of the council, receiving seven votes against six cast for B. E. B. Kennedy. This vote represented the relative strength of the two parties, though Allen, classed as a republican, sometimes wabbled to the democratic side. There was no opposition to the election of Mr. Mason as permanent president; John S. Bowen was also unanimously elected chief clerk. Casper E. Yost, subsequently a prominent republican politician and editor, makes his appearance in politics at this session as enrolling clerk of the council.
   The number of representatives at this ses-

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Sixth delegate to Congress 1864-1866; United States Senator 1871-1877

sion was only thirty-eight, Otoe county returning four instead of five. Party lines were not rigidly drawn in the organization. Samuel M. Kirkpatrick of Cass county was elected speaker and John Taffe chief clerk -- both by acclamation.
   The message was on the whole a plain, common sense, and useful document, but the governor's inadequacy when he drops into rhetoric in an attempt at a glowing picture of the status of the war and the progress of the Union arms creates in the reader a longing for the apt and eloquent tongue of Governor Black, ordained by nature for tasks like this, but now, alas, moldering in a gallant soldier's grave. The governor's sketch of the than troubles of 1864 now serves as history:

   From facts which have come to the knowledge of this department, it is deemed certain that these Indian depredations and disturbances were the result of combined action between several tribes, instigated, aided and counseled by lawless white men who hoped to share in the plunder which would result from their robberies and massacres. It is by no means certain that these coadjutors of the savages were not the emissaries of the rebel government, prompted to their inhuman work by the hope of creating a diversion in favor of their waning cause in the south. Portions of the Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Comanches, and Apaches, were evidently confederated for the purpose of attacking the frontier settlements and emigrant trains in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and southeastern Idaho. Suddenly and almost simultaneously, without the slightest warning, ranchmen and emigrants were attacked at no less than four different points, remote from each other, thus proving, beyond the possibility of doubt, that the plan had been matured and the coöperation of different tribes secured in the work of destruction.
   The necessities of the general government had caused the withdrawal, from time to time, of nearly all the United States troops stationed in this territory for its defense, so that when the outbreak commenced we possessed no adequate force to suppress it. The few United States volunteers within reach did their duty nobly. The Nebraska first, rendered illustrious by so many brilliant achievements in the south, and the second Nebraska veteran cavalry, promptly responding to the call of the executive, moved at once to the post of danger; and the militia, with equal alacrity, hastened to the relief of their brethren on the more exposed frontier and the emigrants upon the plains. These efforts were crowned with substantial success. The feeble settlements were protected from the impending danger, the Indians, with very few exceptions, were driven from our border, and the various lines of communication between the Missouri river and the mountains and mining districts of the West were again opened to the traveler and emigrant. It is to be regretted that these savages were not more severely punished so as to ef-



fectually deter them from a repetition of their barbarities in the future.

   The statement of territorial finances in the message shows a slight decrease of the debt, but, owing to the chronic and considerable delinquency of the counties a formidable part of the resources still consists of past due taxes. The message forcibly urged the passage of a general herd law; but while such a measure was pushed hard in the legislature, the pastoral sentiment of the people was still so dominant that it failed of passage, though in its stead special herd laws, applying to such counties as desired them, were enacted. The message states the condition and prospects of railway building at that time as follows:

    It will be gratifying to you and the people of the territory to know that the work on the great Union Pacific railroad, which is to pass through the entire length of Nebraska, is progressing at a very commendable rate. The work of grading, bridging and preparing the ties is progressing much more rapidly than had been anticipated by our most sanguine people. I feel fully authorized to say that unless some unforeseen misfortune attends this great enterprise more than fifty miles of road westward from Omaha will be in readiness for the cars before your next annual meeting . . . Another line of railroad, which is designed to connect with this route within the limits of our territory, has recently been surveyed on the south side of the Platte river. This line is designed to be an extension of the Burlington and Missouri River railroad, and from the favorable reports made by the engineers there can scarcely be a doubt that work will soon be commenced on that line also.

