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cratic and republican parties in Nebraska. The democrats met in convention at Plattsmouth August 18 and nominated their ticket. A long platform was adopted which may be condensed into these points: The right of territories to exclude slavery by "unfriendly legislation," nonintervention by congress in domestic territorial affairs, the right of Nebraska to enter the union, "and we believe the time is now arrived," opposition to a revival of the African slave trade, protection to all citizens both native and naturalized, strict economy, but a liberal school fund, a national *railroad to the Pacific and liberal land grants for railroads and internal improvements, appropriations by congress to bridge the Platte, free 160-acre homesteads, and last "we are irreconcilably opposed to incorporation of banks or of banking institutions."

     The republican territorial convention met at Bellevue August 24. Its platform declared for free soil and free labor, for the right of the territorial legislature to prohibit slavery

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Present Railroad Bridge Across Missouri River

in Nebraska, for free homesteads, for the Pacific railroad up the Platte valley, for congressional appropriations to bridge the Platte, Loup, Nemaha and Niobrara, for "speedy organization as a state," fixed the responsibility for the existence of the African slave trade on President Buchanan's administration and concluded with the following indictment of the democratic party: "We will judge the democratic party by its acts rather than its professions; professing opposition to a system of credit it has burdened the treasury with an enormous debt; professing opposition to banks the national democracy has flooded the nation with treasury notes and the Nebraska democracy has burdened our people with worthless banks; professing to favor a national railroad to the Pacific it has expended millions to establish an impracticable southern route and has not even surveyed the central route in Nebraska; professing to favor emigration to the territory it has defeated in congress the homestead bill, compelled the settlers to pay for their land



at a time of great commercial depression and thrown open vast tracts to the grasp of speculators."

      At the election which followed October 11th the principal contest was over delegate to congress. There was great contrast between the candidates. Estabrook was a scholarly polished lawyer. Daily, to whom more than to anyone else belongs the distinction of being the founder of the republican party in Nebraska, was a typical agitator,--restless, untiring, strategic. He was unlettered and the opposition were never weary of ridiculing his grammar. They nicknamed him "Skisms" Daily, because of his pronunciation of "schism," but he had the knack of getting next to the people which served him well in the stormy campaigns of the early days. The official returns elected the entire democratic ticket, including a majority of the legislature. The vote for Estabrook was 3,100, for Daily 2,800 and the returning board gave Estabrook the certificate of election. Daily contested the seat on the ground that the vote of several counties was fraudulent, and cited in particular Buffalo county where 292 votes were returned for his oponent (sic) and none for him, most of this vote coming from Fort Kearney. The house had a republican majority and gave Daily the seat.

      Some events outside of political controversies claim our attention before passing into the new decade. The first territorial fair was held on September 21 at Nebraska City. The orator for the occasion was J. Sterling Morton and his address at that time will remain a classic in Nebraska history, descriptive of society in the early territorial days. The fair was a wonderful exhibit of Nebraska's fertility.

      The pioneer religious denominations in Nebraska, as already noted, were the Baptist and Presbyterian,--represented by missionaries to the Indians. Father P. J. DeSmet, the famous Catholic missionary, was contemporary with them, taking charge of the mission to the Pottawotamie Indians at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1838 and from that time on frequently engaged in mission work in Nebraska. The Methodist church came next, the first regular church work beginning at Nebraska City in October, 1851, in charge of Rev. W. D. Gage, Congregationalism in Nebraska dates from Christmas Day, 1855, when Rev. Reuben Gaylord and wife crossed the Missouri at Omaha and organized the First Congregational church there during the year which followed.

      On December 6, 1859, the first Nebraska press association was organized at the Herndon Hotel, Omaha, with six newspapers represented. The Nebraska Board of Agriculture dates from October 14, 1858, when a bill for its incorporation, introduced by Robert W. Furnas, became law. The first woman suffrage movement began earlier. On the 8th of January, 1856, Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, then living at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and author of the "bloomer" costume, appeared by invitation before the Nebraska legislature and made an address in favor of suffrage for her sex.

