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immediate connection with the struggling pioneers of Lancaster county, and there it begins with those of Seward county. Of those good old days of pioneer life we have many, yes very many, pleasant recollections.
   There were some dark clouds overspreading our skies at times but every cloud let it be ever so dark "Had its silver lining". Friendships there sprung up that will remain true so long as life shall last.
   To have been a pioneer in Nebraska, in helping to open the way to civilization, we consider an honor, and looking back over the years, years of pleasant sunshine and prosperity, years of dark clouds, of danger and adversity, we rejoice to-night that we came to Nebraska and helped to lay the foundations of this mighty commonwealth, "Our own, our loved Nebraska."



[Read before a Meeting of the Society, January 13, 1891.]

   Thirty-seven years ago this mouth the bill organizing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska became a national statute. That bill was the outgrowth of the ambition of Stephen A. Douglas to become president of the United States. But it opened, instead of a pathway for one man to the presidency, the rough and bloody road to freedom for four millions of bondsmen. Man proposed for self, but the inexorable logic of events disposed for justice and liberty to all humanity. The manner of presenting the issue was seemingly obscure. But through the mists of sophistry and above the wrangle of debate was seen and heard at last the figure of justice demanding mercy and liberty for an oppressed race. And from the first establishment of civil government in Kansas and Nebraska until the sound of the last gun of the great civil war in 1865 there was no cessation in the intensely fierce combat for the natural rights of man. Thus the star of an individual destiny paled in the light of the sun of that liberty which rose to its zenith after the tumult and tempest which swept the country with iron bail and deluged it with blood.
   Two years later, in March 1867, (after thirteen years of territorial dependence) Nebraska was admitted to the Union. Therefore, after twenty-four years of statehood - civil government within these borders is thirty-seven years of age. And this society has been organized for the proper purpose of truthfully recording in part, at least, the cause and effects of the governmental expedients and policies which have been evolved, and failed, or proved partially successful, during that period of time.
   On January 16, 1855, the first legislative assembly of the territory of Nebraska convened at Omaha, then a hamlet of between three and five hundred persons. A biography of the dominant members in that assembly would be in part a history of Michigan, New York,



Iowa and New England; for in all those sections individual members of that first legislature of Nebraska had been prominent and some of them distinguished. In proportion to its numbers, twenty-six members in the lower, and thirteen in the upper house, it contained more men learned in the law and experienced in legislation than any of its successors down to this day.
   The message read to those pioneers of civil government on the west bank of the Missouri was equal in cogency of statement, purity of diction and perspicacity of style to any similar paper which has been addressed to Nebraska law makers in all these thirty-seven years. It was delivered on January 16, 1855, at Omaha, by the Hon. Thomas, B. Cuming, secretary and acting governor. In it I find the words which I heard so eloquently spoken - "The first official act - within our territory has been indeed a mournful one - the transmission to a bereaved wife and orphaned children in South Carolina of all that was mortal of your late lamented Governor, Francis Burt. In his death you have suffered a severe loss - the loss of a man peculiarly qualified by his public experience and capacity, his private virtues and his energy and firmness, for the satisfactory and courageous discharge of his official duties. He spent a few weeks of suffering among us, and his grave in a distant state is only another tie of union between communities widely severed, who will revert to his character with fraternal pride, and to his untimely decease with sympathetic sorrow. There were no unpleasant discriminations to subtract from the universal esteem in which him manly and amiable traits were held by an enlightened people."
   By the decease of Governor Burt, Secretary Cuming, under a provision of the Nebraska bill, became the acting governor of Nebraska. Up to and at the time of his death, Governor Burt made Bellevue the territorial capital, and there kept the executive office. Had he lived, the first legislative assembly of Nebraska would have been there convened, and there would have been located, by the legislature, the permanent capital, and there built up the commercial city of this commonwealth. There would have crossed the transcontinental railroad, and Omaha would have been only a name, for Bellevue is the natural gateway, ready graded for the railroad, to the valley of the great Platte.
   But Governor Burt's views were not those of Governor Cuming



