ficial function in territorial affairs in Nebraska we may be sure he performed without dissimulation or self-repression, The resolutions went straight to the mark -- his mark -- which, in the nature of the men, Cuming had already become:

   Whereas, we believe that, in order to attain the ends of just government, the executive power should be vested in upright and honorable men; and whereas, we believe that that power, when confided to unprin-


Front an unpublished copy of a daguerreotype taken in 1854, and now in the possession of Miss Emma Morton. This was taken on Mr. Morton's wedding day and just before he started for Nebraska to settle.


At 22 years of age

cipled knaves, who seek rather to control than to consult the people (whom we recognize as the only true American sovereigns) is always used to the advantage of the few and the oppression of the many; therefore,
   Resolved, 1st, That Acting Governor Cuming is neither an upright, honest nor honorable man.
   Resolved, 2d, That he, the aforesaid Acting Governor Cuming is an unprincipled knave, and that he seeks rather to control than consult the people.
   Resolved, 3d, That he, the said acting Governor has, by his own acts, secret ones now exposed, as well as those which he has openly avowed, convinced us of the truth of and invited us to pass the above resolutions.
   Resolved, 4th, That, recognizing the right of petition as the prerogative of all free citizens of the United States, we do hereby petition His Excellency, Franklin Pierce President of the United States, to immediately remove the said Cuming from the acting governorship.
   Resolved, That we, also, because of the reasons here-in-before stated, petition for his removal from the secretaryship of this territory.
    Resolved, That the secretaries of this convention forward a copy of these proceedings to every newspaper in Nebraska for publication, and every paper containing them, with a written copy, to the president of the United States.
   On motion,
   Resolved, That we recommend Gen'l Bela M. Hughes of Missouri, for the office of governor, and Dr. P. J. McMahon of Iowa, for the office of secretary.

   "After a long and spirited discussion," We are told, the resolutions were unanimously adopted.

   The following letter from Acting Governor Cuming to President Pierce, dated December 13, 1854, illustrates the turmoil in which these territorial organizers were plunged:

   I understand that petitions are in circulation asking my removal from the office of governor. These petitions have been prepared and are being distributed by speculators whose fortunes have been marred by the location of the capitol. My only request is that if any charges shall be made I may not be dealt with without the opportunity of answering them.
   You are aware that I have never sought my present position; but being called to it by the interposition of Providence I have not felt at liberty to neglect or postpone the organization of the territory. The protracted illness and unexpected decease of the late lamented governor left but a short interval for the decision of the vexed questions con-



nected with that organization. Hence some errors may have been committed; but I especially solicit that my conduct may be subjected to the test of the most rigid scrutiny.
   Great fortunes have been invested in rival points for the capitol, and the exasperation expressed and desperate persecution resorted to by the disappointed are not unnatural, and were not unexpected. I am prepared, however, to prove by letters and certificates that I have refused bribes and relinquished gratuities, and have located the capitol where my pecuniary interests were least considered, at a point which I believed would give satisfaction to the people and stability to the territorial organization.
   My enemies expect to have a governor appointed whom they can influence to veto an act establishing the capitol at that point. I am writing to you, General, with frankness and confidence, and I desire to say that ever since the death of Gov. Burt I have hoped that someone might be appointed who would relieve me of the responsibility and risk confronting so many opposite and threatening interests. This has not been the case, and I have no alternative but to meet the storm and abide its results. Should another individual be chosen after those embarrassments have been surmounted, their unpopularity incurred, I trust that his appointment will not be permitted to be construed into a condemnation of my course, and shall be glad (if so requested) to present to you facts and certificates to overthrow the allegations of my enemies.
   Trusting that your administration may continue to be crowned (as I believe it will) with success and the approval of the people, and that the strength which it has added to the republic may be fortified by the uprightness and efficiency of your officers, I remain,
SpacerVery truly arid sincerely,
SpacerT. B. CUMING.

   On the 9th of January, 1855, another anti-Cuming convention was held at Bellevue which contained at least three delegates from the North Platte country, E. R. Doyle Of Fontenelle, Dr. B. Y. Shelley of Blackbird Hills, and J. C. Mitchell of Florence. The resolutions of the convention charged, among other things, that the acting governor was a non-resident of the territory, that his apportionment of representation was unjust, and demanded that the census be taken again and that the territory be redistricted.
   Mr. Mitchell, who was afterwards mollified by appointment as sole commissioner to locate the capitol in Omaha, made "a very interesting speech." He said that there was not population sufficient in Florence or in Burt or Dodge counties to entitle them to designation as an election precinct, so the governor made it up by causing certificates to be made up and signed by loafers in Council Bluffs. "The officer who took the census in Dodge county enrolled numbers in the grog shops of Council Bluffs. Omaha was supplied in the same way." On the other hand, he said, census officers on the south side of the Platte were required to cut down their returns so that, notwithstanding that this section had the greater population, the majority of the representatives should be from the north side. But this precaution or basis for consistency with which Mr. Mitchell credits Cuming seems inconsistent with the facts as well as with our estimate of Cuming's characteristics and our knowledge of his methods.