     The year 1859 was the year of "Old John Brown's" raid on Harper's Ferry ending in his trial and execution. Brown was a familiar figure in southeast Nebraska for several years, crossing from Iowa into Kansas by way of the Nemaha valley. An "underground railroad" route for the escape of slaves ran across the same tract to Tabor, Iowa.



      The "Pawnee Indian war" of 1859 began on the 21st of June when seven or eight hundred Pawnees stole a hundred head of cattle on the Elkhorn near Fontanelle. The next day near West Point they took an ox. The settlers surrounded a party of them in a house and ordered them to surrender. The Indians fired, wounding J. H. Peters in the shoulder. The settlers replied with a volley killing four Pawnees. A courier with this intelligence arrived in Omaha July 1st. General Thayer set out at once for the seat of war with the Omaha light artillery. Companies of militia from Fremont, Fontanelle and Columbus and a detachment of United States dragoons joined the command as it moved up the Elkhorn in pursuit of the Pawnees. Governor Black overtook the army on the 8th. It numbered then two hundred men with one six-pounder cannon. The trail led past Norfolk up the valley. The expedition made a forced march the night of July 12th and at daybreak the next morning came upon the Pawnee camp stretched along the banks of a small stream about ten miles above the forks of the Elkhorn. The order to charge was given when Chief Peta-le-sharu with a United States flag wrapped around him made a rush for General Thayer shouting "Good Indian." The command halted. The Pawnees turned over six of their young men as the guilty men, signed an agreement that pay for the property destroyed should be taken out of their annuities and the army marched across country to Columbus where the militia was mustered out. The little stream was named "Battle Creek" presumably because there was no battle there. Today the prosperous town of Battle Creek, Madison county, is located a few hundred yards east of where the Pawnee camp was in 1859.

     The sixth session of the Nebraska territorial legislature met at Omaha, December 5, 1859. Its organization was marked by a struggle between the Douglas and Buchanan democrats in which the Douglas faction won. Governor Samuel W. Black (who had been promoted from the position of territorial judge by President Buchanan) delivered a message full of interest. First of all he demolished the scientific reports which had declared Nebraska unfit for cultivation by referring to the visible proofs to the contrary He then declared that with the advent of man upon the plains there had been a great increase of rainfall which he ascribed to Divine preparation for civilization. He voiced, no doubt, the popular sentiment when he declared that there were "hundreds of thousands of acres of the best land in Nebraska held by individuals who have never broken a single foot of sod with spade or plow," and urged that taxes should be chiefly levied upon real estate, and that a certain number of live stock belonging to each person should be wholly exempt from taxes. He recommended an indirect bounty for tree planting by exemption from taxes of the land where they were planted, and also a homestead exemption law securing a man's home from creditors. As a remedy for the extravagant rates of interest on money in the territory he urged the passage of "stringent usury laws"--a piece of economic folly which has been perpetuated upon our statute book unto this day. The territory was in debt $31,068. A long argument is given for the admission of Nebraska as a state. An area of 8,851,758 acres had been surveyed by the United States surveyors about one-sixth of the present state. The school advantages of the time may be judged



from the fact that out of a total of 4,767 children of school age reported only 1,310 attended any school in the year and seven counties with considerable population reported no schools in the county.

      Slavery was the exciting theme before the legislature as it was in the nation. A bill prohibiting slavery in the territory passed the council by a vote of 7 to 3 and the house by 19 to 17, after a spirited debate. Governor Black vetoed it, assigning as his reason the clause in the Louisiana Purchase treaty which guarantees to the inhabitants of Louisiana the free enjoyment of their liberty and property during the period prior to their admission as states. An act exempting a homestead of 160 acres, or in lieu thereof, a dwelling and two town lots from execution for debt was passed the first in the history of the territory; also an act giving one year's stay in forced sales of mortgaged premises. In these acts is seen clearly the aftermath of the panic of 1857. Congress was memorialized to grant 20,000 acres of land to J. P. Latta, of Cass county, as a bonus for establishment of a line of steamboats on the Platte.

      The United States census of 1860--the first in which Nebraska found a place--returned 28,841 people and real and personal property of the value of $9,131,056 in the territory. Immigration had been checked by the hard times, there had been a rush from the Missouri river settlements to the gold diggings about Pike's Peak, which was then part of Nebraska, but on the whole there was a steady, solid growth of actual settlers.

