Letter/IconHERE was little diversion in the territory during the year 1855, from the time of adjournment of the first legislature, except the small politics of the aspirants for the offices to be filled at the fall elections. The dreams of Mr. Henn and others of the organizers about a rapid increase of population had not come true.
   The first, or Cuming census, furnishes no data for comparison -- except to illustrate its unreliability. By that census the first district, which comprised substantially the counties of Pawnee and Richardson, was credited with a population of 851. After the lapse of a year, during which there was some immigration, these two counties yielded only 441 people to the census of 1855. On the other hand, while the counties of Forney and Pierce in 1854 had but 614 people, in 1855 their successors, Nemaha and Otoe, had respectively 604 and 1,188. Otoe no doubt felt plenary satisfaction in so decisively outstripping Douglas, her rival of the North Platte. But the active colonizing on the part of both slavery and anti-slavery interests diverted most of the immigration to Kansas, which as early as February, 1855, boasted a population, such as it was, of 8,601.
   Under the act of the first legislature the governor appointed Charles B. Smith as territorial auditor, B. P. Rankin, territorial treasurer, and James S. Izard,1 librarian. Minor officers for the several counties were also appointed by the governor, and the terms of all these officers continued until their successors were elected in November, 1855. On the 15th of October, 1855, Governor Izard issued a proclamation announcing that an election would be held on the first Tuesday in November of the year named to choose a delegate to Congress, a territorial auditor, treasurer, and librarian, twenty-six members of the lower house of the general assembly, and in the several counties a probate judge, sheriff, county register, county treasurer, and county surveyor; and each precinct should elect two justices of the peace and two constables.
   A district attorney for each judicial district of the territory was to be elected also. The first district embraced all the counties south of the Platte river; the second the counties of Douglas and Washington; the third the counties of Burt, Dakota, and Dodge.

    THE SECOND LEGISLATURE. The legislature had left the task of making the apportionment of the members to the governor, and he established the representative districts as follows: Burt and Washington, jointly, 1; Cass, 3; Cass and Otoe, 1; Dodge, 1; Douglas, 8; Nemaha, 2; Nemaha and Richardson, 1; Otoe, 6; Pawnee and Richardson, 1; Richardson, 1; Washington, 1. The act of 1855 provided that the number of members of the house should not exceed twenty-nine; but the governor did not see fit to change it from the original twenty-six. Pawnee was the only one of the sixteen new counties, whose organization had been authorized by the first legislature, to take advantage of the act and become entitled to representation. The proclamation also called for the election of three members of the council to fill vacancies; and Samuel M. Kirkpatrick was chosen in place of Nuckolls of Cass county, who had resigned; John Evans in place of Dr. Munson H. Clark of Dodge

   1 James S. Izard was private secretary to his father, Mark W. Izard, during the latter's term as governor. He acquired considerable property in Omaha, but left the territory about the time that his father did. He died, some years ago, in Forest City, Arkansas.



