the softly-cushioned seats of advantage 
should heed those laws in a contest between abstractions 
(corporations) and such men. The human being is entitled 
to the benefit of the doubt; by how much more is he en- 
titled to the benefit of the written law! 

These settlers read the laws of Congress granting home- 
steads and pre-emptions to actual settlers; they read the 
instructions of the Department of the Interior, and they 
saw that they were within these. They read the platform, 
of the great Republican party which promised them the 
earth if they would vote the straight ticket, and then they 
read the platform of the great Democratic party which 
promised them not only the earth, as the other platform 
did, but everything over it and under it, and they said, "We 
are safe; our friends the politicians will take care of us," 
and they are still strong in their faith; they still hope to 
"read their title clear" in the light of your promises; they 
Still believe that Congress — this Congress, gentlemen — want 
to, and will do what is right. And so they come, stripped 
by legal jugglery of their homes, — your "glorious birth- 
right of the free" of the platforms and preambles, — and 
holding forth their empty parchments ask you if you talk 
to them in two languages; they demand that you make good 
in this foul day the fair weather promises of the laws and 


the decisions of the great heads of departments; they ask 
that we be big - enough to do justice to the poor pre-emptor, 
homesteader, purchaser, farmer, even as to the great rail- 
road corporations; they ask that we be estopped from 
taking advantage of our own wrong, and profiting by the 
deceiving advice and decisions of our troubled agents. They 
ask this, "these brave sons of earth," and with them join 
the voices of half a million of Union veterans, robbed also 
of their rights by the "law's delay." Thousands of pioneers 
and frontiersmen, men in Nebraska and Kansas, and in all 
the states and territories west of the Missouri River, whose 
all was swallowed up in the flames of border savage war, 
and to whom the Nation, by its settled policy, owes redress, 
join thousands of others, to whom the Nation justly owes 
millions, in asking - speedy justice. 

They ask, and if their most just demands be not answered 
by fulfillment it will become us all "to look that our walls 
be strong," for when they shall have roused the "sleeping 
thunder" of public opinion on the question of their rights, 
there will come a change indeed over the face of things 
political and then this penal blindness to their rights will 

Mr. Speaker, these men are my constituents; they are 
more, my neighbors; they are still more, my comrades, for 
in the heroic days nearly nine-tenths of them were Union 
soldiers. This will not prejudice their case with you men 
of the South, for you were brave, and must be generous 
and just. Nearly all of those for whom I plead are known 
to me personally, and accordingly I take a keen and per- 
sonal interest in their rights and wrongs. I have known 
them from the "ground up," for I knew them when they 
lived in the earth, in "dug-outs," and have watched thena 
for years, as they spread the seed and gathered the harvest 
which was the trust of the armies of laborers of the world. 
They have fought a brave fight and redeemed the desert of 
twenty years ago. They are of the class of men that Miller 
saw when he wrote these lines: 

"A race of unnamed giants these, 
That moved like gods among the trees, 
So stern, so stubborn — broad and slow, 
With strength of black-maned buffalo, 
And each man notable and tall, 
A kingly and unconscious Saul, 
A sort of sullen Hercules." 

They are not mendicants, for when the hell-blasts of the 
drought and clouds of locusts a few years ago reduced them 
to starvation they made no sign, and asked no aid of the 


Government, as did those who saw their all devoured by 
flames in Michigan or swept away by the floods of the Ohio 
and the Mississippi. They fought their battle alone, and 
what they ask now they aslc not as alms but as justice, 
and to that answering justice in your conscience I commit 
their case, only regretting* that my condition physically 
perhaps unfits me to represent them on this floor as they 
deserve to be represented. 


During the 49th Congress another opportunity offered for a 
burst of patriotic eloquence in behalf of promoting and retiring 
Col. Hunt, a Chief of Artillery, of whom Mr. Laird said : 

General Hunt, at the head of your artillery service, at 
the battle of Gettysburg, so massed his batteries upon Cem- 
etery Eidge, that Pickett's splendid charge broke harm- 
lessly; bloody wave on top of bloody wave, against the foot 
of Cemetery Eidge, where Hunt's artillery stood. The sa- 
gacity of that officer, upon that field, in reserving his am- 
munition for the Confederate infantry, may have made it 
possible for the flag of the Union to float in peace above the 
Capitol to-day. 

