inspired admiration and respect. But he lacked entirely that essential quality of the successful practical politician which composes differences and placates enemies; and he proceeded upon the impracticable, uncompromising presumption that "he that is not for me is against me."
   In the meantime the first, or provisional state legislature, which was elected in June, met on the 4th of July, proceeded to elect two United States senators, and adjourned on the 11th of the same month. But President Johnson having "pocketed" the admission bill which was passed by Congress, July 27th, the day before adjournment, it failed to become a law. Just before the passage of this bill in the Senate, Charles Sumner attempted to attach the same condition to it, respecting negro suffrage, which was afterward adopted; but his amendment received only five votes -- those of Edmunds, Fessenden, Morgan, Poland, and Sumner. The bill passed by a vote of 24 to 18, all these senators voting with the democrats in the negative. In this debate the leading advocates of the bill were Nye of Nevada and Wade of Ohio, and its chief opponents were Hendricks of Indiana, Doolittle of Wisconsin (Johnson republican), and Sumner of Massachusetts. Sumner's primary objection to the admission measure was the suffrage -- restricting word "white" in the proposed constitution. Doolittle, Hendricks, and Sumner pressed the objection of fraud in the election at which the constitution was adopted, and which had caused an investigation in the legislature. Mr. Doolittle adduced the statement of Isaac L. Gibbs, who was speaker of the house in the legislature of 1857:

    The gentleman for whom I pledged my honor was a captain of one of the companies of the first Nebraska regiment, who stated to me that two of the companies of that regiment were raised in Iowa, and the soldiers of those companies voted in favor of this constitution while they were in the territory of Nebraska; that those same soldiers voted, on a commission from Iowa, for Governor Stone at Fort Kearney in Nebraska; that subsequent to this voting they have been mustered out and have gone home to Iowa where they reside. I say that for his statement, stated to me upon his own knowledge, I do vouch for his honor as a man and a soldier.

   In the House, Kelly of Pennsylvania pressed Rice of Maine to yield to him so that he might offer an amendment similar to that of Sumner, but Rice declined on the ground that if he should entertain such an amendment "it would be the means of killing the bill." A prediction then that at the end of six months negro suffrage sentiment would have so grown and crystallized and that republicans would have so far recovered their wonted confidence, after the demoralizing Johnson disturbance, that the state would be admitted with Sumner's amendments as an accepted condition, and by a two-thirds vote over Johnson's veto, would have seemed visionary.
   The twelfth and last session of the territorial legislature convened in Omaha, January 10, 1867. The two districts comprising respectively Cedar, Dixon, and L'eau-qui-court, and Dakota, Cedar, Dixon, and L'eau-qui-court were not represented. Mr. Chapin of Cass county was chosen speaker of the house, receiving 23 votes against 11 cast for Mr. Balzer of Lincoln county. The absence of Governor Saunders from the territory at this time gave Acting Governor Paddock an opportunity to deliver the message, which in its business aspect was creditable; but its closing bold appeal in behalf of President Johnson's reconstruction policy stirred the now dominant congressional faction of the Republican party to wrath, and drew a storm of protest from the party organs. The territorial treasurer had reported the remarkably large sum of $23,324.56 on hand, and adding to this the tax levy for 1866, not yet collected -- $69,973.86 -- the militia reimbursement appropriation by Congress, $45,000, and delinquent taxes, $26,983.24, and then making an estimated allowance for loss on delinquent taxes, $10,000, and for possible disallowance of militia accounts $8,000, the acting governor optimistically ventured to congratulate the territory on the possession of a surplus of $61,810.22 above the indebtedness of $85,471.44. The treasurer reported that during the current year he would have sufficient funds to redeem the outstanding warrants as well as



the bonded debt, and recommended the passage of a law compelling holders of warrants to surrender them. Here we have perhaps the first positive manifestation that orderly administration and general solvency and thrift have been attained-in fair measure, though by very slow growth.
   The concurrent advent of the free homestead and corporation land grant systems already arouses jealousy and fear of abuses, and the message sounded a note of warning and alarm:

    Wherever the lands are subject to location under this [homestead] law, the newly made cabin of the homestead settler is found; and it is not an extravagant estimate that another year will find one-twelfth of the population of the territory on homestead lands, and fully that proportion of our aggregate productions in the granaries of this class of our fellow citizens.

   It is then pointed out that it is "a very great hardship to the enterprising settlers in the valleys of the Nemahas, the Elkhorn, and the Loup Fork that the lands surrounding their homesteads should thus be tied up from actual settlement for the benefit of a corporation (the Burlington & Missouri River Co.) which contemplates the construction of a railroad through a section of country far removed from their homes." And then to the core of the question:

    I do not doubt that if the evil effects of this baleful system of land grants were properly represented by you in memorials to congress some remedies for present evils might be applied; or at all events, some barriers placed against this rapid absorption of the public domain in the future by railroad monopolists and land speculators. We need every available acre in this territory, not already given away by the government for the construction of railroads and agricultural colleges in other states, for our own state endownments (sic) and for the industrious poor who, from all sections of the union, and from foreign countries, are coming to secure homesteads amongst us.

