come to the final parting of the ways in the national election of that year.
   Even the democratic organ of the North Platte presented the standard-bearer and the situation in this light:

    Mr. Morton, the nominee, is well, and we may add, very favorably known to Nebraska. He has been identified with the interests of the territory ever since its organization, and during the last two years has acquired no little celebrity as the faithful, efficient and untiring secretary of Nebraska. Endowed with fine talents and possessed of a liberal education, with a pleasing address, and those better qualities of the heart that draw around him hosts of friends, none can deny his fitness for the high position assigned him by his party. Probably no man in Nebraska is so cordially hated and feared by the small coterie of rascals that prowl around certain localities of this territory, as J. Sterling Morton. Daily and his coadjutors are particularly bitter against him. The members of that little cabal of spoils hunters, have made sundry and sweeping charges against him, as disbursing officer of Nebraska. The democracy of Nebraska have taken up the gauntlet thus thrown down by Daily and his toadies, and avow their confidence in the integrity of the man so grossly assailed. Mr. Morton, too, has always been known as an earnest friend to appropriations for the various purposes mentioned elsewhere in this paper. Daily is known to be as decidedly opposed to those appropriations. The issue is therefore made up, and the canvass may be regarded as begun.1

   Morton's home paper presented a picture of the man, and aimed to restrict the issues:

    Hon. J. Sterling Morton, democratic candidate for delegate in congress, is a pioneer squatter, having emigrated to the territory in 1854. His interests are all here. For six years his best energies, his time and his talents have been devoted to the development of the material interests and resources of Nebraska territory. His has been the strong arm and the sturdy hand of productive industry. It is instituting no invidious comparisons to say that probably no other man in the territory has done more for the fostering and development of our agricultural resources -- the importation of the best and choicest breeds and varieties of stock, &c., &c. . .
   Not only is Morton as an individual deeply interested in fostering the development of Nebraska and hastening in of the bright future that awaits her -- the platform of principles upon which he stands pledges him to use his utmost exertions as the delegate of the people of Nebraska, irrespective of party, to secure for the territory, not only all "needful appropriations," but certain special appropriations, which it is submitted Nebraska stands greatly in need of at this present time. These needful appropriations are specially mentioned in the platform of principles and measures of the democratic party of Nebraska.2

   The republican war cry in the campaign was raised against Morton for disregarding the election of Furnas as public printer, for the alleged frauds in the frontier counties in the election of 1859, and against the administration for the veto of the. homestead bill -- a dangerous question in Nebraska. The republicans also charged that the democrats were responsible for the sale of public lands which forced many of the squatters to pay for them. It was urged that "five per cent a month is the enormous rate of interest paid by hundreds of settlers in Nebraska" for money, "which they were forced to submit to or lose their lands," that Morton petitioned for the sale of the lands, and afterward refused to sign a remonstrance against it; that the enforcement of these sales at a time when settlers could not pay for their land ruined nine-tenths of them; and the bill of particulars specified that the books of the register of deeds of Nemaha, Richardson, and Pawnee counties showed that the enforced land sales had saddled a debt of $43,130 on Nemaha farmers secured by trust deeds on 27,340 acres and drawing interest from twenty-five to sixty per cent per annum; on Richardson county of $25,966,11, 15,102 (sic) acres, interest as above; on Pawnee county, $16,103, 6,985 (sic) acres, nine-tenths of this drawing sixty per cent, which must be forfeited; total $85,109.11, at an average rate of fifty per cent, making interest $42,595. To this charge the democrats answered, in plausible palliation, at least, that Judge Holly of Nebraska City, Richard Brown of Brownville, and James Craig of Missouri, all democrats, went to Washington at their own expense and secured the postponement of the sale of lands for a