A pension bill also made applicable the quotation, "Richard 
is himself again." 

Of the fiery attack upon the Commissioner of the General 
Land Office, during the 49th Congress, and the most annoying 
documentary reply, resulting in a case of assault, no record 
need be made, as it was local, temporary and sporadic. 


Early in the first session of the 50th Congress a proposition 
was before the House, to allow a clerk to each member. In its 
behalf it was argued, that it "would be a measure of economy to 
the entire people," and would "place every member of the House 
on an equality," # as fifty-four chairmen of committees were al- 
ready supplied with clerks, and that it would put the poor mem- 
bers on an equal footing with the rich, who were able to pay for 
clerks out of their own funds, and could thereby be exempt from 
making the daily, perpetual rounds of the departments, looking 
up the personal business of their constituents. 

Against the proposition was paraded the bugbear of "salary 


grab/' and that its defense involved kt a defiant course of conduct 
in reference to public opinion." On the question the member 
from Nebraska held and uttered decided views. 

Mr. Laird: Mr. Speaker, I have never yet set the fear of 
political punishment as a guard over my conscience upon 
the question of the discharge of my duty as between myself 
and my constitiients. I shall not begin to-day, and, if the 
opportunity offers, I shall vote for the passage of this 
resolution, because I believe it involves as much as any 
measure of this kind that can come before the House the 
question of the efficiency of the Representative. Some of 
us represent here 64,000 votes, cast for the opposing - candi- 
dates and for ourselves, involving, by fair political calcula- 
tion, a population of 250,000 or 300,000 people. ' Can a man 
upon whose shoulders these responsibilities are flung, the 
details of which have been so well described by gentlemen 
here upon the floor — can such a man evolve from out of the 
multitude of cares bearing' upon him the time and thought 
to investigate the great appropriation bills which carry 
three hundred and odd millions of dollars? Can a man so 
situated find time to investigate the intricacies of the land 
policy and the laws incident thereto, which govern the west- 
ern country, from which many of us come, and the vast 
unappropriated public domain of the Nation? Can a man 
with all these cares upon his mind and his conscience find 
time to follow up the action of the great commission which 
was raised not long ago for the purpose of regulating- the 
infinitely delicate relations between the people and the 
instruments of commerce which control the carriage of the 
vast quantities of material that pass continually from the 
East to the West and from the West to the East? Can he 
find time to discuss conscientiously and intelligently almost 
any one of the fifty subjects which for their comprehension 
might require a year of careful study? There are laid upon 
him such burdens of detail that he is night and day the 
yoke-fellow of toil. So heavy is the weight of business 
pressing upon us that there is not one of the members from 
the western section of this country who, if his physical sys- 
tem could bear the strain, might not go home to-night and 
sit down with his stenographer (if he is able to have one) 
and toil on till midnight or till morning - , and in the morning 
go to the departments and follow out the details of errands 
there, and then come to his seat here in this House — for 
what purpose? To echo the intelligent sentiment of the 
two or three hundred thousand people he may represent 
upon the great questions requiring action at the hands of 



Congress? No; to echo the decision formulated in a com- 
mittee room — in the committee room of the Appropriations 
Committee, dominated possibly by one man who, under the 
influence of a habit of thought, has come to rule the com- 
mit Ire and rule the country, and rule the millions of money 
that are poured out by the Government. 

I submit, sir, that the question here is one of efficiency; 
and I conclude as I began: Never yet have I set the fear of 
future political punishment as a guard over my conscience; 
and I will not do it to-day. 


On a question for paying a citizen of the South, for army sup- 
plies, taken without Aouchers delivered, Mr. Laird said: 

I was reminded, during the discussion of this question, 
by the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Warner) of the fact 
that during the war out of which this claim arises it did not 
by any means take a dispensation of Providence to get a 
mule, and wherever there was anything of an eatable nature 
to be gathered we were there in the midst of it, and it was 
about so also if it was of a ridable nature. 

