enue in the purchase and printing of books, erecting monuments and doing field work, while a society having a small income must spend a larger proportion of it in the employment of labor. This has always been the condition confronting the Nebraska Society, as the following figures indicate.
There was a time when $7,500 annually
would have been quite sufficient for the support of this
Society; but it is impossible to meet the increasing demands
of the Society incident to the growth of the state and its
institutions and to enlarged conceptions of all educational
work without increased appropriations. The growth of our
library and museum, the new lines of work undertaken in
reSpouse to public demands and the great amount of research
incident to these new departments, the lack of modern
facilities and insufficient room have forced us, even with
the practice of rigid economy, to become persistent beggars
for private aid.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
The members of the Nebraska State
Historical Society feel a paternal interest in the
Historical Association, which was organized in Lincoln and under the auspices of this Society, in 1907, and which still has its headquarters here. Your secretary attended the second annual meeting of the association held in St. Louis, June 17, 18, 19, 1909, but was unable to attend the semiannual meeting held in New York City in connection with the American Historical Association, December 30, 1909. The membership of the association now numbers about 400. The next annual meeting will be held in Iowa City, May 26 and 27, 1910, preceded by a meeting of the Iowa State Historical Society on May 25, and followed by a meeting at Des Moines on the 28th, for the dedication of the historical, memorial and art building in that city. The first volume of the proceedings of the association has been issued, and the second volume is in press.
The affairs of this organization are in
a prosperous and satisfactory condition. The association,
which was formerly supported very largely by this Society,
has been entirely self-supporting during the past three
years, notwithstanding some unusual, though necessary,
expenses during this time. The last annual meeting was well
attended, and an interesting program was presented. The
regular semiannual meeting was held in Lincoln, September 6
and 7, but the attendance was much reduced on account of the
unfavorable weather. The association now numbers about 700
members, 290 of whom were added during the year 1909. Your
secretary has practically completed the compilation of the
proceedings of the association, together with a history of
the organization and a roster of the members. A fund has
been started for the publication of these proceedings, and
contributions have been received from many of the members.
It is hoped
that a sufficient amount may be raised by voluntary subscription and membership fees to defray the entire expense of publishing this volume.
An especial effort has been made during
the year to have the Society represented at the meetings of
all local historical societies and old settlers
associations, with a view to establishing a closer
relationship between these organizations and the central
society. Following are the names of the more important of
these organizations, most of which have taken formal and
favorable action with reference to some form of affiliation
with this Society.
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN PRIZE.
No branch of history or of learning,
beyond the three R's, is as interesting or perhaps as
important to Nebraskans as the history of their
commonwealth, and none has been so much neglected. The
history of the United States has been carefully taught--and
properly so--in our public schools of high and low degree
from their be-
ginning, while it cannot be said that instruction in the history of the state has been systematically begun. Owing to this peculiar condition, which has been due in part to the lack, until recent years, of books and other available collections of the necessary information, the generous offer by William J. Bryan of a prize of $25 for the best paper on some topic of the history of Nebraska, as a stimulus to its study, is very timely and should be responded to by a large number of competitors. It is to be hoped, also, that Mr. Bryan's auspicious beginning may stimulate other contributions for the same or similar purposes. Following are the rules governing the contest for the Bryan prize.
1. The William Jennings Bryan prize of $25 for the best unpublished monograph on Nebraska history will be awarded by the Nebraska State Historical Society.
2. Three judges shall be named by the board of directors of the Society, and competing manuscripts shall be placed in their hands before May 15, 1910.
3. Writers having an established reputation as historians, or who have published any important historical work, are barred from competition.
4. Papers must be based upon independent and original investigation of some phase of Nebraska history and be a distinct contribution to knowledge of the subject. They must conform to the accepted canons of historical research and criticism, contain references to all authorities, and be presented in scientific form accompanied by a critical bibliography.
5. The papers should be typewritten, or at least presented to the committee free from erasures, interlineations and other evidences of revision. If written by hand they must be legible, and in any case must be written on only one side of the sheet and be in form ready for publication.
6. Papers must not contain anything in addition to text, foot notes, and bibliography, except the name and address of the author and a short introduction setting forth the character of the material and the purpose of the work.