   1 Omaha Nebraskian, August 18, 1860.
   2 Nebraska City News, August 25, 1860.



year. It would have taken almost indefinite postponement of the time for payment to avoid inconvenience or hardship, and these extravagant complaints were no doubt largely a partisan afterthought.
   Democrats themselves were vexatiously divided upon the slavery question. While most of them were against slavery it was asserted that Governor Black was a Breckenridge democrat, and that in his speeches in the campaign for Morton he advocated letting slavery into all territories and the admission of more slave states.
   The republican journals assailed Morton violently, and the completion at this time of the gradual change of the Advertiser from a democratic to a republican organ was a serious injury to his cause. Furnas had kept at the head of the editorial columns of the Advertiser, during the preceding eight months, the names of Douglas and Andrew Johnson of Tennessee -- the latter subsequently nominated for vice president on the ticket with Lincoln -- as his choice for president and vice president, but after the Charleston convention he withdrew this last pretense of democracy. He assailed Morton with virulence because he had refused to recognize him as public printer in 1858. Notwithstanding that Morton was then, as always afterward, too much devoted to his political opinions to sufficiently sacrifice or neglect them for success, his brightness and skill in discussion were already proverbial. "Morton is a pleasant looking, pleasant spoken man -- very cautious -- always spoke of his opponent as Samuel, or my friend Samuel -- would deal heavy blows sometimes, but always dealt them with a smile on his lips -- made some awful charges which he must have known were all moon-shine -- is as much superior to Estabrook, as the sun is superior to the moon."
   But Morton, with his college and urban breeding, was a shining mark for the bucolic wit, humor, and malice of his extreme frontier environment.

   Daily's abolition organ at Nemaha City charges Morton with a fine foppish air. As to Morton's fine foppish air we think it will be taken as a fine joke wherever he is known, and he is known pretty generally throughout the territory. We have seen Morton among his "Suffolks" when we thought he didn't present a very foppish air. We have seen him making fence, hauling posts, and the like (we believe he is not a rail splitter) when we have thought his air was very fine but not very foppish. Morton and his family presented rather a humid and humorous air, but not a very foppish one when, six years ago, they woke up of a morning in their log hut in Nebraska and found the snow on their bed to the depth of twelve inches.3

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   Member of territorial constitutional convention and credited with establishing the first Nebraska newspaper, the Advertiser, at Brownville.

   Daily's homely art and artfulness were put to powerful use, and the now thoroughly receptive anti-slavery sentiment in the Northwest lent peculiar force to his assaults on "this yer dimmicratic party" and his uncompromising and ultra-conservative opponent.
   In an agreement signed at Beatrice, on the 26th of September, the two candidates agreed to give up discussion at Austin, Clay county because "we are credibly informed that no audience exceeding six persons can be raised at that place."
   The territorial board of canvassers found