We hear a great deal said about the surplus in this coun- 
try; and I take it that when it comes to a question about 
the payment of an honest claim we are not banded together 
for the purpose of an increase of that surplus by any 
means. If the Government of the United States would pay 
its honest debts, such debts as it allows to remain unpaid 
until, if a private individual were substituted for the general 
Government, that private individual would be disgraced and 
driven from the community — if the Government of the United 
States would pay the millions it owes to honest claimants 
representing the French spoliation claims; if it would pay 
the millions which it owes to men on the frontiers for losses 
sustained at the hands of predatory Indians; if it would 
answer as an honest man answers promptly to the claims 
of the millions of individuals to whom it stands honestly 
indebted to-day, there would be no surplus in the treas- 
ury. I am certainly for the payment of this claim. 


On :i bill to establish the Department of Agriculture, Mr. 
Laird illustrated his ability to say a pertinent thing, pleasantly 
and briefly. 

Mr. Laird: I am delighted to see so many gentlemen with 
their sleeves rolled up, ready to do a hard day's work for 


the farmer. The trouble with the farmer, from his stand- 
point, I fancy, is that he has had his affairs too long- in the 
hands of gentlemen who imagined they were better able 
to attend to his business than he was himself. I realize, 
speaking for the section I represent, that it has an extraor- 
dinary interest in the fact that seven millions of people who 
attempt to make a living and get happiness out of the 
ground are unrepresented in the center of the political 
power in this country; and that, in defiance of the fact that 
from the man who shoes your horse to the carpenter who 
builds your house, to the doctor who cures your ailments 
and to the preacher who tries to save your soul, the propo- 
sition holds true that you deliver over the tools of life into 
the hands of the men who know best how to use them. 

It is a notorious fact that until the passage of the Hatch 
bill agriculture as a great productive interest has never 
been represented directly in the councils of the country; 
had never had a half million dollars bestowed upon it. It 
is the industry from which flows the daily life of the Nation, 
and yet anybody who cares to be conversant with the facts 
knows that it has been treated very differently in this coun- 
try from what is the case in Russia, Italy, Sweden, France, 
Germany, and Austria, whose governments pour out millions 
for the benefit of agriculture and have this department of 
industry represented in their cabinets. 

During a heated discussion in regard to the land office policy 
of Commissioner Sparks under the administration of Mr. Cleve- 
land, Mr. Laird indulged in a violent excoriation of that official, 
who had refused to allow him (Laird) to examine the papers in 
the case of a constituent's suspended entry. 

In that connection he paid the following beautiful compli- 
ment to the pioneer settlers of Nebraska: 

My colleague, Mr. McShane, and myself can speak upon 
this subject with the authority which comes from per- 
sonal knowledge. 

We have known these men in Nebraska "from the ground 
up," because we knew them when they lived in the sod 
house, and have seen them evolve themselves from the sod 
into the frame house and happy home, and have seen the 
wild prairie, which science condemned twenty years ago as 
a desert, pass from the sea of grass in which the bison 
swam into a great land of schools, churches, colleges, 
thrift, civilization and wealth. [Applause.] 

Though it was contended that, in asking for $100,000 to be 


expended in ferreting out frauds, Mr. Sparks only followed in 
the wake of the Kepublican Commissioner McFarland, and that 
"If anv man of this period has established himself in the con- 
fidence of the people of this country for rugged integrity and 
firmness of character, of exalted devotion to the public service, 
that man is the late Commissioner of the General Land Office," 
nevertheless the member from Nebraska could not forego the 
opportunity of a passage at wit and repartee. 


Mr. Laird: Sparks' career began and ended in suspen- 
sion. After the suspension of all the claims, which order 
was revoked by the secretary — and the secretary was re- 
warded by having- a place on the woolsack, and he might 
have had the golden fleece — after suspending the claims he 
suspended the laws, and after suspending the claims and 
the laws he was finally suspended, by the gentleman at the 
head of the Government, himself. 

And now in the estimation of my distinguished friend from 
Illinois (Mr. Townshend), he is sanctified and glorified, and 
if so, political death was a good thing for him. 

Mr. Towxshend: He was not suspended; he resigned. 