   The governor reopened the question of state government thus:

    During your last session a joint resolution was passed, asking Congress to pass an act to enable the people of Nebraska to form a constitution preparatory to an early admission into the union as one of the independent states. Congress passed the act, but it was done near the close of the session, and there was scarcely time enough allowed between the date of the reception of the bill in the territory and the election of the members of the convention for the people to learn of its passage -- certainly not enough to enable them to consider thoroughly and dispassionately the principles of the bill or the terms on which it was proposed to admit the territory into the family of states. Under these circumstances, a large majority of the people decided that the members of the convention should adjourn without forming or submitting any constitution whatever. This decision of the people, under the circumstances, was just what might. have been anticipated. It, however, is no proof that when convinced that liberal terms are proposed by the general government they would not readily consent to take their place in the great family of states.
   It is further stated that the strongest argument against a state government was that "we ought not to tax ourselves for anything which the general government is willing to pay," and this argument is disapproved on the ground that the general government's resources were taxed to the utmost on account of the war expenses.
   But Morton, whose sense of humor and scent for satire bubbles over in these early days, sees comedy, chiefly, in this ostensibly sober state paper:

    The News judges from its appearance that the impression was taken on type 21 years of age and coal tar used instead of printing ink, the paper of the texture and appearance of a superannuated shirt-tail. The printers have done ample justice to the matter printed, and the matter printed is in most perfect accord with the style of its printing . . . The next extra good thing is on "the freedmen of the war!" Alvin desires the people of Nebraska to find suitable employment for said sable citizens, and the people unanimously agree that the aforesaid charcoal images of God may be suitably employed boarding round among the abolition officials of Nebraska. In short the nigger is the biggest and whitest thing in the message.

   The governor had seriously suggested in the message that the legislature should undertake to find employment for slaves recently set free.
   The auditor (and school commissioner) gives in his report an account of the first leasing of the school lands of the commonwealth:

   Under instructions from this office, the clerk of Sarpy county, during last year, leased a number of tracts of lands, and will probably realize, when all collected, near $200.00 for the one year. I have had numer-



Franklin Sweet

[NOTE -- Franklin Sweet was a member of the legislature from Merrick county, Nebraska, and a captain in the Union army during the Civil War.]



ous applications for leases of these lands and could I have a general law, under which the rents could be promptly collected, I have no doubt that several thousand dollars could be obtained annually from that source.
   The legislature at this session authorized the issue of bonds to an amount not exceeding $36,000 to provide payment of the militia called out by the governor's proclamation of April 11, 1864, on account of the Indian uprising; authorized the governor to arrange with the state of Iowa for the care of the insane of the territory; amended the militia law, but still required all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to be enrolled; provided for the election of the auditor and treasurer biennially, instead of annually, after the year 1866; disconnected Buffalo, Hall, and Merrick counties from Platte county, and allowed them one member of the house of representatives; attached Saunders county to Cass for judicial, election, and revenue purposes; legalized the organization of Jones county and declared its organization complete; attached all that part of Polk county north of the Platte river and west of the Loup Fork river permanently to Platte county; and adopted memorials to Congress for an appropriation to pay the expense of the Indian war, and for the building of a hospital for the insane. The legislature also graciously responded to the coyly expressed hint of the message that a recommendation for the reappointment of the governor would not be offensive, and threw in a similar request on behalf of the secretary. This action, tending toward harmonizing and building up the republican party, was and is characteristic of the solidarity of that organization, and was in sharp contrast to the constant and bitter strife between the leaders of the democratic party through all the territorial days.
   In July, 1866, Congress appropriated $45,000 to be applied in reimbursement of expenditures "for the pay, equipment, and maintenance of territorial troops in the suppression of Indian hostilities and protection of the lives and property of citizens of the United States," in the year 1864. The allowance for troops was limited to the companies called out by the governor and placed under control of the general commanding the troops of the United States in the territory. The claim presented by the territory "somewhat exceeded" the amount of the appropriation. In his message of May 17, 1867, Governor Butler stated that Governor Saunders had succeeded in collecting $28,000 on this account, and in his message of January 8, 1869, he complains that the balance is still unadjusted.

