capital at Douglas, Lancaster county -- a purely imaginary place somewhere on the banks of Salt creek. The bill passed both house and council with proper majorities, but Governor Izard interposed a veto and the Omaha delegation was able to gather sufficient strength to prevent the passage over the veto. In the council Robert W. Furnas voted with Omaha, which prevented the necessary two-thirds majority. Finney of Nemaha was the only South Platte member of the house to vote with Omaha.
   The removal seemed clearly the will of the people, and, had there been untrammeled action, in all probability the name of the great democratic leader would have been perpetuated in the name of the capital; but through the inexorable and inevitable course of events, Abraham Lincoln succeeded his rival in national leadership, and his name became perpetuated in the capital city. The Nebraska City News, and other papers, bitterly assailed Finney and Furnas and charged them with recreancy and corruption. Mr. Furnas defended himself and his colleague with vehemence. He declared that he had always favored removal of the capital, but "upon an honest and fair plan." At the preceding session, just a year before, Mr. Finney, as chairman of the committee, made a report in which he was joined by J. Sterling Morton, unequivocally favoring removal of the capital to the same locality to which the bill he voted against in 1857 proposed to remove it.
   Bills chartering additional banks were passed by this legislature, but were all vetoed by the governor. Two of them -- for the Bank of Tekamah, and the Bank of De Soto -- were passed over the veto.
   Miller and Bradford of the council, and Seely, Hanscom, and Holloway of the house constituted a select committee to pass on parts three and four of the code which had been reported by the commissioners to the last or second assembly, near its commencement, but which, owing to lack of time, or of industry and care, had not been considered. Part three, relating to courts and their jurisdiction, was adopted, while part four, relating to crimes and their punishment, was again passed over without the assignment of any reason therefor. The explanation of this delinquency must be looked for in the closely related repeal of the criminal code and that part of the civil code adopted from Iowa, which measure was introduced in the council by Bradford as early as the 22d of January. The serious consideration, and perhaps even the original passage of this bill in both houses might have been excused or explained on the ground that members expected that these bungled laws would be substituted by better ones during the session. But the following veto message sent by the governor on the last day of the session and the subsequent action of both houses sweep away or preclude excuse or palliation for the shameless act:

SpacerExecutive Office, Omaha City,
To the Council: February 13, 1857.
   An act entitled "An act to repeal certain acts of the legislative assembly of Nebraska," passed at the first session of the said legislative assembly has been presented to me I for my approval.
   The bill proposes to repeal all of our criminal laws passed at the first session of the legislative assembly, and all that portion of our civil code adopted from the code of Iowa. This might be well enough if the bill itself proposed a substitute or if there was even a probability that a substitute would be passed at the present session of the legislative assembly; but in the absence of both I must be allowed to doubt the policy of sweeping away a very large majority of the laws now on the statute book, thus leaving us without any means to enforce the simplest civil rights without a resort to the common law. I therefore respectfully return the bill to the Council, the house in which it originated, for its reconsideration.

   Moreover, the repealing measure was brief, sweeping, and explicit, so that it must have been difficult for a reader or hearer of intelligence to miss its purport. The council promptly passed the repealing bill over the veto by a vote of 12 to 1, Dr. Miller voting the solitary no, and the house followed with a vote of 24 to 2. Mr. Furnas of the council gives an interesting but scarcely adequate account of this legislative rape. He first quotes the following explanation of the Nebraskian:

   Early in the session of our legislative as-



sembly, which has just closed, a bill was introduced in the Council by Mr. Bradford, the title of which, as we remember it, was "a bill for an act repealing certain acts of the legislative assembly of Nebraska, passed at the first session thereof." At that time legislation was "dragging its slow and weary length along," the capitol question was not then disposed of, and this bill was several days reaching even a second reading. Our impression is that the bill was read by its title only the first, second, and third time, in the Council; we are confident that no member of that body except its originator knew anything of the merits of the bill. It was, however, at length passed in the Council and transmitted to the House, from whence it was returned near the close of the session, and was in due time enrolled and presented to the governor for his signature.
   In the governor's hands the bill was scrutinized, and its character fully determined, which was nothing less than the repeal of all the criminal code of Nebraska and most of the civil code. Governor Izard of course could not sanction such an act as that, and on Friday last the bill was returned to the Council with his objections. Bradford winked and blinked "like a toad under a harrow" and with an appearance of candor well calculated to deceive, assured the Council that the governor was unnecessarily alarmed about the objects of the bill, that the repeal of our criminal code would only oblige us to have recourse to the common law, which was much better than the criminal code we had adopted. With these assurances from the dignified and truthtelling (?) judge, what did the Council do? Why they passed that bill over the governor's veto by a vote of twelve to one. Dr. Miller was the only man in that Council chamber who seemed to reflect what the consequence of his act might be.
   The bill had the same fate in the House, and passed by a decided majority, and to-day there are no laws in Nebraska except ferry and bank charters. We have good reason to believe that the true import of the bill was no better understood in the House than it was in the Council, hence the ease with which it was smuggled through that body. We hold the originator of such frauds responsible; and though we were at one time disposed to regard Mr. Bradford as an honest, conscientious man, we are now forced to the conclusion that he is the most dangerous and corrupt man there was in that body of reckless knaves. He knew the effect of the bill he was introducing, and we now know the objects he seeks to attain; the principal of which, we are informed, is to enable the murderer Hargus to escape the penalty of his crime. A man who can thus recklessly and wilfully (sic) break down every barrier that has been raised for the protection of society, for so criminal an object as that, should never be invested with the power of a legislator; he is almost as much to be feared as the murderer himself.
   We have heard Mr. Bradford, the president of the Council, and one or two other distinguished (perhaps notorious would be better) gentlemen chuckling over the passage of this infamous measure over the governor's veto, as the best thing done. We doubt not that the large majority by which it passed both Houses will be cited as a certain indication of the unpopularity of Governor Izard, and the light estimation in which he is held by the people. But if there is one act of his administration which will redound to his credit more than all others, if there is one act which will receive the approval of all virtuous men, it is the vetoing of that bill, which, by repealing all protective enactments, leaves the citizens of Nebraska a prey to lawless violence, without the hope of legal redress.
   Then follows the comment of Mr. Furnas:

    The above from the Nebraskian we publish in place of an article we intended to write upon the same subject. We think Mr. Robertson, however, rather sweeping in his expression, terming the whole Council a "body of knaves." He well knows -- as he was one of the clerks, and present when the bill was returned for reconsideration -- that its passage, was only secured by a betrayal of trust reposed in Judge Bradford as a legal man -- "as an honest and conscientious man" -- on the part of the balance of the Council. Even Dr. Miller himself stated in his place that he would vote for the bill "over the governor's veto" if the "honorable chairman of the judiciary committee" would assure him that it only repealed, as Mr. Bradford said, "conflicting portions of the criminal code." This assurance was given, with all apparent candor and honesty, and the bill passed by a vote as stated of 12 to 1, Dr. Miller fortunately voting as he did. Had Mr. Bradford secured the passage of this repealing bill by shrewdness, legal or parliamentary management, there might have been a shadow of allowance for him; but securing its passage as he did by downright falsehood, and abuse of confidence and respect reposed in him, he deserves to be held up to the public contempt of all well wishers of this territory.
   Such, unfortunately, are the character and the reputation of legislative bodies of the