who convened at Omaha a legislative assembly which was so made up by his proclamation apportioning the members - that the capital would be there located by law, as well as by his proclamation. Therefore the death of Governor Burt - whose official career is today unknown to most of the million of citizens of this state - established Omaha and obliterated Bellevue. In fact the death, at that time, of that now almost forgotten man changed the railway system for a continent. What Bellevue is Omaha would have been, and what Omaha is, Bellevue would have been, had Francis Burt lived out his term of office: "Upon a breath that ceased to come and go how much of the web and woof of history bung." How like the wind, the cloud, the variableness of the moods of a mere child, are the building up of cities and states and the social and political positions of persons, The death of a man unknown to fame - merely the governor of a frontier territory, three hundred miles beyond the terminus of the farthest westward reaching railroad - on a calm sunshiny day in October, 1854, at the old log mission house in Bellevue, changed the course of the commerce of a continent from its natural, to an artificial channel. Some of the contented and comfortably well-to-do farmers of Sarpy county, in the country in the vicinity of Bellevue, would have been millionaires to-day, and some of Omaha's millionaires would have been now comfortable and wholesome farmers upon the very lands which are covered with pavements and the beautiful creations of modern architecture, had Governor Burt only lived a few years more. Then the vast blocks of buildings, the paved streets, the puff of the engine, the music of the forge, the glare of the furnace, and the constant bum of contented industry would have embellished and animated Bellevue. And from Omaha farms the golden corn would have been garnered, while the hymns of tranquil enjoyment ascended from its rural homes. But history will make no record illustrating the mere ceasing of a breath, the mere stopping of the pulsations of a single heart which made plowmen of possible plutocrats at Bellevue, and plutocrats of possible plowmen at Omaha. History will only assert the foresight, the sagacity, the superiority of those whom a single death made fortunate, never at all writing down the efforts, the solicitudes, the aspirations and hopes of those to whom that one death came like a vast ocean of disaster stretching from the morning of



their lives to their very graves. History gives little consideration to circumstance.

"That all-pervading atmosphere, wherein
Our spirits, like the unsteady lizard, take
The tints that color, and the food that nurtures."

   The real history of a people can be written only by one who knows that people's condition in the formative period of the social, political, and economic foundations. And that history must ignore, utterly and absolutely, all sentiment, all ideas of what ought to have been, and record what was with cruel and unrelenting fidelity. If a city was located, established, built up because legislators were bribed to vote it the capital of the commonwealth, history should so state, notwithstanding moralists and mothers have been teaching, for generations that nothing thus created can continuously thrive and grow. If great estates now contested among numerous heirs - some of them of the highest social and political prominence in the union, originated in the price of a corrupt ancestor in the first territorial legislature of Nebraska, just and good history should show and illuminate the vicious fact. History should record the truth, and should not be what Napoleon the First said it was, "An agreed lie."
   History should not sell places within its sacred arena to mere pretenders, however successful socially, financially and politically they have appeared. Real history is not like a theatre, wherein box seats and orchestra chairs may be purchased by the vulgar as well as by the meritorious and refined. But histories, as now written, of counties and states by peripatetic Plutarchs offer, for a pecuniary consideration, to embalm in adulation, to preserve in eulogy, to pickle in perennial acclaim reputations and characters which already nauseate and render tumultuously uneasy the stomach of decent public opinion.
   History to-day at times seems a huckster. History to-day tenders in her imperishable annals, too often, the highest places to the lowest mental and moral men, C. O. D. History seems to be dealing too much with reputation, too little with character, too much with the unreal and too little with the real. As the impartial sun tinges with its earliest beams the mountain tops on the Atlantic coast and sweeping to the zenith pours a, last the full effulgence of its noonday radiance into all the remotest valleys and gorges of the