   Governor Saunders was reappointed in April, 1865, and served until he was superseded by David Butler, the first governor of the state, in 1867. In the same month, Judge William Kellogg, of Peoria, Illinois, was appointed chief justice of the territory in place of William Pitt Kellogg, who had been appointed collector of the port of New Orleans. His party organ gave the gentleman of Louisiana "returning board" fame the following unequivocal send-off: "W. P. Kellogg was a very pleasant gentleman for whom we always entertained a feeling of friendship, but he neglected his duties as judge by his almost uniform absence at term time. We are mistaken in the temper of the bar of this territory, and especially of this city, if they quietly submit to those things four years longer." It is said by contemporaneous citizens that the second Judge Kellogg resembled his predecessor in name chiefly, and though an acute politician was also a good judge.

   The republican territorial convention for 1865 was held at Plattsmouth, September 19th. Jefferson B. Weston of Gage county nominated John Gillespie, of Nemaha county and "of the Nebraska First" regiment, for auditor, and Thomas W. Tipton of Nemaha county nominated Augustus Kountze for treasurer, and both were chosen by acclamation. The nomination of Mr. Gillespie was the first formal recognition of the soldier element in Nebraska politics, which afterward became a settled practice of the republican party.
   The democratic territorial convention of 1865 met at Plattsmouth, September 21st. The democrats of the country were now beginning to see in Andrew Johnson's patriotism -- or apostasy -- a ray of hope for resurrection



from their self-interment of 1864, and Morton proceeded with alacrity to encourage the embarrassment which was encompassing the republicans of the territory. At the head of the committee on resolutions, composed as to the rest, of Edward P. Child of Douglas county and John Rickley of Platte county, he reported the following platform, which was adopted by the convention:

    1. Resolved, That the measures adopted by President Johnson for the restoration of the southern states to their rightful position in the union, and his recent public expressions on that subject are wise, safe, humane and patriotic, that they coincide with the time-honored theories of the democracy of the nation upon the relations of the states to the general government, of which theories the present chief executive has, in times past, been an eloquent and powerful champion; that the sentiments recently expressed by him towards the people of the south are an emphatic rebuke and repudiation of the policy, theories and public expressions of the republican party on the subject of the relation not only of the northern but of all the states to the federal power, and that the pretended endorsement, by the late convention of republican office-holders in this territory, of the views and measures of the president is a flat contradiction of the policy they have, until now, advocated, and deserves, therefore, to be treated with that contempt and distrust which honest, men always pay to deceitful words which stultify those who utter them.
   2. Resolved, That the qualifications of electors should hereafter, as heretofore, be regulated by each state for itself and that the attempt of the republican party to compel the southern people to admit negroes to the elective franchise is as unjust and unwarrantable an interference with the reserved rights of the states as it would be to force California to permit Chinamen to vote, and that the silence on this great question of the republican officeholders in their late convention when pretending to speak for their party, and when speaking in vague and general terms of the policy of the president towards the south, clearly shows that they are dishonest in what they do say and that they are holding their opinions upon this subject in reserve, to be suited to the uncertain developments of these shifting times.
   3. Resolved, That negroes are neither by nature nor by education, entitled to political nor social equality with the white race, that we are opposed to permitting them to hold office in this territory themselves or to vote for others for office; that we are bitterly hostile to the project of amending the Organic Act so as to permit them to vote, now sought to be secretly accomplished by republicans, and we denounce as cowardly and deceptive, alike to friends and foes, the silence of the officeholders' convention on this most important point.
   4. Resolved that we deem the vote of the people, but lately taken, by which they declared themselves in overwhelming majorities opposed to the admission of this territory as a state into the union, as decisive of that question, and are astonished at the persistent renewal of the effort of republican office-holders to force such a change of our condition upon us; that in order again to test the popular opinion on that subject, which should always be determined by the people in their primary capacity, we demand that all laws hereafter enacted, whether by the legislative assembly or by congress, providing for a convention to frame a constitution, require a vote to be taken at the time of the election of delegates, whether or not a convention shall sit for that purpose.