Mr. Laird: Resigned! Well, perhaps he was resigned, but I 
doubt it, and if so he had to be. 

Near the conclusion of the discussion, which had alternately 
crowned and decapitated the late commissioner, the speaker 
found another opportunity for a burst of indignant eloquence, 
illustrative of the supreme ignorance of the effete East, and the 
complacent local wisdom of the young and vigorous West. 


Mb. Laird: I wish to say a word about this proposition. 
Mr. Speaker and gentlemen of the House, probably any man 
who has ever traveled west of the one hundreth meridian 
of this country has had a considerable amount of amuse- 
meni hut a larger amount of mortification from the light 
which lias been cast upon this subject by gentlemen like 
the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. McAdoo). It is a con- 
venient thing to say that the settler, the man who stands 
on the ground, is a thief, to the end that he may be pre- 
judiced in the minds of gentlemen who know nothing about 
it; and so accordingly upon that string all the thousands of 
those who sing of reform are forever playing. 


So, then, the man who stands at the bottom and has noth- 
ing furnished him but the pluck of a human being-, and the 
earth and air and water which God gives to all of us, is a 
thief! The next man who comes in for the condemnation 
of the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. McAdoo), and 
others like him, who know nothing of what they are "talk- 
ing about, is the "cattle monopolist," and the next scoun- 
drel in the West is the "syndicate," whatever that may be. 
So that here we are crucified like thieves upon the cross, 
only there is one more than tradition tells us there were on 
that occasion. They hold us up to ignominy before the 
world, and the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Weaver), who 
ought to be bound to these pioneers of the West by sym- 
pathy for the labors and hardships thej^ have undergone, 
comes in here and takes part in holding them up to 

Mr. Weaver: The thieves on the cross were different, 
because they repented, but you do not. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Laird: We do not repent, for the righteous are not 
called to repentance. We are not here to give you judg- 
ment by confession, like a band of criminals and cowards. 

Mr. Weaver: What is the matter with you? [Laughter.] 

Mr. Laird: Nothing. "I am all right"; only I do not pro- 
pose to be labeled a thief by every demagogue that mis- 
takes notoriety for reputation. These gentlemen talk about 
the cattlemen. Is there any man on this floor who is ignor- 
ant of the fact that it takes thirty-four acres of this land, 
which you are talking of splitting up into rods, feet and 
inches, to graze one steer for a year? Gentlemen talk 
about the cattlemen entering into a conspiracy to get land 
enough to raise a thousand head of cattle on. Why every 
one who knows anything about it knows that the minute 
they have got to buy the land, that minute they move off. 
If by holding 160 acres they can hold grazing ground for a 
thousand head, they hold it, but when they have to buy 
the land they move elsewhere. Now- where do these men 
come from that I am defending here, and that gentlemen 
on the other side are holding up to obloquy? They come 
from Texas and Missouri. They are Democrats, and they 
do not spend their time invoking blessings upon your heads. 
If there is any man here who does not know that the cattle 
business now and always has been impossible where the 
owner of the herd had to own the land on which it ranged, 
then your ignorance amounts to imbecility. 

Again, gentlemen talk about fences, and draw a fancy 
picture with which to harrow up the fears of those who are 
ignorant of the whole matter. I have been inside those in- 


closures, and whal have T found to be the verdict of the 
homesteader? He says, "(!reat God! let the fences alone. 
They furnish me a sure pasturage for my little bunch of 
cattle so that I know where they are, but if the fences are 
torn down I shall not know where they range, and I can 
not afford to herd them." Misfortune has in many cases 
robbed the cattle men of 75 per cent of their herds, and at 
least half of that loss is due to the fact that they have 
dammed up the flight of the cattle toward the south when 
the cold blasts of the north come down upon them, by wire 
fences. Eun a 20 mile fence across a trail so as to cut off 
the flight of the cattle, and what happens? They die and 
are piled up by the thousands at the barrier. And long be- 
fore the proclamation of the "Executive the cattle men were 
willing to take down the fences and get rid of them. 

Now as to the question presented by the amendment, if 
there is anything to be done, let it be the reservation of 
every permanent water course, and not the proposition of 
the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Weaver), because that is 
entirely useless. 