    FIRST ELECTION. According to the Nebraska City Press of December 1, 1859, the following somewhat hackneyed story was still going the rounds of the eastern press. It is likely that it is a substantial statement of fact, and in any event it is typically true: "Mr. Purple, formerly conductor on the Western railroad and a member of the first Nebraska legislature, tells his experience in western politics as follows: 'Secretary T. B. Cuming said to me one morning: "Purple, we want a member from Burt county." So I harnessed up and took nine fellows with me from Iowa, and we started for the woods, and when we thought we had got far enough for Burt county we unpacked our ballot box, and held an election (in Washington county), canvassed the vote, and it was astonishing to observe how great was the unanimity at the first election held in Burt county.'" Purple had every vote and was declared duly elected.
   There were four candidates for the office



of delegate to Congress: Hadley D. Johnson of Council Bluffs -- but by proxy of Omaha City -- who, we have seen, had gone across the river to Bellevue in 1853, to be elected provisional delegate to Congress; Bird B. Chapman, just arrived from Elyria, Ohio, in search of a political career; Napoleon B. Giddings of Savannah, Missouri, who, it is alleged by contemporaries never even pretended citizenship in Nebraska; and Joseph Dyson, who strove to create a wave of public sentiment which should carry him



First delegate to Congress from the organized territory of Nebraska

into the coveted office by exploiting more advantageous land laws. The abstract of the vote illustrates the early sectional alignment of voters, and also the fact that it did no harm to a candidate in our border counties to hail from Missouri.
   To refute the charge that Judge Kinney was ineligible to the office of delegate to Congress because he was not a resident of the territory, the Nebraska City News calls attention to the fact that the organic act required only that a delegate should be a citizen of the United States. The News then makes the following statement as to the residence of Chapman and Giddings when they were candidates for the office in question:

    The "oldest inhabitants" of the territory will doubtless recollect that two delegates from this territory had no other qualification, N. B. Giddings, the first delegate, was a citizen of Missouri, and came into the territory only about two weeks before the election, and then brought no other property with him except a carpet-bag. Bird B. Chapman, the second representative of the territory, was at the time of his election a citizen of Elyria, Ohio. He never resided here at all. As far as citizenship here was concerned he had none; he represented us entirely on the strength of being a citizen of the United States.
   A contemporaneous account of the "Quincy colony" -- the first name of the settlement at Fontenelle -- incidentally explains the curiously solid vote of Dodge county for Abner W. Hollister; and at the same time illustrates the isolation of the various early settlements

   To the credit of the interesting colony their election was carried on without the aid of intoxicating drinks and hence the unanimity that prevailed. The good people of Fontenelle, not having heard of the withdrawal of Mr. Hollister from the canvas, voted for him as a representative of the interest which they are laboring to secure.
   Our Puritan editor characterized these colonists as "enlightened and influential men, and above all, men of high moral endowment." Governor Cuming gave this solid fourteen a representation in the legislature of one councilman and two members of the house. It may be doubted that our censor of the Palladium would have made his certificate of character quite so sweeping after two of the three members from Fontanelle had voted to locate the capital at Omaha. He was justified, however, to the extent that J. W. Richardson, the secretary of the colony, and who, we may assume, was representative of its peculiar virtue, voted against Omaha and so against his section.
   The editor of the first newspaper printed in Nebraska was temperamentally fitted for



feeling that he carried the full weight of responsibility for the task of properly laying the foundations of the new state. This is shown in his account of the coming and pathetic leaving of the first chief magistrate. The governor and his party arrived at Bellevue on the 6th of October.
   Governor Burt's Personal Appearance. His arrival was unheralded and unostentatious -- his dress, equipage, manner and appearance indicated a disposition to respect those fundamental principles of republican simplicity which constitute the groundwork, strength and beauty of our political and social system.
   The governor is apparently nearly fifty years of age -- a little above the medium height, well proportioned, simple and easy in his manners and expression. His countenance indicates the possession of those peculiar traits of character needed to secure the confidence and respect of the people who come to build up the institutions of liberty, harmony and Christianity upon this virgin soil, for so many ages past held in undisputed possession by its aboriginal owners -- the children of the forest.
   The governor was hospitably entertained by I. H. Bennet, Esq., of this place. The governor took lodgings at the office of the Indian Agency. 12