   These drastic resolutions were voted upon separately, and all adopted without dissent. The declaration of the status of the negro is not much out of harmony with the present general public opinion which has been reached after forty years of painful experiment along the lines of an opposite theory, and the established practice today in every southern state is in accordance with Morton's harsh dictum. Each of the two platforms here reproduced was prepared by a young and ambitious leader of the respective parties, and whatever might be said questioning the wisdom or discretion of Morton's declaration, its virility, strength, and boldness put the other, which was principally political fishing, in conspicuous contrast. And yet this prudent preaching of the one was to open to its author the gates of official preferment, while the vigorous but discordant ingenuousness of the other would be a bar against his political success. At this distance the denunciation of negro suffrage for this northern territory seems like gratuitous flying in the face of popular prejudice or sentiment. The question never has been of practical importance in Nebraska. The abuse heaped upon Morton by the republican news-



papers on account of this platform and his other similar declarations was unusual even in those days of unbridled license of the political press.
   And yet it would be unjust to deny to the republican leaders of that day, such as Turner M. Marquett, Oliver P. Mason, George B. Lake, John M. Thayer, Robert W. Furnas, and Algernon S. Paddock, most of whom were recent deserters from the democratic party, a measure at least of that philanthropic desire for the amelioration of the condition of the negro race, and belief that the ascendency of the republican party at that time was essential to the attainment of that object, and even for the preservation of the Union, which so largely actuated the rank and file of their party. But, on the other hand, it would be unjust to deny to the democratic leaders, such as George L. Miller, J. Sterling Morton, Andrew J. Poppleton, Eleazer Wakeley, James M. Woolworth, George W. Doane, Charles H. Brown. and Benjamin E. B. Kennedy, as well as their party followers, the sincere belief that radical republicanism would hurtfully enfranchise the negro and obstruct the real restoration of the Union. Furthermore, it should be said, to the everlasting credit of these veteran democrats, alive and dead, that their unswerving allegiance to their party, through its many years of ill-repute, plainly meant to them political self-sacrifice and seclusion, while by cutting loose from their unpromising moorings and floating with the popular republican tide they would have gathered both honors and emoluments. Nor may we of today felicitate ourselves that the political fustian and buncombe of those early days has changed in great measure, either in quality or quantity. A well-known English writer illustrates their present prevalence in a recent article entitled "Rot in English Politics": ". . . The Disraelian myth, which has changed the most un-English of all our prime ministers into an almost sacramental symbol of patriotism, has been worth many a legion to Lord Salisbury. The Primrose League is ridiculous enough, but men who want big majorities must not scorn the simply ridiculous, nor do they."
   The democratic candidate for auditor was John S. Seaton -- who, like his opponent, belonged to the "old Nebraska First" -- and for treasurer, Saint John Goodrich. The republican, nominally the "union" ticket, was successful, Kountze having a majority of 852 and Gillespie of 694. With the soldier vote added Kountze had 3,495 votes and Goodrich 2,573. Bitterness to the extent of scurrility characterized the campaign. The Advertiser in particular, after Furnas left it, was mainly a mess of scurrilous epithet of which this is a scarcely adequate sample:

    The consequences of inviting the disfranchised renegades of the other states to Nebraska City, as was done by the Nebraska City News, just after the adoption of the new constitution of Missouri, are becoming more apparent every day in the theft, larceny and rowdyism of that city, which is alarmingly on the increase. Men have been knocked down on the streets of that city and robbed; men, boasting of being disfranchised Missourians, perambulate the streets in bands and make it unsafe for unarmed pedestrians. Horse stealing is again on the rampage. Three horses were stolen on the night of the 14th from that city; one from Julien Metcalf, which he has since recovered, and two (over which we shall shed no briny tears) from J. Sterling Morton. This is rather a steep contribution on Morton for their assistance in "voting down the bluecoated, brass-buttoned yankees."

   The same organ assailed the democratic territorial platform, and Morton "a pupil of Vallandigham," as the author of it, in language which it would be rather complimentary to call billingsgate. And this illustrates the ferocity of the appeal to war passions:

    The so-called democracy of this county, after due consideration and discussion, have hoisted the name of Joseph I. Early as a candidate for councilman, for the purpose of contesting the seat of Hon. J. W. Chapman . . . Mr. Early proclaimed, in a public speech at Nebraska City, last fall, that he looked upon Abraham Lincoln as a tyrant and usurper of power, and denounced the union soldiers as robbers, thieves and murderers. He also said publicly that he had assisted in the notorious Baltimore mob, and that he would yet assist in hanging Abraham Lincoln.
   And there was little restraint in the discharge of explosive epithet through the col-

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