county, deceased; and Allen A. Bradford in place of Hiram P. Bennet, who resigned for the purpose of becoming a candidate for delegate to Congress. The hold-over members were Dr. Henry Bradford of Otoe, formerly Pierce; Richard Brown of Nemaha, formerly Forney; Charles H. Cowles of Otoe; Benjamin R. Folsom of Burt; Taylor G. Goodwill, Alfred D. Jones, Origen D. Richardson, and Samuel E. Rogers of Douglas; Joseph L. Sharp of Richardson; and James C. Mitchell of Washington.
   The members of the house were John F. Buck, John McF. Hagood, and William Laird of Cass county; Thomas Gibson of Dodge; Leavitt L. Bowen, William Clancy, Alexander Davis, Levi Harsh, William Larimer, Jr., William E. Moore, George L. Miller, and Alonzo F. Salisbury of Douglas; William A. Finney and Samuel A. Chambers of Nemaha; John Boulware, Dr. John C. Campbell, James H. Decker, William B. Hail, J. Sterling Morton, and Mastin W. Riden of Otoe; Amazial M. Rose of Otoe and Cass jointly; Abel D. Kirk of Richardson; Dr. Jerome Hoover of Richardson and Nemaha jointly; Charles McDonald of Richardson and Pawnee jointly; Potter C. Sullivan of Washington; and William B. Beck of Washington and Burt jointly.
   Comparing this second apportionment with the first we find that the audacious stuffing of the North Platte counties of Burt, Dodge, and Washington by the deft hands of Governor Cuming is acknowledged by his successor; for in place of her two full representatives allowed by Cuming, Burt is now tacked to Washington to divide one with that county, which in turn is reduced from two members to one and a half. Dodge is cut down from two to one. Cass county retains its three members and divides another with Otoe, which has six of its own -- a gain of one. Douglas holds to its original eight. But since Governor Izard's census awards a population of 712 to Cass, 1,028 to Douglas, 1,188 to Otoe, and 604 to Nemaha, the principle of Governor Izard's apportionment is still past finding out. The rights of Cass, Otoe, and Nemaha are shamefully abused to the profit of Douglas. Councilman Sharp's very keen appreciation of the responsibilities of a pioneer census taker in 1854, in the case of Richardson county in 1855, to be at all presentable, had to be discounted at about forty per cent of its face value; though with a population of only 299 that county still held on to one representative and shared two others with Nemaha and Pawnee respectively. It has been pointed out that in an addendum to his census returns Mr. Sharp admitted that the number of voters in Richardson county, excluding the half-breed tract, should be reduced from 236 -- his census figures -- to about 100.
   Beck, the joint member for Burt and Washington, lived at Tekamah, Burt county; Rose, the member for Cass and Otoe, lived at Nebraska City, Otoe county; Hoover, member for Richardson and Nemaha, lived at Nemaha City, Nemaha county; and McDonald, member for Richardson and Pawnee, lived in Pawnee county. So that in the popular adjustment of the apportionment Burt and Washington in fact shared alike with one member each; Cass retained her original three; and Otoe gained two, making seven in all; Nemaha gained one, making three in all; and Richardson retained her original number -- two.
   With thirty-four arid four-tenths per cent of the population the North Platte is awarded forty-two and three-tenths per cent of the representatives. The hold-over council, with fifty-four per cent of its members from the North Platte, presents even a worse travesty of decency and justice. In view of such a piece of his handiwork as this the impartial judge must demur to the modest disclaimer of Governor Izard's home paper (the Helena, Arkansas, Star) that he was "not endowed with shining talents," and must also question its ascription to the governor of the compensatory virtue of probity.
   The second legislature convened at Omaha, Tuesday, December 18, 1855, at 10 o'clock in the morning. The temporary officers of the council were Origen D. Richardson, president; John W. Pattison, chief clerk; Lyman Richardson, assistant clerk; Samuel A. Lewis, sergeant-at-arms; and Niles R. Folsom, doorkeeper. The regular organization consisted of Benjamin R. Folsom, president; Erastus