     The political campaign of 1860 in Nebraska was characterized by the same consuming interest that it was elsewhere in the Union. The real leaders of the respective parties,--S. G. Daily and J. Sterling Morton,--were opposing candidates for delegate to congress. The platforms were not much different in spirit from those of 1859,--both parties were in favor of a free homestead law and Pacific railroad,--the republicans, however, pointed to the veto of the free homestead law by President Buchanan and the veto of the act prohibiting slavery by Governor Black, while the democrats could only promise to make Nebraska free state when admitted. The democratic party went into the campaign with a serious handicap. In order to hold itself together it tried to be for Buchanan and for Douglas in the same breath. Then Morton was a Buchanan appointee and continued to hold his position as secretary of the territory while he made his canvass. At the opening of the campaign R. W. Furnas, of the Brownville Advertiser, changed from the democratic to the republican party and fought Morton with a cordial vehemence which is astonishing to those who knew them in later life as intimate friends. Joint debates were held by the two candidates over the territory. Morton was much better educated than Daily and was master of a more biting wit. Daily spoke the dialect of the common people and knew how to drive home a telling point so that the dullest, grasped its full meaning. Perhaps the most telling of these points was the veto of the free homestead bill by a democratic president after its passage by a republican congress, with its attendant results in Nebraska. The failure of the free homestead bill had forced the settlers to borrow money in order to buy their claims from the government and save their homes. Figures were given showing that in the three counties of Richardson, Pawnee and



Nemaha, alone, the results of the land sales had been to place a debt of $85,199.11, secured by trust deeds, on settlers' claims. The rate of interest paid on this debt is given as an average of fifty per cent per annum--which was certainly stiff interest on real estate loans. The democratic reply was that Douglas had supported the free homestead bill, while seven republicans had voted against it; that the republican party was a sectional party and a "nigger" party,--and that Abraham Lincoln had made a speech in congress against the Mexican war, which speech translated into Spanish had been circulated in Mexico, thus giving aid and comfort to the enemy whom our brave soldiers were fighting in the field.

      Both sides claimed the election as the returns came in. It was soon clear that the republicans had secured the legislature. Daily had about 100 majority with all the counties in except L' eau qui Court which included the settlements at the mouth of the Niobrara river. The return from this county was long delayed, but finally arrived with 127 majority for Morton, electing him by fourteen votes There turning board composed of Governor Black and the other democratic territorial officials gave Morton his certificate of election, while Daily promptly gave notice of contest on the ground of fraudulent vote in L'eau qui Court, --far exceeding the total number of settlers in that county.

      The first electric telegraph reached Nebraska soil August 29, crossing the river at Brownville. Messages were exchanged with the rest of the world and a celebration held at night. When the legislature met again on December 4th it found the territorial debt grown to $52,000 and warrants selling at fifty cents on the dollar. Out of $19,615 territorial taxes assessed against the counties for 1859 only $4,813 had been paid. The new legislature was strongly republican and promptly passed and sent to the governor a new bill prohibiting slavery in the territory. January 1, 1861, Governor Black sent in his veto message, holding that under the Dred Scott decision and the Louisiana treaty the territorial legislature had no power to pass the act. Besides this he asserted that it was had policy, tending to shut off trade with slave states. On this point the message written in 1861 reads like a prophecy today. He wrote:

      "Look at the map and you will see that the future of Nebraska is linked with Texas. Our road to market is through that great and growing state. From Galveston Bay to the mouth of the Platte is less than eight hundred miles. A railroad is already surveyed and partially completed toward the northern line of Texas. By that road our rich harvests are eventually to reach their best market."

      The bill was passed over the veto by a vote of 35 to 2 in the house and 10 to 3 in the council. In the discussion it appeared that Alexander Majors and S. F. Nuckolls, of Nebraska City, and a few others had slaves. Two of Nuckolls' slaves ran away by the Tabor route to freedom. One of the fugitives, Eliza, was arrested by the United States marshall in Chicago under the fugitive slave act and the Nebraska City News of November 17, 1860, states that a "mob of black republicans" in that city took her from the marshal's hands. Six of Majors' slaves ran away about this time and thus closes the chapter of negro slavery in Nebraska.