   3 Nebraska City News, September 8, 1860.



that of the 5,900 votes cast Morton received 2,957 and Daily 2,943, and they gave the certificate of election to Morton, but through the remarkable action of Governor Black, one of the canvassers, Morton's cup of victory was to be dashed from his very lips.
   There is contemporary statement that Buffalo county was unorganized in 1859 and that Butler, Calhoun, Cuming, Izard, Jones, Kearney, Monroe, and Saline counties were unorganized in 1860. As has already been indicated, the application of the term "organization" to these new counties was very indefinite and variable in its meaning. The table of election returns throws some light on their status.
   The republicans carried the council 8 to 5, and the house stood republicans 28, democrats 11. But the seat of Asa M. Acton, democrat of Richardson, was contested by E. J. Davenport, and both were excluded. There was a bitter partisan contest for the seat of councilman from Richardson county between Elmer S. Dundy and William C. Fleming. Thayer, republican, voted to oust Dundy, making the vote a tie; but the president of the council gave the casting vote for Dundy and saved him. The democratic organs, the News and the Nebraskian, attacked Dundy, the man as well as the politician, with a violence which is seldom indulged in by the most yellow journals of the present day. It was the case of the half-breed vote again, and it was alleged that Dundy, acting in the capacity of deputy county clerk, threw out the votes of white men living on the half-breed tract and gave himself the certificate of election; but the part of the charge that Dundy acted as clerk in his own behalf was not well founded. When Secretary Morton came to administer the oath to members of the council, Dundy refused to take it in vindictive and threatening language: "I have often been sworn but have never yet taken an oath. I desire to say to the secretary, that neither he nor any other man, can cram an oath down my throat, so help me God. It is an insult to which I will not submit, and Secretary Morton and his friends and admirers shall find that they cannot insult me with impunity."
    Dundy kept his word, as Morton was to realize soon in his congressional contest.
   The seventh general assembly convened December 3, 1860. William H. Taylor of Otoe county was chosen president of the council, and Henry W. De Puy of Washington county speaker of the house. Taylor had been a Douglas democrat as lately as two years before that time.
   The statute of 1856 provided that the governor should apportion the representation for both houses of the general assembly, and the statute of 1858 specifically apportioned the members of the house. The organic act made it the duty of the governor to apportion the membership of both houses of the first legislature and then provided that "thereafter . . . the apportioning representation in the several counties or districts to the council and house of representatives according to the number of qualified voters shall be prescribed by law." But the governor, presumably under color of the unrepealed part of the act of 1856, attached Johnson to Nemaha for a council district, and Cedar, Dixon, and L'eau-qui-court to Dakota for another council district. In attempting to trace enactments and account for acts of administration one is tempted to designate irregularity of procedure as the genius of those territorial times.
   The governor's message was practical, direct, and business-like, the best of his papers in this respect -- and its closing appeal, invoking a spirit of devotion to the Union and the Constitution, evinces so clear, deeply patriotic, and sympathetic a conception of the impending danger to both as to stamp him as much more than a stump speaker of rare skill. The messages of the two eloquent territorial governors, Cuming and Black, were given to rhetorical style, and both men loved perorations; but, considering the peculiar and doubtful economic conditions in Nebraska and the political cataclysm which then menaced the whole country, this closing prophecy and exhortation by the most graceful and engaging political orator of the territorial period, if not of the entire life of the commonwealth, was not out of place:

   I can not close this communication the



last regular message I shall have the honor to submit -- without uttering the voice of direct appeal to you in your own behalf and that of the people at large. Our internal affairs call for the exercise of wisdom, sound judgment, patience, and an honest purpose. These will not fail of producing prosperous results now, and permanent good in time to come. I believe today, and with no broken nor diminished confidence, in the wonderful capacity of Nebraska and in her ultimate and complete success. A soil so rich and prolific, a climate for most parts 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 decree of her prosperity deep in the earth, and develops His designs in the rejoicing harvests which return in smiling abundance to them who, betimes, have sown in tears. With an unfaltering trust it becomes us to believe, and to say that we believe that He will not suffer His own ordinances to fail, and the plain purposes of His own will to come short of completion.
   The relation of a territory to the general government is peculiar, and one, in many respects, of entire dependence. Without the aid and fostering care of the federal government the territorial condition, especially at the beginning, would be deplorable indeed, and the great object of ultimate hope, the admission into "the Union" as a sovereign state would be sadly distant and uncertain. The suggestion of self interest, and the loftiest patriotism should combine to make the people of the territories faithful to the constitution and firm in their attachment to "the Union." When one is the subject of open and frequent violation, and the other trembles on a sea of troubles, every good and conscientious citizen will ask himself the question, What can I do that my Country may be saved? You can not 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 towards bringing 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.

