States." So I say we cannot serve two masters and two laws. We want to serve one law.
MR. MOONEY. We know that the Indian can express his thoughts and ideas. The Omaha tribe have ideas and I think it would be very interesting to the Society if we could have a few words in the native Indian language from Mr. Upton Henderson, who is present, and to have him give the native name for Nebraska and then interpret it.
MR. HENDERSON (speaking through Mr. Blackbird, his interpreter). My friends, I wanted to see what you are doing, and I wanted to hear what you are saying; that is the reason I came here. I am glad to hear what you people are speaking about, and I am enjoying myself very much. We do not have any history like you have. Maybe we have history, but it has never been written. I suppose God made us just like all nations, just giving us the knowledge of hearing and seeing things. I suppose God gives all of you understanding and education. Education is one of the best things. God did not give the Indian education and knowledge as you have it, but only gave us the light and hardships. The Lord gives you the book of knowledge so that you can write anything going on and keep a record of it. it seems that the Lord gave it to Indians only to think and hear.
MR. BLACKMAN. I see before me a gentleman who has taken a deep interest in archeological investigation in this state, and has been especially interested in a little figure that has attracted a great deal of attention, which he found near the place where he now lives. We will all be glad to hear from Rev. Michael A. Shine, of Plattsmouth.
MR. SHINE. Anyone interested in the state of Ne-
braska and its history cannot help but be attracted by the archeological discoveries that are being made, because in that field of science we have the peculiarities of Almighty God himself. We have books written in stone, and we can read on these pages the early history of Nebraska. When we can correctly interpret these formations they will tend to make the study and reading of history the more interesting. I have therefore taken a great interest in this subject, and especially in the figure the chairman spoke of--a little image of St. John on a halfshell, having a figure in relief modeled upon it. We have been endeavoring to find out what that shell meant, where it came from, what made it, and what was the object of it. I have been trying for several years to discover the object and meaning, but so far have not been successful. However, the more I study it the more I am convinced that it is not the figure of St. John, but the figure of the Christ child. I have had it photographed, and with the aid of a magnifying glass I seem to discover in addition to the face some letters and figures on the half-shell. There are two of these; one from Plattsmouth, found in the river by some boys who were in swimming. They found the shell by a rock. It was found by a son of Mr. Fickler. He picked it up and looked at it and was going to throw it away. The other boys said, "Let us wait; let us take it home and have some fun with it." The other shell was found at Tekamah by Mr. Ed Latta, who was out making some geographical surveys and found it at the foot of a hill. Both shells are identical in every respect. If you will visit the museum of the Society you will find them there. Both seem to be made in the same mold and of the same substance. So far I have been unable to get any clue. Still, I do not despair.
It seems to be a matter of perseverance, and I believe in time the question will be solved.
The afternoon session opened at half
past two with Samuel C. Bassett, vice president of the
Nebraska State Historical Society, presiding.
1 This paper appears in Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society, volume XVI, page 224.
search out places in the state where historic events have occurred. When I was made chairman of this committee, I asked the board to appoint as many committeemen as might be necessary to assist in the work, and twelve were appointed. I believe, now, it would be much better. to have a comitteeman (sic) appointed in every county, some one acquainted with the events of the county, who would have the time and means to look up historic facts. I have asked for reports from my committeemen, and information has been coming in slowly up to this morning.
I herewith present my annual report of the committee on historic sites. More than two hundred letters have been made to interest as many people as possible along general interest in the work of searching out and preserving locations or sites of historic importance, an effort has been made to interest as many people as possible along this line, and as one means of accomplishing this purpose a circular letter was addressed to every school superintendent in the state requesting information. A few responses have been received.
To increase the number of willing workers, authority was given me to indefinitely increase the number of assistants or committeemen. The following were appointed who have signified their willingness to coöperate in the work:
1. Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon.