   The fact that the entertainer of the governor of the commonwealth was the blacksmith of the Omaha agency must have satisfied the editor's exacting democracy.
   A meeting of the citizens of which George W. Hollister was chairman and Stephen Decatur secretary, was convened, and Lieut. Hiram P. Downs, Isaiah H. Bennet, and Stephen Decatur were appointed a committee to tender the governor a hearty welcome The committee soon reported that the governor would be pleased to meet his friends on the following Monday. At the second meeting, on Monday, Abner W. Hollister reported that the governor was too ill to attend, whereupon Col. Joseph L. Sharp "of Iowa," Hiram P. Bennet, also "of Iowa," the Rev. William Hamilton, and Major George Hepner made appropriate speeches.
   The same issue of the Palladium gives this information:

    The governor reached Belleview in an enfeebled condition . . . . his complaint being a derangement of the bilious system. After his arrival his complaint continued to increase in malignancy, until it was thought advisable to call for medical aid. Accordingly a messenger was dispatched to Messrs. McMahon & Williams, of Bluff City, who immediately sent for Dr. A. B. Malcolm, an accomplished physician, connected with them in his profession . . . The governor is now convalescent and it is hoped will soon recover from his prostration



   On the 18th of October the Palladium announces that "the governor was slowly recovering from his prostration until the 12th instant when from improper annoyance from visitors, and perhaps unnecessary exposure of himself while in his enfeebled condition, his fever returned with an aspect sufficiently threatening to make it necessary to send for his physician." The public is assured that "the governor is comfortably situated at the Otoe and Omaha mission." On the 25th of October the Palladium gives an account of the governor's funeral. After the singing of an appropriate hymn Secre-

   12 Nebraska Palladium.



ary Cuming "evidently under the deepest emotions of grief," made some appropriate remarks, and he was followed by Chief Justice Ferguson and the Rev. William Hamilton, who conducted the services. On the 20th an escort started with the body "for burial at the family residence in South Carolina."
   Unappreciated Heroism. Thus were completed the preliminaries for lodging local civil government in a vast and unexplored region, upon a soil that had been untested by tillage, and in a climate untried as to healthfulness through permanent occupancy by civilized man. And now in the crucible of these conditions the courage and constructive capacity of the pioneers are to be put to test, and though never so severe it is not to find them wanting. Many, or most of them, had surrendered good homes and the associations of endearments of kindred and friends in other communities. The privations of frontier life were voluntarily sought only by men and women who had the courage, spirit, and ambition to give up agreeable environments in an old home for the purpose of founding a new one. From the days of the colonies in Virginia, New England, and New York, the best types of mankind, physically and mentally, and the strongest individuals of those types -- those gifted with self-reliance and inspired by the spirit of self-denial have penetrated new countries and opened them to the institutions of civilization. The dependent, the habitually gregarious, never strike out from parents, kindred, and the comfortable circumstances of settled social life to challenge the hardships of the wilderness. Only that civilization and those breeds of men capable of developing strong individuality and self-reliance can establish and maintain settlements remote from population centers. Self-reliance, self-control, and stability among savages are merely sporadic; consequently we find no traces of voluntary migrations for establishing permanent sovereignty and settlements by the Indians who preceded us upon these Plains. The strong characteristic of the pioneer is his ambition and zealous, enthusiastic work for tomorrow, his willingness cheerfully to endure hardships in the present that others may enjoy consummate satisfactions in future -- satisfactions which he himself may never experience. There were genuine heroes among the openers and testers of the vast crust of soil which stretched from the river to the mountains. They worked tirelessly, with intelligence and directness, to demonstrate the value of constant productivity. Already the great majority of that peaceful and heroic band who first planted these prairies have folded their tired arms and lain down to everlasting rest. The story of their humble lives, their useful labors, their sacrifices, and their achievements has perished with their generation, and will not be told. As their cabins have been replaced by the mansions of followers, and the smoke of their chimneys has faded away into unknown skies, so have they gone from sight and remembrance. But their successes, achieved in that primitive and frugal Past, are the foundations of all the industrial and commercial superstructures which our Present proudly enjoys. As we walk the streets of a thronged metropolis we look in wonder and with admiration upon the splendid triumphs of modern architecture. Magnificent palaces of industry, reaching into the clouds and embellished with all the symmetry and grace which skill and taste can evolve, attract and entrance the eye. But we seldom give a moment's thought to the broad and strong foundations laid and hidden deep in the earth, which, with unquaking and stupendous strength, uplift and sustain all. The citizen of this prosperous commonwealth today beholds the superstructure of a state, but very infrequently are the founders and the foundations upon which it is erected ever brought to mind. Desire and ambition for achievements, instead of vital gratitude and reverential memory, occupy the mind and absorb the energy of the present generation. The pioneers in their graves are recalled only now and then by some contemporary who, perchance lingering beyond his time, tells stories of their courage and of their character.

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