try and his home to come promptly forward to sustain and protect the same.
   Done at Omaha, this 18th day of May, A. D. 1861.

    It was thought improbable that troops would be ordered from this sparsely settled, unprotected frontier for active service in the East, especially when there were thousands of men already refused by the government; but it was deemed probable that the design was to garrison the forts from which the United States troops had been withdrawn. "This territory cannot well spare 1,000 troops, coming as they would from the productive classes, mechanics and men who work for a living." The still straitened condition of territorial affairs is reflected by a "military gentleman" thus:

    Our military organization is a most difficult question. Were there now a sudden emergency demanding the transportation of a few hundred men any material distance north, south or west, I do not believe that we could procure on the credit of the territory the horses, wagons, provisions and ammunition that would be necessary for the purpose, much less to supply them for many days in the field.
   So heavy are our taxes pressing upon the people that I do not suppose that anyone would for a moment contemplate increasing them; while to effect anything for military purposes would be to demand a very large increase.
   We cannot anticipate our future resources. A very slight increase of our debt would prostrate our credit utterly; our territorial warrants would be worthless, and bonds could not be sold, I fear, at any price.
   The present harvest has just shown us that there are scarcely hands enough, even with the aid of machinery, to secure our crops. Yet if we can do anything it will be to spare the men, provided their families are supported in other words that they are paid. . .
   If the U. S. Government would arm, equip, subsist and pay a proper number of men to be placed, say 300 at Fort Kearney to move along our frontier, 100 at Brownville or some point in that vicinity, and 100 up toward L'Eau Qui Court, they would constitute a sufficient guard for the present, and with an efficient organization of our militia could be re-enforced, whenever required.
   But the U. S. must foot the bill -- we are, I conceive, utterly unable to do it.5

   The anxieties and terrors of the Civil war for a time subdued the petty feelings and strifes of partisanship, and it was announced that "the republican and democratic central committees which recently convened at Omaha, after full consideration very wisely determined upon the inexpediency of drawing party lines this fall." There was a prevailing sentiment that there were no party questions, only the question of loyalty or disloyalty to the Union. William E. Harvey, a democrat, was elected auditor over Stephen D. Bangs, a republican, and Augustus Kountze was elected treasurer without opposition. The call to arms made many vacancies in the council, and William F. Sapp of Douglas county was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John M. Thayer; C. Blanchard of Sarpy, in place of Silas A. Strickland; John McPherson from Nemaha and Johnson, in place of Thomas W. Tipton, and Samuel M. Kirkpatrick from Cass, Dodge, and Otoe, in place of Samuel H. Elbert. The other nine members held over from the previous session.
   The eighth session of the general assembly opened December 2, 1861. John Taffe, republican, of Dakota county, was chosen president of the council, receiving seven votes, his democratic opponent, David D. Belden of Douglas, receiving four votes. Robert W. Furnas of Nemaha county was elected chief clerk. Party lines were not drawn in the choice of speaker of the house, and Alfred D. Jones of Douglas county, was chosen on the sixth ballot, receiving thirty-one votes against five for Milton W. Reynolds of Otoe and one for Barnabas Bates of Dakota. George L. Seybolt of Cass county was elected chief clerk. Among the names of other officers of the house familiar to present citizens of Nebraska are those of Isham Reavis of Richardson, enrolling clerk, and Joseph J. Imhoff of Otoe county, fireman. Turner M. Marquett was the youngest member of the council and Robert M. Hagaman, who, as county clerk of L'eau-qui-court county, laid the foundation for keeping J. Sterling Morton out of the Congress of the United States by rejecting the