Mr. C. S. Coney, county superintendent of Stanton county, sent information regarding an old battle- ground near Stanton, and referred me to Dr. W. L. Bowman, who sent a diagram of the ground where a battle was fought between the Sioux and Omaha, and of the second position to which the Omaha retreated, where a two days fight occurred and gave a short account of the battle The dates of these battles are not given.
Mr. H. A. Collins, county superintendent of Sarpy county, called attention to three historic buildings in Bellevue, namely: the first church erected in the territory; original missionary's residence, now used as a dwelling; the headquarters of the Indian agents, now owned by the county and rented to the village, none of which have any tablet to attract the attention of visitors.
Mr. H. C. Walker, of Douglas county, sent notice of finding the grave of a woman who died of cholera in 1850 and was buried about seven miles southeast of Bridgeport. As this grave is unquestionably the one about which I had gathered a fuller account before I had seen Mr. Walker's letter, I will refer to it farther on.
Members of the committee have sent information as follows:
Mr. David Anderson, regarding the establishment of a trading post at Bellevue by the American Fur Company.
Mr. Robert F. Gilder has sent two reports. The first, an interesting account of recent prehistoric discoveries, will be filed with the archeologist. The second report is an account of the discovery of what he believes to be the site of the trading post of John B. Cabanné, where he found bricks, mortar and ashes piled up, and among the debris, bits of earthenware and fragments of clay pipestems, and has in his possession the lock of an old-fashioned flintlock pistol found at the same place, which he
presented to the museum. He also relates that a former tenant of the land found a three-inch wrought iron cable, probably used in tying up boats at the river bank, now a bench six feet high above the river bottoms. The river now is a half mile farther east.
Mr. Iaeger, of Chadron, mentions two sites of great interest in northwestern Nebraska--Crow Buttes and Gates of Sheridan.
Mr. John F. Kees reports that the most important historic site in Gage county is the Daniel Freeman homestead, the first entered under the homestead act of 1862. It should certainly be marked.
Mr. Taylor, of Culbertson, writes about the last great battle between the Pawnee and Sioux Indian tribes in Massacre Cañon, near Trenton, August 4, 1873,1 and that he has intended to erect a monument on the battleground at his own expense provided he could not obtain assistance, but thought he could secure contributions to the amount of fifty dollars. He also reports the location of an Indian battle-ground on section 16, township 2 north, range 31 west, six miles south of Culbertson. When he first visited the place in 1873, arrows, tepee poles and torn blankets were scattered over a strip of ground a mile long by a quarter of a mile wide. Mr. Taylor thinks that the battle occurred in 1865, between Indians and U. S. soldiers. He also reports that the old wagon trail along the Republican river crosses the bench upon which Culbertson stands, passing through his yard, where he has placed a marker.
Fort Independence, near the old O. K. store, on the old emigrant road south of Grand Island, has been the subject of some correspondence. The woman who owns
1 Mr. Taylor has told the story of this battle in Collections of the State Historical Society, volume XVI, page 165.
the land upon which it is situated is very anxious that a suitable monument be erected, and she informs me that she will subscribe twenty-five dollars toward it, and will grant such concessions as may be necessary to allow free access by the public and to protect it from vandalism.
Inquiry has been made as to the site of "Lone Tree," at the Lone Tree ranch on the same trail, in the vicinity of Central City. Lone Tree was a large cottonwood and was a favorite camping place. The tree, like many who slept under its friendly branches, has disappeared from earth, but Mr. C. C. Combs, a pioneer in that vicinity, informs me that he can point out the exact locality where it stood.2
Lone Tree has a peculiar interest to me. When I was a boy in Indiana, George Wilbur, our teacher during the winter of 1859-60, often told the pupils of his trip up the Platte river and to Pike's Peak, and how at Lone Tree they met discouraged returning emigrants, bearing evil tidings from the reputed gold fields. So many of the outgoing trains turned back that the famous cottonwood was dubbed the "Turntable." Years afterward I traveled over the trail and slept beneath its branches, in memory of my old teacher who had died some years before.