The way out of these land complications was finally found, 
after the President's proclamation that the range fences on 
government lands should be demolished by the army, and the 
Secretary of the Interior had repealed the commissioner's or- 
ders of suspension. 

During the 50th Congress Mr. Laird was an active member of 
the military committee, and in the matter of an appropriation 
made the following fling at the committee on appropriations: 

That is an unfortunate condition in which the country is 
a participant to this unfortunate extent, that out of this 
confusion of authority and of jurisdiction, unequaled since 
the philological miracle of the confusion of tongues at the 
Tower of Babel, the country gets absolutely nothing. We 
have here the old story which has been often told, and bet- 
ter told than I can tell it, of waiting upon the committee 
on appropriations. That is a committee certainly toward 
which I entertain no ill-will. I have profound respect for 
the gentleman who presides over its deliberations as one of 
the cleanest, squarest, manliest, bravest men in the public 
service, and I have a somewhat mitigated affection for the 
balance of the committee. [Laughter.] It is shaded some- 
what, but it is not discolored. Tt is kindly and wholesome, 
if not always happy. [Laughter.] 



March 4th, 18S9— March 4th, 1891. 

Gilbert Lafayette Laws, of McCook, was born March 11. 1838, 
near Olney, Richland County, Illinois; removed with his parents 
to Iowa County, 'Wisconsin, in 1815; received his primary educa- 
tion in the common schools; subsequently attended Haskell 
University, Wisconsin, and Milton College, Wisconsin; while in 
college he worked during summers at the lumber business to 
procure money to prosecute his studies during winter; after 
leaving college he taught school till the spring of 1861, when 
he enlisted in the 5th Infantry, Wisconsin Volunteers; was 
wounded in the battle of Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5th, 1862, 
on account of which his left leg was amputated below the knee; 
after his discharge in July, 1862, he returned to Wisconsin and 
located in Richland County, whither his parents had moved 
during his absence; was elected clerk of that county in Novem- 
ber, 1862, to which position he was twice re-elected; during a 
part of this time he edited the Richland Count// Observer, a Re- 
publican paper; disposing of his newspaper he engaged in the 
manufacture of lumber, bedsteads, and wagon materials, was 
chairman of the countv board; was elected mavor of Richland 
Centre in 1870; was appointed postmaster in 1869 and served till 
1876, when he resigned and removed to Orleans, Nebraska. 
While postmaster he was captain of the United States steamer 
Winneconne, employed in the improvement of the Fox and Wis- 
consin Rivers. Immediatelv after locating in Nebraska, he be- 
came editor of the Republican Valley Sentinel, sl staunch Republi- 
can paper, and continued this work till 1881; was appointed 
Register of the U. S. Land Office at McCook, Nebraska, in 1883, 
and served in that official capacity till November 1, 1886; was 
elected Secretarv of State November 2, 1886, and re-elected in 

t- 7 

1888, and was elected to the 51st Congress to fill the vacancy 
occasioned by the death of the Hon. James Laird, as a Republi- 
can, receiving 27,000 votes against 21,000 for Charles D. Casper, 


Democrat, and 1800 for Key. E. Bentley, Prohibitionist. En- 
tering Congress as the successor of Mr. Laird, whose failing 
health had caused a large accumulation of unfinished business, 
prior to his decease, Mr. Laws was at once overwhelmed with a 
correspondence independent of the current duties of his own 
term of office. And yet, during that single term (forhe was not 
a candidate for re-election), the Record shows twenty-six bills 
and joint resolutions offered — forty petitions presented, and 
thirty-eight reports made by him from the Committee on In- 
valid Pensions. 

On the occasion of "Funeral Honors" to his predecessor he 
addressed the House as follows: 

Death of Hon. James Laird, April 12, 1890. 

Mr. Laws: Mr. Speaker, in asking this House to suspend 
for a time its iisual and appropriate labors, to pay tribute 
of respect to the memory of a friend, late a member of this 
body, it is proper that some acknowledgement of this mark 
of esteem should be extended to this House, and to those 
so kindly contributing by their presence and by their words 
to the dignity and solemnity of this occasion. The highest 
honor man can con