G. McNeely, chief clerk; M. B. Case, assistant clerk; Charles W. Pierce, sergeant-at-arms; Henry Springer, doorkeeper; Le Grand Goodwill, page.
   The house was organized by the election of the following temporary officers: Speaker, William Larimer, Jr., of Douglas county; chief clerk, Joseph W. Paddock; assistant clerk, H. C. Anderson; sergeant-at-arms, A. S. Bishop; doorkeeper, Ewing S. Sharp; fireman, Patrick Donahue. In the permanent organization Potter C. Sullivan of Washington county was elected speaker, his principal opponent being Abel D. Kirk of Richardson county. Isaac L. Gibbs was elected chief clerk; H. C. Anderson, assistant clerk; A. S. Bishop, sergeant-at-arms; E. B. Chinn, doorkeeper; and Rev. Henry M. Giltner, chaplain.
   From the council we miss Hiram P. Bennet, a prominent leader, Dr. Clark, cut off by death from a career whose beginning gave promise of future activity and influence, and Nuckolls, whose name was and is well known. From the house we miss a prominent figure -- Poppleton -- but in his place we have Dr. George L. Miller, and from Otoe county, J. Sterling Morton -- two names destined to be linked together in the political activity and the general progress of the commonwealth for some forty years, and until they should become familiar to the popular ear through all its borders.
   Richardson and Nemaha counties each attempted to appropriate the joint representative to its individual use. Henry Abrams was the candidate of Richardson county, and he received 76 votes, while his opponent, Dr. Jerome Hoover of Nemaha county, received only 13. But Nemaha outstripped her rival in local patriotism by giving Hoover 117 votes and Abrams a blank. The law required that the register of the senior county should give a certificate of election to the candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the entire district. But in those strenuous times local interest was seldom backed by the majesty or mandate of the law, and the register of Richardson county gave Abrams, the minority candidate, a certificate on which he could base a contest. But the committee on privileges and elections, and subsequently the house itself, decided against Abrams, and Nemaha gained the seat.
   Richardson county sent Thomas R. Hare to contest for a seat in the house on the ground that a part of the territory conceded to the half-breed tract belonged to her, and entitled her to another representative. But the committee on privileges and elections reported against Hare on the law and the facts -- that the house could not properly go behind the governor's apportionment for twenty-six mem-

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Speaker of the house of the second territorial assembly of Nebraska

bers and increase the number, and, further, that no proof of the contention of Hare as to the right to include any part of the half-breed tract had been made, and that, if all that was contended for in this respect were conceded, the county would still fall short of voters entitling her to another representative. This report was laid on the table, and the matter was referred to a special committee. Four of the five members of the special committee -- Campbell, Bowen, Hagood, and Morton -- three of them from the South Platte and the



other, Bowen of Bellevue, constructively so stated Hare's case as follows:

   Your committee to whom was referred the memorial of Thomas R. Hare, asking for a seat in this body on equal footing with other members, beg leave to report that after mature deliberation they have come to the conclusion that said memorialist has a right to a seat in this body.
   Your committee would further report that they come to the above conclusion from the following reasons.
   1st. That Pawnee county was not organized at the time of apportionment, and consequently should have been considered in Richardson county, as the law specifies, for election purposes.
   2nd. That Richardson and Pawnee together contained, according to the census returns, one hundred and ninety-three voters, but fifty of those were returned as living on the half-breed tract, but since the census has been taken the half-breed tract has been run out, and the true boundary on the west fixed, which shows conclusively that there are only 23 voters on the half-breed tract which, taken from 193, leaves 170 legal voters in Richardson county. Taking then 56 as the basis of representation, Richardson county is entitled to three representatives.
   Your committee would further report that the law providing for taking the census and apportioning the representatives, in section four, provides that the whole number of members of the house of representatives shall not exceed twenty-nine for the next session, and that it would be doing no injustice to the balance of this territory to give to Richardson county her full representation on this floor, since it comes within the bounds prescribed by law.
   All of which your committee would respectfully submit and recommend.

   A resolution that Mr. Hare be admitted to a seat as joint representative from Richardson and Pawnee counties was carried on the 26th of December by a vote of 13 to 11. Four North Platte members, Gibson of Dodge, Larimer of Douglas, Bowen of Bellevue, and Sullivan of Washington, voted aye, and four South Platte members voted no. On the 10th of January the council sent a communication to the house which contended that by the organic law the number of members of the legislature could be increased only by the act of both houses, and that therefore Hare was not a legal member of the house. The house replied with a short and snappy resolution reciting that it was the judge of the qualifications of its own members, and suggesting that the upper body had better be about its own business. But Hare evidently was not made of staying stuff, for on the same day he resigned "to effectually put down this disorganizing spirit and not from any conviction of my not being entitled to my seat."
   On the morning of December 19th the governor delivered his message to the two houses in joint session in the hall of the house. We may overlook the painful prolixity of this document, and even with propriety give place to its length on account of its painstaking review of the general social conditions of the territory after a year's experience under the harness of formal organization. The message is such a paper as might be expected of a man of such antecedents and qualities as are attributed to him in the following "send-off" by the Helena (Arkansas) Star:

   We were honored on Monday last with a visit at our office from Hon. Mark W. Izard, governor of Nebraska, and his private secretary, James S. Izard, Esq. They were here waiting . . . for a boat, to take passage for their new field of labor. The appointment of Colonel Izard to the governorship of Nebraska territory is one among the very best appointments that have been made during the administration of President Pierce. He was for almost a quarter of a century a member of one or the other branches of the Arkansas legislature, and during the period of his long and valuable services in that body he served at different times as speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate; and in all the many honorable and responsible stations to which he has been called, be has. discharged his duty usefully and successfully, and although a minister of the gospel, active in every cause of religion and benevolence, remarkable for his exemplary life and fervent piety, yet he has been all the time an active partisan, and has done more, and sacrificed more for the democratic party --the party to which he has been warmly attached -- than perhaps any man in Arkansas. Not endowed with shining talents, though of excellent sense, his career furnishes a remarkable instance of the deserved success of probity, fidelity, industry, gentlemanly bearing and inflexible honor; and our sincere wish is that he may yet live



to see Nebraska a state, and highest honors his.

   While the message clearly confirms the Star's estimate that the governor was "not endowed with shining talents" and possibly leaves open the question of "excellent sense," yet, regarded as a contemporaneous view of conditions and an authoritative statement of facts, it is interesting and valuable history. Its preaching proclivities may perchance be suggestive of the more pretentious national executive messages just now in vogue, and it seems charitable to point out this mutual sanction of which both stand so much in need.
   The governor's picture of the industrial development of the territory was mainly fanciful and gratuitous. For many years after this time progress was chiefly speculative -- hoping instead of doing. Until 1861 the inhabitants were virtually non-producers. And industrial development was very limited until the coming of the railways encouraged it -- or in fact made it practicable.
   The report of the territorial auditor to the legislature showed a bad financial beginning. The levy of a tax of two mills on the total assessed valuation of $617,882 would have yielded an insufficient territorial revenue at best; but the auditor was obliged to report that, as not a single county treasurer had settled his accounts with the territory, he had no means of knowing how much had been collected, and he had been obliged to draw warrants to meet expenses to the amount of $1,971.20, with about $1,000 of the last year's appropriations still to meet. The warrants covered incidental legislative expenses, which the federal treasury did not recognize, amounting to $1,454.70, and the salaries of the auditor, treasurer, and librarian in the Munificent sum of $516.50. The valuation of the counties was as follows:



$ 13,006
















   Hadley D. Johnson was elected public printer by the two houses, and an attempt was made to choose a joint chaplain also, but the houses could not agree, and Rev. Henry M. Giltner was chosen by the house and Rev.. William Bates by the council.
   On the 26th of December, O. D. Richardson, J. L. Sharp, and J. D. N. Thompson, of the committee appointed at the previous session to prepare a code, reported that Mr. Poppleton had resigned from the committee, and that since they "could avail themselves of but a very limited number of the revised codes of the different states on account of their scarcity in this region, and as the territorial library has not yet arrived" but few books were within their reach. Still, though their work. had been laborious, it was nearly completed. It would consist of four parts, two of which were now reported and the other two, relating to courts and to crimes, would be ready within a week.
   The two houses appointed a committee to examine the work of the code commission, consisting of A. A. Bradford, A. D. Jones, and S. M. Kirkpatrick of the council, and Bowen, Riden, Finney, Miller, and Moore of the house, with Bradford for chairman. This committee reported the work of the commission, with such amendments as they saw fit to make, to the council, and most of the first two parts was finally adopted by both houses, the remainder going-over, without consideration, to the next legislature. Those parts of the code adopted by the first legislature, relating to courts and their jurisdiction and to crimes and their punishment, crude as they were, remained in force until the third legislature provided a substitute for the first and repealed the second, leaving the territory for a time entirely without criminal law.
   The new law provided that the general assembly should thereafter meet on the first Monday in January of each year, instead of the first Tuesday of December as fixed by the law of 1855. The census act of March 16, 1855, provided also that annual elections should be held on the first Monday in August, except the first election, which should be held

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