   The governor then expresses his firm conviction that the whole country would be benefited if the Union Pacific railway company would at once exchange its lands for United States bonds, at a fair price, so that they might be held exclusively for location under the homestead law.
   The message urged the construction of a free bridge across the Platte river, for the old, familiar reasons:

   The construction of a bridge over the Platte river is a much needed improvement. The crossing of this stream, always difficult, is at certain seasons of the year an utter impossibility, and communication between two great sections of the territory is for this reason extremely limited. A journey to the territorial capital from some of the most popu-

Franklin Sweet


Prominent pioneer of Omaha, Nebraska

ious counties south of the Platte is considered quite as difficult to perform on account of the dangers and delays in crossing the Platte, as one to St. Louis -- five hundred miles distant, and from the North Platte to Chicago is quite as cheerfully undertaken as one across the Platte into the rich grain growing districts below it. Such an obstacle to commercial intercourse between the two sections should be immediately removed, if it is in the power of the people to do it. It is not at all strange that with such a barrier in the way of travel and commerce, the people



of both sections should not only lose their active sympathy for and interest in each other, but that they should be easily led into misunderstandings, jealousies, rivalries, and strife.
   The fact that "a bridge," merely, was demanded illustrates the still limited progress of settlement westward from the Missouri river.
   The message favored the admission of the territory as a state, but it reflected the conservatism of President Johnson as to the suffrage question, inasmuch as it "would give the

Franklin Sweet

Engraving loaned by Nebraska State Historical Society.


United States senator, 1867-1875

franchise to intelligence and patriotism wherever found, regardless of the color of its possessor."
   The prospective glories attendant on the completion of the Union Pacific railway and the appeal for Johnson's reconstruction policy, under the head of "peace and union," are reserved for rhetorical exaltation in the still inevitable peroration. How perilously near having regard to his later political preferment -- Mr. Paddock came to being a democrat appears in the fact that he boldly questioned the expediency of the proposed 14th amendment to the Constitution: "If the amendment threatens to perpetuate hatred, strife and discord it should be abandoned at once, whatever sacrifices of cherished political dogmas or partisan prejudices are involved." It was stated that 262 miles of track had been laid on the Union Pacific road during the year, and it was now complete to the 305th mile post.
   But "the big thing which has engaged the attention of our legislature since its organization has been the legislative printing." Since the republicans had been in control the secretary, following Morton's example, had placed the printing in the hands of a public printer virtually of his own choosing without clash with the legislature; but now the Johnson schism stimulated Secretary Paddock to place it with printers of his own faction -- the Barkalow brothers -- whom the Herald speaks of as "two conservative young republicans." A resolution, introduced by Abbott, directing the chief clerk of the house to procure the printing of the laws, journals, messages, rules, bills, and other incidental papers of the two houses, was defeated. This move was in the interest of Mr. Balcombe, the orthodox editor of the Republican. A. F. Harvey, in speaking against the resolution, related that Secretary Morton had successfully resisted E. D. Webster's attempt to control this printing in the same way in 1860-1861, and that Mr. Dix, secretary of the treasury, had decided that the legislature had no authority whatever over it. This decision had been acquiesced in ever since and Secretary Paddock had given out the printing wherever he wanted to. The Republican, furious at the loss of this patronage, made scurrilous attacks on Paddock in which "apostate," "renegade," "traitor," "light-top-gear," and "weakmind," were the more moderate epithets. The Herald retaliated with attacks to match or, the record of Mr. Balcombe, publisher of the Republican, as agent of the Winnebagos. The Advertiser interjected that "the secretary of the territory has always controlled this printing since its infamous usurpation from the legislature by Morton," and scolded the Republican



for, "spreading it on (Paddock) too thick for the occasion," offering as a salve that hoary and paradoxical characterization of politicians: "As an officer he is sound, as a citizen he is a gentleman, as a politician he is rotten to the core." And yet so smooth was Paddock's exterior political finish that such poisoned darts glanced from it harmless, as he pursued his way to two elections to the United States Senate by the orthodox Republican party. The contrasting orthodoxy of Senator-elect Thayer appears in a note to the Republican in his protest that he had not tried to persuade the "acting-president" to sign the Nebraska state bill; "I abhor the course, the 'policy,' and the treachery of Andrew Johnson."
   Republicans at this session consumed much valuable time in the empty enterprise of making a record on the question of negro suffrage. A bill to remove distinctions in the school laws on account of race or color was the subject of a heated contest. It passed the house by a vote of 25 to 10, and the council by 10 to 3, but was vetoed by Acting Governor Paddock. Mr. Harvey, democrat of Otoe county, for the purpose of putting ardent suffrage reformers on record, introduced a resolution declaring that the members of the house are in favor of "impartial and universal suffrage, and believe fully in the equality of all races, colors, and sexes at the ballot box." This was amended so as to declare simply for impartial suffrage, and then passed by a vote of 22 to 9. Another resolution introduced by Mr. Harvey, thanking President Johnson for his veto of the Nebraska enabling act, was defeated 21 to 13. Negro suffrage was at last adopted at this session by striking out the restrictive words "free white" from the election law; though amendments to the bill by Doane striking out the word "male," and providing that no negro or Indian, who could not read the Constitution of the United States and write his own name, or did not possess property to the value of $250, should be entitled to vote, were defeated by only 7 against 6.
   This legislature was not prolific of enactments, and in the case of general laws was almost barren, partially because the preceding session had at last completed a tolerable revision of former laws, and largely because time and attention were given to factional squabbles with the temporarily aberrant Secretary Paddock over petty printing spoils, and to such facetious partisan measures as the enfranchisement of imaginary negroes. There were no well-known, recognized leaders of the republican party in either house, for the reason, doubtless, that they were all striving for the higher congressional and judicial places which would be opened by the coming admission to