     Freighting across the plains had been a



growing Nebraska industry for a number of years. With the development of the Colorado mines it now leaped to giant proportions. Omaha, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Nebraska City, and Brownville each claimed the "shortest and best route." But when Nebraska City laid out the Kearney Cut-off in 1861, passing by the head of Salt creek to the forks of the Big Blue and West Blue in Seward county, thence over easy grades across what is now York,. Hamilton and Hall counties to Fort Kearney, it was not long before the bulk of the business was going by that route and Nebraska City of those days was larger than Omaha.

     Abraham Lincoln became president March 4, 1861, and on May 11th the new republican officials,--Alvin Saunders, governor and A. S. Paddock, secretary of state, assumed their duties. On May 18th Gov. Saunders called for volunteers. On July 30th he First Nebraska under Col. John M. Thayer left Omaha by steamboat for the front, taking part in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Cape Giradeau and a multitude of lesser engagements.

      In July of 1861 congress met in extra session to provide means for carrying on the war. When Mr. Morton arrived in Washington to take his seat as delegate from Nebraska he was astonished to find that another certificate of election had been issued by Governor Black to Mr. Daily and that Col. Forney, chief clerk of the house, had placed Daily's name on the roll as member from this territory. It was even so. Daily's certificate was dated April 29, 1861, and was accompanied by a statement from Governor Black that on reconsideration of the vote from L'eau qui Court county he felt compelled to regard it as fraudulent, and had thrown it out, giving Daily a majority and the certificate. The details of the contest which followed cannot be given here. Leading democratic members, like Voorhees, of Indiana, made a fight for Morton, but a republican congress called to find means for putting down a giant rebellion had little time to seat democrats. Morton was granted the privilege of presenting his own case on the floor and made his first and last speech in congress, a fiery phillippic denouncing the men who had betrayed his confidence. He showed by documents that Governor Black owed him several hundred dollars, money loaned, at the very time he secretly issued the certificate to Daily, and discussed other features of the case with pungent oratory, but the house laid the matter on the table and Daily kept his seat. Black, meanwhile, had gone into the army as colonel of the 62nd Pennsylvania and was killed at the head of his regiment at the battle of Gaines Mill, June 27, 1862, fighting for the freedom of the slaves of the entire south, when he had refused to free a handful in Nebraska with a stroke of his pen.

      While the Nebraska First Regiment was marching on under southern skies to battle and victory, the problems of government and development were being met at home. The eighth territorial legislature met December 2, 1861. Governor Saunders reported that the telegraph line to the Pacific was already staked out along the Platte valley and the Pacific railroad must soon follow. Free schools was one of the things urged upon the attention of the legislature. Under decision of the new secretary of the interior the school lands in the territory were made subject to lease for the benefit of the fund. The territory owed $16,



000 in bonds and $34,000 in warrants and its credit was 50% to 60% below par. So poor was the revenue system and so urgent the need of securing funds for local expenses that some counties had resorted to the practice of issuing county warrants for three or four times the debt to be discharged in order to cover the depreciation of their paper,--a practice which the Governor said could not be "too strongly reprehended." The legislature promptly passed a resolution approving the war and pledging its support to the national government and memorialized congress to confiscate the property of the state of Georgia and Alabama and of sundry individuals in those states, --in the territory of Nebraska,--amounting to upwards of two hundred thousand acres of choice land,--and to devote the money arising from the sale of such confiscated rebel property to the payment of Nebraska's share of the Federal direct tax and to internal improvements within the territory. The writer has found no record showing that congress acted on this petition.