   The message and the reports of the auditor and treasurer repeat the familiar doleful financial refrain. The territorial debt has risen in five years to $52,960.37, with $30,259.10 of taxes remaining unpaid, and the public business is still done in depreciated and rapidly increasing warrants. The treasurer complains that "many of the organized counties. have failed to make any returns whatever, and some others only a small part of the amount assessed to them," and the auditor learns "that some counties in the southern part of the territory have taken it upon themselves to discard the levy of taxes made in 1859 by the

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Member of constitutional convention, former treasurer of Sarpy county, member of legislature, 1877, and receiver of United States land office.

territorial board of equalization, and have made a levy to suit their views." Of a levy on the several counties of $19,615.47, for 1859, only $4,813.36 had been paid. The message recommends the funding of the warrants, then worth only fifty or sixty cents on the dollar, into five or ten year bonds. It complains also that the territorial officers who receive fees are getting extravagant compensation. Exemption from taxation of a portion of individual holdings of land to encour-



age growth of trees is also recommended.
   Other conditions are set forth as follows:

    It is not to be denied that appropriations to this territory have been both indifferent and few. Legislative memorials have hitherto accomplished but little, and we have all become familiar with disappointment. They may not always fail, and if properly enforced, we are not without hope of their ultimate success. An appropriation for the building of a penitentiary is of immediate necessity. The completion of the capitol building is equally necessary and I will cheerfully coöperate with you in every endeavor that may be made to obtain from congress the required appropriations. Without a bridge over the Loup Fork, the government road up the Platte valley is but a work half done. This improvement is both a public and a military necessity; and not less required, but indeed a matter of fair and just demand is an appropriation for at least one military road from some suitable point on the Missouri river and south of the Platte to Fort Kearney. The question of gold in the western part of this territory and of Kansas, is no longer doubtful nor open to debate. The travel to and from the mines during the past season has been, as you are well aware, immense. The incoming year will show a large and material increase. The vast emigration has been attended with considerable sickness and suffering, and in many instances death has ensued from the lack of accommodations, nursing and care. The hospital attached to Fort Kearney is perhaps the only place on the whole route where those overtaken by sickness have any opportunity of being nursed and furnished with medical attendance. I have received the gratifying intelligence that the officers of that post, including those of the medical staff have done everything in their power to relieve the sick and mitigate their sufferings. Their means are necessarily limited and the accommodations small.
   The only political question of importance considered at this session was the bill abolishing slavery. In view of the liberal attitude of the democratic platform toward that subject, and the fact that the Douglas popular sovereignty element was in the ascendency, democratic members could not consistently oppose the prohibition measure, and it passed the council with only three members voting no, Belden, Bennett, and Little, and the house with only two opposing, Acton and Porter. The governor again vetoed the measure, giving the far-fetched reason for his objection that by the terms of the treaty of the Louisiana Purchase the prohibition could be legally made only after admission of the territory as a state, and further that the Dred Scott decision stood in its way. But since the decision, or the dictum, only decided that a law of Congress -- the Missouri Compromise -- prohibiting slavery in territory of the United States was unconstitutional, the question of the power of the local legislature in the premises was at least an open one. Both houses passed the bill over the veto, the council by the vote by which it had originally passed, and the house with the same number in opposition, but Downs taking the place of Acton, who had been unseated.
   In accordance with the governor's recommendation, acts were passed as follows: Fixing the annual rate of interest at ten per cent in the absence of agreement and a maximum of fifteen per cent by agreement, with a penalty of forfeiture of interest for violation of the law; a law providing for the refunding of outstanding warrants, which by the act of 1857 drew ten per cent interest, at seven per cent; reducing the fees of officers paid by that method, and the salaries of the territorial auditor and treasurer from the extravagant sum of $800 and $400 respectively to the munificent sum of $600 and $200. And to show beyond a peradventure that economy was rampant, the offices of territorial school commissioner and librarian were abolished and their duties imposed upon the auditor presumably to give that officer no time to grieve over his own reduced stipend. Another attempt was made to amend the revenue and school laws so that taxes might be collected. The manufacture of sugar was encouraged by a law requiring county treasurers to pay out of any money in their hands not otherwise appropriated five cents for each pound of merchantable sugar manufactured from cane raised within the county.
   Congress was memorialized to organize the already provisionally organized territory of Jefferson for the following reasons:

   Your memorialists, the legislative assembly of the territory of Nebraska, would most re-



spectfully represent to your honorable body that the people residing in the western portion of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, commonly known as the provisional territory of Jefferson, have, through their delegate to this assembly, expressed a desire to obtain a separate and distinct territorial organization, and your memorialists believe that the great distance intervening between the capital and the extreme western portion of this territory renders it impracticable to organize counties therein, and that a territorial organization is necessary to protect the lives and property of the people of that remote region.
   And your memorialists further represent that the gold mines of that region, are located in a portion of the territories of Kansas, Nebraska, Utah and New Mexico, which renders it expensive to the general government, and inconvenient and unsatisfactory to the inhabitants thereof to be represented in the legislatures of their respective territories.

   A somewhat reduced number of incorporation and other special acts were passed at this session.
   Still determined to get the public printing from the control of the democratic secretary, the republican majority, by a joint resolution, appointed Edward D. Webster, publisher of the Omaha Republican, and Alfred Matthias public printers. But Judge Wakeley decided that under the organic act Secretary Morton was the rightful custodian of this business, as he had insisted from the time he became secretary. In view of the pending change of the national administration, a fierce controversy was raging at this time for apportioning the honors and emoluments of the newly triumphant republicanism:

   The "irrepressible conflict" rages in the ranks of the republicans in this territory at a terrible rate. It is worse than the black tongue among the cattle in these parts, which in all conscience is bad enough. The leaders are fairly foaming and "slobbering at the mouth." Copperas and salt won't save them . . .
   It is a war of individuals and masses. The individuals, the aspirants for office, the Daily legislative clique are led by Taylor, Webster of Omaha, and some say Matthias of Nebraska City. We are induced to hope that the latter has not yet got his foot full in the trap. The masses are led by Thayer and Monell of Omaha, and, it is said, Mason, Cavins, and Irish of this city. The war was opened in the legislature by the attempt of Dictator Taylor to read out of the republican party the "Warhorse of Freedom," Gen. Thayer. The general wouldn't stay read out, and proved conclusively that Taylor was never fairly in the party. Thayer having fairly squelched Taylor, Webster of the Omaha Republican turns upon Thayer and attempts to prove that he (Thayer) has always been a democrat. This looks a little strange to us who have had many a tilt with the general while he was editing the Republican. We remember to have characterized that journal under his management as very black. When the moon turns into a great big head of green cabbage, and Thayer turns democrat, we'll inform our readers. For a faithful portrait of Webster the curious are respectfully referred to Thayer's letter to the public.

   The census of 1860 gives the population of the territory as 28,841 -- whites, 28,696; free colored, 67; slaves, 15; Indians, 63. Of this total, 1,761 whites and 4 Indians were in that portion of the territory north of latitude 40o and west of longitude 103o; and in that portion bounded on the north by latitude 42o, east by longitude 101o 30', south by latitude 40o and west by longitude 103o. Of the fifteen slaves, 10 were in Otoe and 5 in Kearney county. Of the counties, Douglas led with 4,305, next came Otoe, slightly below her rival, with 4,194; then Cass, 3,369; Nemaha, 3,097; Richardson, 2,834; Washington, 1,249; Sarpy, 1,199. None of the other counties reached a thousand. But Nebraska City still had the satisfaction, no doubt keen enough, of out-ranking Omaha with 1,922 against 1,883, Bellevue coming next and showing astonishing vitality with 929. No other town in the territory reached 500. The population found west of longitude 103o and latitude 40o, amounting to 1,765, were mainly in the new gold mine region at the base of the Rocky mountains, and now a part of Colorado.
   The political event of the summer of 1861 was the biennial contest for the seat in Congress, of more than usual interest this time on account of the unusual circumstances in which it arose and the ability and prominence of the men which Morton's brilliant qualities had attracted to his side. W. A. Richardson

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