Franklin Sweet


statehood. The partisanship of this session had, perhaps, been whittled down the smaller to conform to these conditions.
   The special enactments of interest authorized the city of Omaha and the city of Bellevue, respectively, to raise $100,000 to be used in securing the construction of a railway bridge across the Missouri river at each place. This was but the preparation for Bellevue's last, and, as the event proved, death struggle. Omaha was to win the bridge, but at a cost to which this proposed gratuity was a bagatelle. The organization and the last election of officers of Saline county were legal-



Franklin Sweet


First governor of Nebraska



ized; Lincoln county was attached to the first judicial district; Saunders county was detached from Cass to which it had been joined for judicial, election, and revenue. purposes; the sixteen townships east of Jefferson county and lying adjacent to the same, known as Jones county, were annexed to Jefferson county, and the officers of Jones county were authorized to remain as officers of Jefferson county until their successors should be qualified; the name of L'eau-qui-court county was changed to Emmet, provided the electors of the county should vote at the next general election in favor of the change; and the limits of the new counties of Clay, Webster, Hamilton, Adams, and Franklin were defined.
   But this session was prolific of joint resolutions. The first of these was a sop to Congress for admission, and it declared that the legislature favored the adoption of the pending amendments to the federal Constitution, and that in case they should be "submitted to us as the legislative assembly of the state of Nebraska we would immediately ratify the same." Another prayed for the establishment of a fort or sub-military post on or near the Republican river at some point between Turkey creek and Beaver river, for the protection of "southwestern Nebraska, as well as northwestern Kansas, from the threatening invasions and barbarous outrages of roaming tribes of desperate savages, who frequent all that superb scope of country south of the Platte and north of the Arkansas river, and prohibit the ingress of the white man." Another prayed for a bounty for the Nebraska volunteers of the Civil war which should place them on the same footing as soldiers from the states for whom the federal government had provided additional compensation in the nature of bounty money; or, in lieu of money, a grant of 160 acres of public land was requested. At this early period Congress was requested to extinguish the Indian title to the Otoe reservation and throw it open to settlement. Another resolution congratulated the managers of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad company on the completion of its line "within a few miles of the eastern boundary of the territory of Nebraska." When it was too late to become available on account of the admission to statehood, the lifelong prayer of the territory for an appropriation for a penitentiary had been granted, and the legislature in a joint resolution thanked Mr. Hitchcock, the delegate in Congress, for his mediatorial efforts to obtain an answer to the oft repeated legislative petition.
   This last territorial legislature adjourned, finally, February 18, 1867, and it ended as spectacularly and frontier-like as the first had begun. The republican majority had passed an apportionment act which took a councilman away from democratic Otoe county and added one to Nemaha and Richardson. A new bill was offered as a substitute, but on account of dissatisfaction in a North Platte district it could not be passed. The whole scheme of reapportionment was killed through the timely arrival of Rolfe of Otoe who was immediately sworn in. The News gives this graphic account of the summary action: "A precedent was read from Jefferson's manual; a motion was made removing the speaker which was put and carried so quick that he did not know what hurt him; he drew a pistol -- the sergeant-at-arms drew his sword, -- the speaker vacated the premises -- a new speaker (Abbott) was elected. Mr. Rolfe was sworn in by Governor Saunders at about ten o'clock at night. The apportionment bill was killed, and the law-making machine began to go as though it had been greased and did more business in an hour and a half than had been done before in a week."
   Mr. Rolfe, who lived until very recently, an exemplary citizen of Otoe county, described the revolution in the following nutshell:

SpacerOmaha, Feb. 16, P. M,
   J. S. Morton: just had a legislative row -- Chapin is deposed and Abbott is in the chair -- pistols were drawn by the opposition, but they had a scarcity of nerve. We have busted them. SpacerROLFE

   On the third day of the second session of the Thirty-ninth Congress, December 5, 1866, Senator Wade of Ohio introduced a bill (Senate file No. 456) for the admission of Nebraska into the Union, and it was passed on the 9th of January following by a vote of 24

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