On the first of November I arrived in Bridgeport, too late to catch the Scotts Bluff train, and had to lie over thirty-six hours. While there, I made inquiry about the grave reported by Mr. Walker, heretofore referred to. Mr. R. H. Willis, formerly county surveyor, informed me that there was the grave of a woman on a beautiful knoll overlooking the Platte river, near the old Overland road, southeast of Bridgeport. Mr. Willis kindly loaned me one of his field books from which I found the location to
2 A marker was placed on the site of Lone Tree August 9, 1911.--ED.
be in section 26, township 19 north, range 49 west. The, headstone of the grave is of marble, and the following in scription is beautifully carved upon it:
M. J. Lamin
of Devonshire, Eng.
Born Feb. 22, 1822.
Died June 23,1850
The stone has been broken by vandals
into many pieces which now lie scattered about.
In all the accounts of mournful deaths on the overland trails, I remember none more sad than this of Mrs. Lamin, and certainly no greater fidelity and constancy than was shown by Mr. Lamin in thus traveling 200 miles, alone and on foot, through a country infested by Indians to procure this stone to mark the burial place of his bride. Our advance guard of civilization has all but obliterated that work of loving hands, and I earnestly recommend that a suitable memorial, bearing the original inscription and a brief history of the husband's fidelity, be placed at the grave.
My business detained me at Scott's
Bluff and Gering three days, and while there I made inquiry
about Fort Mitchell. Mr. Sowerwine, a pioneer of Gering and
a Pike's Peak emigrant, who had traveled over the Oregon
Trail through Mitchell Pass, volunteered to show me the old
site which is in the northeast corner of the southwest
quarter of section 20, township 22 north, range 55 west, on
the high bank of the west side of the Platte River, and
about three and a half miles west of the town of Scott's
Bluff. The wagon road from Scott's Bluff crosses the river
and a narrow stretch of low bottom, and ascends through a
cut to the second bench, about twenty feet above the river.
Before it has reached the summit, a lane turns south to the
home of Mr. R. S. Hunt, the owner of the land. Along this
lane, and just inside the wire fence on the left, is the
northwest corner of the old stockade, 228 feet from the
center of the wagon road. That part of the fort now
discernible was apparently the adobe stockade, and now
fallen, trampled upon and rounded over, its outline is
clearly defined. The inclosure was in the form of a
trapezium, no two sides parallel, yet so nearly a rec-
tangle that it might be so considered. The north and south ends are each 90 feet in length, the west side 140 feet, and the east side 120 feet. The east side lies parallel to the edge of the bluff, and the west side is parallel to the lane fence, which protects it from the effects of travel in the lane. The large double gate was evidently on the south side at the southwest corner, and the road leading down the bluff to the ford is about 150 feet from the gate. The wooden parts of the structure were apparently burned, as the ground is thickly strewn with charcoal. The only evidence I found indicating military occupation was a brass army button, a hub of an army wagon, and numerous fragments of broken window glass, apothecary bottles, and others of stronger make and of different colors, evidently from the sutler's store. Having an instrument with me I took the following bearings from the southwest corner of the stockade:
The west wall bears north 300 west; the south wall bears north 67 1/2o east; the perpendicular wall rock on the northeast side of Scott's Bluff bear south 43o 45' east.
On the range of bluffs to the southwest are two small buttes in close proximity to each other. The east one is the smaller and has a very sharp peak, which bears south 47o 35' west. The bearing of the north wall is north 72o east. About a quarter of a mile southwest is a low knoll which is said to be the burial ground, and that there were two graves. Upon visiting the spot, I found what were said to be headstones of native rock. I am of the opinion that if interments were made there, the bodies have been removed. I found a grave, however, thirty-five feet to the northeast, on the slope of the knoll surrounded with small stones. Mr. R. S. Hunt, the owner of the land, is very anxious that the bodies be removed before the graves become obliterated and has conferred with
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