7. The prize will not be awarded for any paper not individually meritorious.
8 All manuscripts submitted shall become the property of the Society, and it shall have the first right of publication.
In case, however, any contributor does not receive notice from the Society, within six months, of its intention to publish his paper, he shall be permitted to publish it on his own account.
All papers intended for competition and all communications in regard to this contest should be addressed to the secretary of the Nebraska State Historical Society.
The employment of Mr. Albert Watkins as
historian is the first important step toward the regular
prosecution of the historical work proper along orderly,
systematic and methodical lines. Mr. Watkins devotes his
entire time to research and editorial work and it is
expected that the character of the publications of the
Society in the future will approach the high standard which
should be its aim.
Many valuable donations have been made
to the library, most important of which is a set of records
of the War of the Rebellion, 126 volumes, in half-morocco
binding, a gift of Hon. Eugene J. Hainer of Lincoln.
pie, Lincoln, Nebr.; M. H. Marble, Table Rock, Nebr.; G. Smith Stanton, New York, N. Y.; R. C. Harriss, Fairbury, Nebr.; E. W. Dole, Beatrice, Nebr.; Charles Francis Adams, Boston, Mass.; Helen M. Hitte, Brownville, Nebr.; Perl A. Minnick, Brownville, Nebr.; Charles 0. Lobeck, Omaha, Nebr.; Joseph J. Breen, South Omaha, Nebr.; Arthur L. Anderson, Wahoo, Nebr.; Horace M. Jackson, Atchison, Kans.; John F. Kees, Filley, Nebr.; Dr. G. E. Spear, Lincoln, Nebr.; George H. Himes, Portland, Ore.
The Society now receives nearly all of
the newspapers published in Nebraska and many from
neighboring states, which are contributed free by their
public-spirited publishers. Papers are received from ninety
of the ninety-two counties of Nebraska. The work of the
newspaper department is under the direction of Mr. W. E.
Hannan, by whom these papers are arranged for the free use
of the public. As they accumulate they are bound and filed
away in fireproof vaults for the use of the future
There have been a number of additions
to the museum. during the year, some of the more important
of which are
The figurehead, or bow ornament, of the
Nebraska is now in possession of this Society as a permanent loan from the navy department at Washington, secured through the assistance of Governor Ashton C. Shallenberger and Congressman M. P. Kinkaid. With the adoption of "slate color" paint with which to finish the exterior of battleships, armored cruisers, etc., the figureheads lost their value as a feature of ship ornamentation. It was decided, therefore, to remove the figureheads from the vessels of the classes referred to in order to relieve the vessels of unnecessary weight. The figurehead of the battleship Nebraska was removed at the navy yard, New York, in May 1909. It is of cast iron, and is a duplicate in design and finish of the bow ornament fitted on the battleship Virginia.
The figurehead weighs, when packed for shipment, 4,055 pounds. It is now in storage in a knocked down condition and cannot be successfully exhibited until we have more room.
The rapid increase in membership of the
Society during the past few years is a fair indication of
the growing interest in its work. It is especially pleasing
to note that every county in the state is represented in
these additional members and that they come from the most
progressive and intelligent class of our citizens.
This larger membership, however, brings
to the So-
ciety increased duties and greater responsibilities, as well as a wider field of opportunity and usefulness. Under the present constitution the membership fee is but two dollars, with no annual dues, and the Society is supposed to furnish all members with its current publications. This creates a financial burden which the Society cannot longer carry unless appropriations are materially increased or provision is made for annual dues as in other similar societies. With annual dues of even one dollar entirely devoted to publication purposes, a volume could be issued each year and delivered free to all members.
GUY CONGER BARTON
JAMES H. CANFIELD
NICHOLAS A. DUFF
GENERAL RICHARD C. DRUM
Born in Scotland, February 17, 1851, died at Nebraska
City, November 2, 1909.
DAVID MARSHALL JOHNSTON
WILLIAM WALBRIDGE WATSON
LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE DEPARTMENT.
I feel it my duty to renew the
recommendation, which I have made from time to time, that
the legislative reference library be separated from the
regular work of this Society for the following reasons:
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