present time that trying those of a generation ago by any high standard of morality or intelligence would be incongruous. And yet the act in question seems a mixture of inexplicable and unprecedented ignorance and immorality. It is true that the members of the legislature, most of whom were young and without training or experience, would naturally rely upon the representation of the longtime chairman of the committee for the final preparation of the code that the common law would take the place of the statutory criminal code on the repeal of the latter; but even before the governor's explicit warning they must have suspiciously questioned themselves touching the criminal code: "If so soon 'twas to be done for, what was it begun for?" And there were capable lawyers at hand who easily might have exposed Bradford's charlatanry to their doubting minds. Contemporaneous explanation of Bradford's motive for bringing about the repeal of the criminal laws is obviously insufficient, though it may be correct in part. James E. Lacy had "jumped" the west eighty of a quarter section claimed by Simpson Hargus lying just west of the present county court house at Nebraska City, and in an altercation over the matter Hargus killed Lacy with a shotgun on the 23d of April, 1856. Then, according to contemporaneous explanation and belief, A. A. Bradford conceived and successfully carried out the no less audacious than novel scheme to save his client Hargus, whose trial was pending, by repealing the criminal code. But there is some ground for a suspicion that the principal motive of Bradford and his co-conspirators was to provide immunity for the culprits of wildcat banking schemes, then in the heydey of their reckless career, and perhaps more reason for thinking that Bradford himself was ignorant of the effect of the repeal. The civil procedure prepared by the code commission was promptly passed on the last day of the session after the governor's veto of the repeal had been filed; so that the territory was not left, as the veto message recites, "with no means to enforce the simplest civil rights without a resort to the common law."
   Hargus was indicted for manslaughter by the grand jury and tried before Judge Black, who held, in a long and elaborate opinion, that he could be punished under the common law, and he was convicted; but at the December, 1858, term of the supreme court, a motion in arrest of the judgment of the district court was granted, the supreme court holding that "the statute providing for the punishment of the crime of manslaughter, which was in force at the time of the commission of the offense charged, was unconditionally repealed before the trial and judgment in the said district court," and Hargus was discharged. The administrator of Lacy brought suit for damages against Hargus, but the supreme court, in an opinion by Judge Wakeley, held that the repealing act took effect from its passage and repealed "absolutely and unconditionally, by a single section, both the civil and the criminal codes of the territory." The court further held that, although "on the 13th of February, 1857, the date of the repealing act, a new civil code was adopted in place of the one repealed, containing the identical provisions above quoted," yet because this second act did not take effect until the following June it did not reach back to cover the hiatus between the repeal and its passage; and so the civil case, too, failed.
   In accordance with a resolution passed by the council by a vote of 8 to 5, Bradford, Allen, and Miller were appointed a committee to investigate the official acts of Mr. Cuming, both as governor and secretary, and to report to the council at its next session. The reactionary or subservient spirit of the first house of representatives, which passed a bill to prevent free negroes from settling in the territory, appeared again when Singleton introduced a bill of like purport at the third session. In the meantime public intelligence or a healthier moral sentiment had been growing in the territory, for the second bill received little encouragement. On the last day of the session it was indefinitely postponed in the house without division,1 and was laid on the table by a vote of 10 to 3 in the council.2 Only

   1 House Journal, 3d ter. sess., p. 191.
   2 Council Journal, 3d ter. sess., p. 160.



three members of the council -- Bradford and Reeves of Otoe county and McDonald of Richardson and Pawnee -- were possessed with that quality of economic and moral infirmity which prompted them to stand by the even then moss-grown measure at the final test.
   The third legislature undertook to strengthen the revenue law, and raised the levy for territorial purposes from two mills to three mills, limited the levy for county purposes to not over six mills, and for schools between one-half of a mill and a mill and a half. Though under the law of 1856 county superintendents of schools were authorized to levy a tax not less than three nor more than five mills for the support of schools, yet, up to this time, the revenue for support of public schools had been confined virtually to taxes raised by the individual districts and to fines for breach of penal laws, and the proceeds of sales of water craft and of lost goods and estrays.3 The state superintendent complains in his report for the year 1856 that only two counties -- Dodge and Douglas -- have sent in reports, and in them the county superintendents had levied the maximum tax of five mills. He naively adds:

    I believe there are two other counties which have such school officers, viz: County superintendents of common schools, although I am not informed of the fact from a legal source, still there are undoubtedly such officers in the counties of Washington and Cass, unless by recent death or resignation their offices have become vacant.4
   This session ground out perhaps more than the usual grist of incorporations of cities and towns -- Omaha appearing as the City of Omaha instead of Omaha City, in the charter of this year-of colleges and ferries. A select committee, consisting of Geo. L. Miller, S. M. Kirkpatrick, and S. E. Rogers, reported a memorial to Congress -- which was adopted by both houses -- in the nature of a protest against proposed excessive grants of land to certain private corporations and companies in a bill then pending in Congress to aid in the construction of a Pacific railroad. The memorial, which is evidently in Dr. Miller's vigorous style, barring a degree of extravagance, is yet a true and prophetic forecast of events soon to follow. In later years protest against actual accomplishment of this prophecy became a familiar part of political platforms, national and state.
   The third legislature authorized the organization of three new counties, namely-, Cedar, L'eau-qui-court, and Sarpy, and all three were ready to vote at the ensuing general election -- in the fall of 1857. L'eau-qui-court is now comprised within the boundaries of Knox county. The legislature continues to represent the predatory, undomesticated spirit still dominant in the territory. This spirit neglects the duty of developing and perfecting a system of law, under which permanent domestic institutions might grow, but it is enterprising in the creation of unstable banks, in bestowing innumerable special corporate privileges, and in repealing criminal laws -- all, that exploitation and spoliation schemes of adventurers may be the more expeditiously and safely accomplished. Mere sectional jousts engage attention in both houses while the welfare of the commonwealth suffers. On the first of February Councilman Furnas bitterly complains: "It is a lamentable fact that legislation in which the people of the territory are interested is lost sight of amid the multitude of speculative operations for the benefit of individuals or companies, mostly, too, nonresidents of the territory . . . The session is now within eleven days of the close, and not a bill save the one relocating the capital has passed both houses. The wheels of legislation are blocked up in the council on the bank question, and in the house on the question of dividing Douglas county."
   After little more than half of his regular term had expired Governor Izard left the territory, apparently not intending to return. Official record is made of this incident: "Governor Mark W. Izard left the territory of Nebraska for Washington, Arkansas, etc., on the steamer Admiral, on the 2d day of June, 1857." William A. Richardson of Illinois had

   3 Governor's Message, House Journal, 3d ter. sess., p. 14.
   4 House Journal, 3d ter. sess., p. 28.



been appointed governor in May, 1857, but declined to accept the office.
   The De Soto Pilot of July 11th quotes the Bellevue Gazette of June 18th as follows: "With hat in hand we announce to the people of the territory that Mark W. Izard is peremptorily removed from the office of governor which he has so long disgraced." The Pilot then quotes a statement in the Chicago Times of July 25, 1857, that "Col. Richardson having declined the governorship of Nebraska, Governor Izard will return to the territory and resume his duties," and then twits Gen. L. L. Bowen for having spent two months in Washington at his own expense, "pressing on the part of the people the removal of Izard, authorized as he was by eight members of the council of which he is the presiding officer."
   On the 16th of July the Nebraska Advertiser states that, on account of Richardson's declination, "Governor Izard has been ordered back to resume his duties, and is now at his post in Omaha, where he will undoubtedly remain until the expiration of his term of office." It is probable that Governor Izard went to Washington with the expectation that he would be superseded, and that he came back to assume his official duties when it was found that Richardson was not willing to take his place.
   On the 30th of May Governor Izard issued his proclamation for the general election to be held on the first Monday in August. Five new counties were included in the legislative apportionment of this year: Cedar and L'eau-qui-court were placed in the Dakota representative district, Gage was included with Lancaster and Clay, and Johnson with Nemaha, while Sarpy was awarded four representatives. The apportionment of the thirty-five members was as follows: Burt and Cuming, 1, Cass, Clay, Lancaster, and Gage, 4, Cedar, Dakota, and L'eau-qui-court 2, Dodge and Platte 1, Douglas 8, Nemaha and Johnson 3, Otoe 6, Richardson and Pawnee 3, Sarpy 4, Washington 3. No changes had been made in the representation of the year before except that the four members from the southern district of Douglas now came from Sarpy. Those districts to which the new counties were attached received no increase of members. The interest in the election centered on the choice of delegate to Congress, but the usual sectional edge was wanting in this contest because four candidates appeared in the field -- B. B. Chapman and J. M. Thayer of Omaha, Judge Fenner Ferguson and B. P. Rankin of Sarpy county. Though all of the candidates resided north of the Platte, Ferguson represented more particularly the South Platte, and Chapman the North Platte faction. Chapman, Ferguson, and Rankin were certainly democrats, but J. Sterling Morton's quick eye professed seeing the virus of republicanism working a little in General Thayer at this early period. The Bellevue Gazette of July 9, 1857, notes that "J. M. Thayer announces himself an independent candidate for Congress; platform: 'The best interests of the whole territory of Nebraska'"; but in 1859, the year of the actual organization of the republican party in Nebraska, and when the metamorphosis of democratic politicians into republican politicians first gathered courage to openly manifest itself, the Nebraska City News remarks that "the general was exceedingly wrathy because in his run for Congress two years ago we alluded to him as a republican." The Advertiser nominated Mr. Rankin on the 18th of June, pressing his merits as "the poor man's friend," and as "a conciliator in those strifes which have rent and distracted the territory." Judge Ferguson was nominated by a delegate convention at Bellevue, July 14th. Chapman was bitterly assailed by the News and the Advertiser, personally and politically, and they charged that he had never voted in the territory and was not a bona fide resident. Not many months before the Advertiser had been the profuse eulogist of Chapman, and now that it was recreant that smart politician did not scruple to publish a letter to himself from Mr. Furnas, editor of the Advertiser, stating that one of the official positions in the newly created land-office at Brownville would not be unacceptable to him. In the meantime Chapman had filled the offices with other men. At the election Ferguson received 1,654 votes, Chapman 1,597, Rankin 1,304, and Thayer 1,288. The large vote for Ferguson in Otoe