      Early in 1862 bands of "jayhawkers" raided into Richardson and Nemaha counties, stealing and destroying property. Governor Saunders issued a proclamation against them on January 2. The people of Nemaha county captured several of them, killed two and thrust their bodies under the ice in the Missouri river. Anti-jayhawker associations were a common social feature in this part of Nebraska during the rest of the war. In August, 1862, occurred the great Sioux outbreak in Minnesota. Immediate action was taken by Nebraska to protect her northern border, and the Second Nebraska Cavalry was organized during the fall, with Robert W. Furnas as colonel. In April, 1863, the regiment was ordered to Sioux City, and joined the army under General Sully to march against the Dakota Indians. It was a hard summer's campaign across the uninhabited plains, skirmishing with the elusive enemy. On the 3rd of September, General Sully's army surprised the Sioux camp two hundred miles above Pierre and the battle of White Stone Hills ensued. The Indians were completely whipped, losing one hundred and fifty killed, three hundred wounded, and nearly all their ponies and tepees. The Second Nebraska lost seven killed and fourteen wounded. The regiment returned home and was mustered out at Omaha, November 30, 1863.

     Delegate Daily's home was at Peru, Nemaha county, but in the legislation for the incorporation of the Union Pacific railroad company by congress he had drawn a bill providing that the eastern terminus of the road should be near the mouth of the Platte river and naming two leading citizens of Omaha as incorporators while the South Platte country had none. These and other circumstances convinced the South Platte citizens that Daily had, in their phrase, "sold out to Omaha," and they started after his scalp. A bitter fight followed in the republican territorial convention. Daily again secured the nomination. A number of prominent republicans south of the Platte, including judge O. P. Mason, bolted Daily's nomination. The democrats named Judge Kinney, of Nebraska City, and confidently looked forward to an overwhelming victory. Daily was once more too shrewd for the opposition. Although he ran behind in his own country south of the Platte the North Platte people more than made good the loss and elected him by 136 majority.



Nebraska's share of the direct war tax was $19,312. This was a large sum for a territory, already $50,000 in debt and running further behind. The proposition was made to congress that it should retain at Washington the $20,000 which had been appropriated by the federal government every year to pay the expenses of the Nebraska legislature and the territory would get along without a legislature for another year. This proposition. was accepted.

      The ninth session of the Nebraska territorial legislature, therefore, did not meet until January 7, 1864. Before that time arrived many important events had taken place. The free homestead law,--so long fought for, so often defeated,--was upon the statute book and on January 1, 1863, the first homestead in the United States under that act was taken by Daniel Freeman on Cub Creek, in Gage county. The summer of 1863 was marked the whole length of Nebraska's frontier by the blood of men, women and children killed by the Indians. The Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes and Kiowas were all on the warpath. In the valley of the Little Blue their attacks were especially severe. Ranches were burned, freighting outfits destroyed, and only large companies well armed could travel the overland trail. Governor Saunders' message recounted some of these events. The territorial debt had grown to $59,893. There were delinquent taxes amounting to $41,829, but territorial warrants had gone up and were now worth eighty to ninety cents on the dollar. The legislature passed the first comprehensive revenue law in our history providing a complete system for the assessments and- collection of taxes. It passed a marriage and divorce law, an act making ten hours a legal day's work, a general incorporation law,--doing away with the need of a special act for every new corporation,--a new legislative apportionment bill, which gave the South Platte seven members out of thirteen in the council and twenty-three out of thirty-nine members in the house.

      When the political campaign of 1864 rolled around it found a transformation in Nebraska. The republican territorial committee met on February 12 and voted to disband the republican party in order to go into the "Union" party,--whose single test of membership was the support of President Lincoln. This was a shrewd move to hold the war democrats who believed in the preservation of the Union but hated the name republican,--coupled as it generally had been with the adjective "black." Accordingly a "Union" territorial convention was held August 17 at Nebraska City, wherein P. W. Hitchcock was named as candidate for territorial delegate in congress. The democratic convention met September 14, at Plattsmouth, nominated Dr. George L. Miller for congress and adopted a platform which opposed statehood and declared for peace. The election resulted in Hitchcock's election by a majority of 1,087,--the largest antidemocratic vote thus far cast in the territory. The war sentiment and inability of the democrats to successfully meet the charge that they were rebel sympathizers,--a charge made on every stump by the "Union" orators,--was the main cause of their defeat.

     The legislature which met January 5, 1865, was the first one greeted by a reduction in the territorial debt and improvement in the general financial condition. A general herd law was recommended by Governor Saunders. He

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