   5 Nebraska Advertiser, October 3, 1861.



election returns from the northern precinct of that county in 1860, was, it was said, the youngest and also the handsomest member of the house. John Taffe of Dakota county, president of the council, and subsequently delegate to Congress, and an Omaha journalist, was a native of Indiana and thirty-three years of age. "While there was at least an equal amount of assembled talent; a greater degree of sobriety and 'good looks'; more sociability and general good feeling . . . we are constrained to assert that we witnessed at no previous session such an exhibition and exercise of downright contrariness."" For the first time in the history of the territory the republicans were in the saddle in both the executive and legislative departments. And such were the impetus and the inertia of the Union sentiment and the cohesive power of the passions and spoils of war, that, no matter what the shortcomings or the trespasses of this war party, it could not be unhorsed for a quarter of a century to come.
   Governor Saunders in his message reiterated the oft-told tale of the providential preparation of the Platte valley for a railway to the Pacific, and added that "the intelligent and far-seeing telegraph company have made this discovery already, and have located their Pacific line and staked out the very route where they expect soon to be followed by this great highway of commerce." He states that the valuable salt springs of Saline and Lancaster counties, with the adjacent lands, have been reserved from sale by the general government, and recommends that Congress be memorialized to place these lands under the control of the legislature, or that Congress pass some law authorizing the springs to be worked under the control of the government. He states further that the secretary of the interior has recently decided that school lands may be leased for the support of the public schools, and advises legislation to that end, in case the legislature is of the opinion that a revenue might be derived from them. It appears from the report of the auditor that the indebtedness of the territory has now reached $50,342.98, represented by $16,000 in bonds and $34,342.98 in warrants. The governor points out that the capitol is still uncompleted and that neither legislative hall is ready for use, and recommends that the legislature ask Congress for an appropriation sufficient to fit the legislative halls for occupancy. The governor informs the legislature that "experience has shown that an agricultural community cannot prosper without a safe medium of exchange," and without stopping to elucidate the rather remarkable economic implica-

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Pioneer of Sarpy county, secretary of state, and acting governor of Nebraska

tion that other than agricultural communities might thrive on an unsafe medium of exchange, he soundly advises that "nothing but gold and silver, and the paper of well-guarded and strictly specie-paying banks should be tolerated," -- in an agricultural community.
   The auditor points out that because warrants draw ten per cent interest and bonds only seven, many prefer the warrants; and

   6 Nebraska Advertiser, January 23, 1862.



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[NOTE -- J. P. Becker was an early Nebraska miller in Colfax county]



yet the latter are worth only thirty-five or forty cents on the dollar. This officer reminds the legislature that he has often urged the passing of regular appropriation bills specifying certain sums for particular purposes, and he again presses his recommendation so as to form some check upon the issue of warrants.
   The legislation of this session consisted of sundry amendments to the codes and to other general laws. The other enactments comprised the repeal of that part of the refunding law limiting its application to warrants presented on or before December 1, 1861; an act assigning the new republican judges appointed by President Lincoln to the several districts -- Chief Justice William Pitt Kellogg to the first, Associate Justice Streeter to the second, and Associate Justice Lockwood to the third; an act providing that property to the value of one hundred dollars belonging to any person who should maintain an acre of grapes in a good state of cultivation and in a single tract, should be exempt from taxation, and for an exemption of a valuation of fifty dollars for each additional acre of grapes; an act attaching all territory lying west of the first guide meridian to the first judicial district; an act to encourage the growth of wool; and an act to resurvey the saline lands in Lancaster county. The law to encourage the growth of sheep was as follows: "All sheep not to exceed five hundred in number are hereby exempted from forced sale on execution and taxation." How this gracious concession was to be distributed among the various sheep owners if there should happen to be more than five hundred of the favored animals in the territory is left to conjecture after the fashion of so much of the territorial legislation. The preamble of the law for the resurvey of saline lands recited that "certain lands in the southern portion of Lancaster county, known to be the richest saline lands perhaps in the world, have been entered at the United States land office in Nebraska City by private individuals by virtue of a conspiracy with the United States surveyor," and that the general land office had recalled the patents for these lands and ordered an investigation.
   The counties of Buffalo, Hall, Kearney, and Lincoln were constituted a new representative district; the territory known as Jones county was attached to Gage for the purpose of taxation. The name of Green county was changed to Seward, and Calhoun to Saunders. The first organization of Holt county was legalized and also the acts of the county commissioners of Platte and L'eau-qui-court in 1861. Gage and Jones counties were attached to the council district of Richardson and Pawnee, and that part of Polk county north of the Platte river was joined to Platte county for election, judicial, and revenue purposes.
   Two sets of resolutions favoring the prosecution of the war for the Union were adopted by the house on motion of Reynolds, democrat, of Otoe county. A joint resolution was adopted requesting the secretary of war to station two companies of federal soldiers on the Missouri border to protect loyal citizens from depredations of "secessionists and traitors in Missouri, and of those residing in their own midst." During the months of January and February, 1862, great excitement was caused in the southeastern counties by lawless acts of jayhawkers. Though there was an inclination in the North Platte section to belittle these disturbances, Governor Saunders issued the following proclamation:

    Whereas, It has been represented by many good and loyal citizens of this territory, that lawless bands of armed men, styling themselves "Jayhawkers," are committing depredations in the southern portion of the territory -- stealing horses, robbing stores and houses, and threatening the lives of many of our citizens.
   Now therefore, I, Alvin Saunders, governor of the territory of Nebraska, do hereby command all bands or companies of men, leagued together. for the purpose aforesaid, or for other unlawful purposes, within this territory, to immediately disband and return to their homes, or at least to leave the territory; and in case they, or any other parties are hereafter found within the limits of the territory engaged in acts of robbery, or in any way disturbing the peace of our citizens, all the powers of the territory both civil and military, will be brought to bear against them, and if taken such severe punishment as justice de-



mands will be executed without fear or favor. Given under my hand and the great seal of the territory, at Omaha, this 2d day of January, A. D. 1862.
   By the governor,
Algernon S. Paddock,
     Secretary of the territory.

   The press was crowded with communications discussing the subject, which show that the settlers were between the fires of alleged union, as well as secessionist lawbreakers. A part of one of these communications reveals the conditions:

    Pawnee says we are between two fires -- that of secessionists and union jayhawkers! Well, I think we can stand all such fires. We are able to put down jayhawking, and if Secesh shows his head on this side of the river, we will put him down too . . . I would inform Pawnee that those self-styled union jayhawkers have deceived a great many good people. They have made them believe that they were only stealing from rebels, which is not the fact.
   A league of citizens was formed at Nebraska City for protection against these marauders, and over two hundred citizens, members of the league and divided between the two political parties, signed the following oath:

    I solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the United States, and support and sustain the constitution and laws thereof, that I will maintain the national sovereignty, paramount to that of all states, county or confederate powers, that I will discourage, discountenance, and forever oppose secession, rebellion and disintegration of the federal union, that I disdain and denounce all faith and fellowship with the so-called confederate armies, and pledge my honor, my property and my life to the sacred performance of this my solemn oath of allegiance to the government of the United States of America. We further pledge our lives, our property and our honor, to protect each and every member of this league in person and property, from all lawless marauders.
   Two alleged jayhawkers, arrested in Johnson county, were brought to Nebraska City, where one was shoved under the ice of the frozen Missouri river, and the other was released and then followed and shot dead. The local journal virtuously denounces these acts as murders and then virtually upholds them in the following whimsical style:

    Catch a jayhawker or anybody else in the act of stealing your horse, shoot or hang him with all convenient dispatch; but don't do it unless you are sure, beyond peradventure of a doubt; your own or the belief of any other man, is not sufficient warrant to take the life in punishment of any person, no matter how much against him public opinion or appearances may be. Every scoundrel has a right to his life, until well-known and proven facts show that he deserves to lose it. And then, if life is to be taken, let it be done openly, in daylight, by some one having authority -- a committee appointed by a public meeting. Executioners so authorized, and doing such a duty, need not be troubled about their responsibility -- for that rests with the people -- and if the people, in pursuing such a course, act dispassionately and upon direct proof, they will be able to bear the brunt of all blame.
   But don't let us have any more persons -- jayhawkers, and horse-thieves included -- chucked under the ice. It is murderous, unwarrantable, and very cold.

   But that cold-blooded tragedy was the culmination of the era of lawlessness, and soon after it was announced that "jayhawking is about played out in Kansas and Nebraska," General Hunter "having taken decided steps in his department."
   The Bellevue palliative -- a memorial for a $40,000 penitentiary to be located there was repeated. On the breaking out of the Civil war the Indians were quick to see their opportunity for mischief, and the legislature asked Congress to authorize the governor to raise five companies of soldiers, to be paid and equipped by the United States, for protection against "the various tribes of Indians whose propensities to molest and destroy have been increased by reason of neglect on the part of incompetent and, in instances, traitorous agents, who have heretofore had charge of them." The memorial recited that the territory was without arms for defense against this danger or the means to buy them.
   An attempt was made at this session to pass an apportionment bill on the basis of the last vote for delegate for Congress, and later, when the result of the United States census



became known, on the population as therein determined; but. North Platte interests were able to defeat the measure. There was bitter complaint of the inequity of existing representation in the legislature. According to the census the North Platte section contained only 8,478 people against 18,031 in the South Platte; and by distributing the population of the frontier districts between the two sections partisans of the southern section counted 10,824 for the North Platte and 18,012 for the South Platte, a difference of 7,188. This controversy showed that there had been no real abatement of the sectional spirit:

    There is no avoiding a sectional contest for congress next fall. Let South Platte stand by her own men, and if we have a session of the legislature next winter, let the members of the same south of the Platte elect as officers her own men. This is the doctrine . . . . Omaha is a great place, but her greatness consists in selfishness and concentrated meanness.
   The territorial conventions of both political parties met at Omaha on the 20th of September. There had been much profession on both sides of a desire to ignore partisanship in the nominations and strike a single war and union key-note; and even the nomination of the same candidate by both conventions was advocated. In the Republican convention there was a fierce contest for the nomination for delegate to Congress, and Mr. Daily did not succeed in winning it until the forty-fifth ballot. His contestants were Dr. Gilbert C. Monell of Douglas county, John Taffe of Dakota county, and William H. Taylor of Otoe county.
   John Q. Coss, who recently died at Bellevue, where he was then living, was president of the democratic convention, and J. M. Woolworth, chairman of the committee on resolutions, lived until a few years since at Omaha, where he then resided. The platform adopted by the convention is doubly interesting as indicative of the sentiment of the democrats in those early days of the Civil war, and as the product of a man who was to become an eminent lawyer and citizen of the state.
   The sentiment of the convention was decidedly in favor of nominating J. F. Kinney as candidate for delegate to Congress; but A. J. Poppleton hotly opposed Kinney, charging him with recreancy to the Democratic party in retaining the office of territorial judge in Utah under the Republican administration, and that he was a non-resident. Kinney kept himself well in hand, and made a judicious speech, insisting that he had not lost his residence in Nebraska, that his family were still living at Nebraska City, and that it was no offense to continue to hold the office in question, especially since he had gone to Washington and offered his resignation to President Lincoln, who persistently refused to accept it. On the first regular ballot Judge Kinney received all the votes of the convention except the ten from Nemaha county, which were cast for Mr. Poppleton.
   We have other testimony that the resolution complimentary to Colonel Thayer, which it is said in the proceedings of the convention was rejected, was in fact adopted by that body, and the republican convention held the same day passed a similar resolution. The contest in the convention was the old Omaha fight over again. The Douglas delegation had seceded when they found that Poppleton's nomination for delegate to Congress was impossible, and the Nebraskian, the Omaha democratic organ, opposed Kinney, a resident of the hated Otoe county, on the ground that Daily was more satisfactory to Omaha. A. J. Hanscom, "formerly a democrat, and one of the big guns of Douglas county," was quoted as saying that he was "an Omaha man and nothing else," that he "went only for Omaha in this campaign," and supported Daily "because he has pledged himself to work for Omaha." Like the blind or the deaf, whose other senses, by reason of the defect, become the more acute, so Daily, unlettered in all other respects, was almost superfluously schooled in the devious arts of practical politics. In his campaign against Morton -- the original leader and consummate partisan of the South Platte -- he had been able to persuade the democratic organ of southeast Nebraska, the Advertiser, to his support on the ostensible ground of standing for South Platte interests; and now, discerning that he



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Omaha pioneer

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Wife of Colonel Armstrong

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Pioneer of Otoe county
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Pioneer of Nemaha county



had become in some sort shelf-worn in his home district, and the election returns from the leading South Platte counties confirmed the clearness of his vision, he gained an offset by cajolery of the North Platte. Specification as to Daily's new alliance with the North Platte were furnished:

    When we heard three weeks ago that the Pacific railroad bill, (in which a point at or near the mouth of the Platte river was named as the initial of a branch through the territory), had passed the House, we said we wanted the bill to become a law whether we got a branch South of the Platte or not. This was upon the understanding that southern Nebraska was to have an equal chance in the selection of the route, with North Platte . . .
   But it seems that we are to have no showing at all. The two incorporators to represent Nebraska in the organization of the company are two of the bitterest North Platte men who could have been named --Dr. Monell and A. Kountze -- both of them residents and property holders in Omaha and speculators in the paper towns along the North Platte route to the mountains. Northern Nebraska with 9,000 residents, taxable property amounting to only $3,000,000, and capacity for a population all told, of less than 400,000, has two incorporators, while southern Nebraska with a population of over 19,000, taxable property of nearly $5,000,000, and a capacity of sustaining upwards of 1,000,000 men, women and children, is to have no voice in the organization of the company . . .
   When "Skisms" wrote a letter, dated the 17th of September, 1860, pledging himself to procure an appropriation of land from congress to build a railroad west from Brownville, he did so with a view to securing the vote of Nemaha county. That letter was intended for Nemaha county circulation, and he got the vote. He made similar secret pledges in Cass and Otoe counties. Hon. William H. Taylor, and the rest of his stump-speakers, endorsed them -- promising all things in his name. In these three counties Daily got majorities.
   Now what does he do? He not only violates every pledge he then made; but his own personal vanity assuring him that he owns South Platte, by giving the "Omaha clique" the whole voice in the preliminary organization and location of the Pacific railroad connection through the territory.

   Notwithstanding that the opposition showed that Daily had not, during three sessions, obtained a single appropriation for public works in the territory, and had purposely, it was charged, failed to obtain an appropriation for finishing the capitol which was "going to ruin" through neglect, and the fact that W. H. Taylor and O. P. Mason, the two leading republicans of Otoe county, opposed him, his superior campaigning qualities pulled him through with a majority of 136. Daily had, and doubtless deserved the reputation for being the best campaigner, among republicans at least, in the territory, and this year his strident and magnetic denunciation against "this yer slave oligarchy" was particularly effective. There was the usual charge of frauds in the elections in Richardson county; and of Falls City, home of Dundy, Daily's political manager, and whence he was to emerge presently, through Daily's reciprocal favor, as associate justice of the supreme court. The News said:

    Falls City is the headquarters of the Daily clique in the territory, and we were prepared for gross illegality, but we confess not to the extent that present reports indicate. The ninth month regiment has figured prominently in the campaign, government officers promising democrats positions if they would support Daily. We doubt not at least one hundred men have been subsidized by assurances of the appointment of colonel of the regiment.

   But for the first time since the first election in 1854 the contest was not carried to Washington.
   The direct or war tax of $19,312 levied upon the territory by the federal government in 1861, modest as the sum seems in the eyes of the children of the squatters, was a cause of great solicitude to them in their still impecunious condition. At the urgent request of the people, preferred in various ways, Congress credited the territory with this tax in lieu of the usual appropriation of $20,000 for the expenses of the legislative session. There was accordingly no session in 1863, though there had been no authoritative expression of public sentiment on the subject, and members were chosen generally at the fall election. Omaha was of course loth (sic) to forego the financial and other profits of a legislative session, but the Republican was the only newspaper



in the territory which did not advocate its omission. It seems odd to people of the present day that but a generation ago it was deemed a hardship or sacrifice to forego a session of the legislature, especially as in the meantime annual sessions have been generally

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Second governor of the state of Nebraska

discarded by the public judgment, and even biennial meetings are by no means in high favor. William E. Harvey, democrat, was reëlected auditor; and Augustus Kountze, "a conservative republican," was elected treasurer of the territory in 1863. The Nebraskian announced the candidacy of both without nomination by a convention.
   In the meantime the grim business of war had taken the place of partisan politics, largely, in the public mind. There was much solicitude and controversy as to the ability of the territory to defend itself against border ruffianism on the south and Indian depredations along the whole western border, and strong opposition to sending the First regiment out of the territory. The resignation of Lieutenant-Colonel Downs of the First regiment is explained on such grounds:

    When the regiment was organized it was upon the distinct understanding, expressed in a letter from Mr. Secretary Cameron, that it was not to be ordered out of the territory. Many of the officers and men repaired to the rendezvous, leaving their private business unsettled. When the order came to go to Missouri, an order obtained mainly through the anxiety of Col. Thayer to show himself, Lieut. Col. Downs (brigadier general under the volunteer organization act of 1856) went with the first battalion, and he did not even have time to visit his family.
   Constant depredations soon vindicated this fear and protest; and in the summer of 1864 the regiment was sent back to Nebraska for service against the Indians.

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