and Sarpy counties saved him; and while Chapman had a heavy vote in Nemaha, Thayer ran nearly even with him in Douglas and thus caused his defeat. He of course contested the election at Washington, but without success, and his political career was ended. William W. Wyman was again elected treasurer; Samuel L. Campbell was elected auditor; John H. Kellom, librarian; and Charles Grant, attorney-general. 0. 0. Richardson was ill-requited for his faithful service in the first council by defeat as a candidate for attorney-general. Another prominent and worthy figure in Nebraska history, George W. Doane, makes his first public appearance through election to the office of district attorney of the third district; and two other well-known men, James G. Chapman of Douglas county and William McLennan of Otoe county, were elected attorneys of the first and second judicial districts respectively.
   Governor Izard left Nebraska for his home in Arkansas on the 28th of October, 1857, having previously resigned his office. A local newspaper, taking exceptions to a fulsome eulogy of the governor by another journal on the occasion of his departure, mildly hits off his character: "We consider him a good man -- an amiable and worthy citizen -- but not exclusively designed for a practical executive."
   In 1857 James C. Mitchell, the whilom capital commissioner, was publisher, and L. H. Lathrop, editor of the Florence Courier. The issue of March 12th of that year contains a scurrilous attack on Governor Izard. Mitchell no doubt knew the vulnerable spots of the governor's official character and record, and so, while the reckless severity of the accusation suggests a suspicion that the governor had thwarted some of the crafty commissioner's political schemes, yet it is likely that they contained at least the tincture of truth.
   A part of the Courier's arraignment follows:

    We want a man who will be governor of the whole territory, not one who (like the present incumbent) will so far pervert his mission as to set himself up as the governor of a particular city, holding the balance of the territory as mere outside dependencies, subservient and tributary to that particular locality. We want a governor with some snap to him, one who will occasionally visit the different sections of our territory, and endeavor to make himself acquainted with its position, its resources and its wants; not one like Mark W. Izard who will stick himself down in Omaha and confine himself to its limits month after month and year after year, idling away his time in the mere animal enjoyment of eating, drinking and sleeping, to the manifest neglect of the interests of those over whom he has been sent to preside; looked upon and pointed at by them as the very quintessence of ignorance, indolence and imbecility.

   Surely this was more than enough, but the article goes on to charge the governor with the downright sale of his approval or disapproval of bills, joint resolutions, and memorials, including bank and ferry charters.
   Governor Izard interposed three notable vetoes of legislative action. His obstruction of the will of a decided majority of the legislature to remove the capital in 1857, tried by the general principle involved, seems unwarranted. Yet on the whole it may have been prudent and for the best interests of the public; and at any rate, considering his environment and his temperament, this action was a matter of course. The veto of the bank bills and of the act repealing the criminal law was in point of duty and effect, at least, wholly to his credit. The accusation which found its way into the press, that his opposition to the bank bills was purchased by the existing banks to shut out more competition, should be regarded with consideration of the reckless charges against the public men of the territory which characterized that period. The Omaha Herald of October 19, 1866, in noticing a statement in the Helena (Arkansas) Clarion that Governor Izard died at his residence in St. Francis county on the 4th of October, 1866, remarks that, "when in Arkansas we heard of Governor Izard as having lost everything during the war."

    RICHARDSON SUCCEEDS IZARD. William A. Richardson of Illinois succeeded to the governorship, January 12, 1858, Secretary Cuming acting as governor in the interim.
   Governor Richardson was born in Kentucky in 1811; he secured his early education

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