earth, lighting up alike the beautiful and the repulsive, so should history - with equal impartiality light up the good and the bad of every generation, gilding the one, and exposing the other, by the full glare of the blazing truth.
   But in a paper prepared so hastily as this, I cannot, without violence to the rules of propriety and the patience of my auditors, pursue the mist-hidden paths of the territorial past to weariness. Yet we will venture a little farther into the records of that first legislative assembly, and find that on the 16th day of February, 1855, just one month after the convening of that body the council committee on corporations submitting, - and it will be found on page 65 of the council journal - a very elaborate and interesting report chartering "the Platte Valley and Pacific railroad company", and commending a route for its road. This report, which clearly and forcibly pictures the route, and enumerates the possibilities of the commerce of the continent from ocean to ocean, is made by Dr. M. H. Clark, whom I well remember as a strong and sturdy man, attired in the buckskin raiment of a hunter and frontiersman, but intellectually equipped by nature and by careful study to cope with the best armed of schoolmen and doctrinaires. His was a broad and generous nature. With a strong emotional organization he combined stalwart reasoning powers. He stated a proposition so that he proved it in the statement. He closes this report on the railroad to the Pacific thus: "In view of the comparative cost, to the wonderful changes that will result, your committee cannot believe the period remote when this work will have been accomplished; and with liberal encouragement to capital, which your committee is disposed to grant, it is their belief that before fifteen years have transpired the route to India will be opened, and this way across the continent will be the common way of the world. Entertaining these views, your committee report the bill for "the Platte Valley and Pacific rail road," feeling assured that it will become not only a basis for branches within Nebraska, but for surrounding states and territories.

   That prophetic paper, read with the earnest enthusiasm of a real seer - a zealous believer in his own utterances - made a profound impression upon the youth of "then" which the old man of "now" can



not hope to transfer to your understanding with its fervor and eloquence all uncooled and gleaming after an intermission between the acts of thirty-mix years! Dr. Clark lived only three years after that, when, by sudden sickness, he was gathered to his fathers. But, in 1869 - before the fifteen years of his prophecy had expired - the track of the Union Pacific had been laid, and now through those veins

"Of your vast empire flows in strengthening tides
Trade, the calm health of nations."

  Ten of the thirteen men who constituted that upper house have passed out of this into another existence. Hiram P. Bennet, A. D. Jones and Samuel E. Rogers, the former in Denver, and the latter two at Omaha, are the only survivors of the body to whom Dr. Clark made that report. But this evening I have, clear and well-defined, the mental image of that little two story brick building at Omaha, which in 1855 we called the capitol. There on the first floor, sure enough, are the twenty-six members in session, called legally and literally, the lower house; and Major Paddock - then only a middle-aged man - dignifiedly doing duty as chief clerk, and Andrew Jackson Hanscom, of Omaha, discharging with great mental and physical muscularity, and in a most masterful manner, the functions. of the speakership. His eye was always alert to recognize, and his ear to hear Andrew Jackson Poppleton, who then, as now, was among the foremost lawyers, thinkers and speakers in Nebraska. The two men, by their intellectual force and courage, wielded great influence, and Andrew Jackson never had, in any house of representatives, a yoke of namesakes which better reflected his own ability, will, pluck and strength of purpose.
   Of the eight members of the first house of representatives from Omaha, Messrs. Hanscom and Poppleton, are the only ones now residents of the established metropolis which they each individually did so much to create. And then, up stairs, the council of thirteen - Joseph L. Sharp, of Richardson county, president; Richard Brown, of Forney (now Nemaha) county, Hiram P. Bennet, Charles H. Cowles and Henry Bradford from Pierce (now Otoe) county, and Samuel E. Rogers, O. D. Richardson, A. D. Jones, T. G. Goodwill from Douglas, J.. C. Mitchell, from Washington county, M. H. Clark, from Dodge, B. R. Folsom, from Burt, and Lafayette Nuckolls, from Cass - with my still youthful friend, Dr. George L. Miller, for



chief clerk, is as plainly before my eyes to-night as though the veil of years had never fallen, nor graves intervened between that "then" and this "now." I knew each member personally and well, and did time permit I would roughly sketch each to you, so that you, too, might. know the mental and physical peculiarities of those argonants who first navigated the rough, tempestuous sea of Nebraska politics. Had I the weird and mysterious power of the phonograph, I would have you hear their voices in the speeches I heard. You should listen to O. D. Richardson, of Douglas, who, previous to becoming a Nebraskan, had achieved eminence at the bar, and as legislator and lieutenant-governor in Michigan. A man of great industry, dignity and learning, whom no man in our whole commonwealth has ever surpassed in capacity for practical wholesome legislation. He was honest. He was dutiful to principles, to family and to his country - a model of good citizenship and high character; and his speeches were logical, terse, lucid, earnest and of a good type of useful oratory.
   Yet the opinion generally prevails that the pioneers were, as a rule, uneducated and utterly devoid of ideas as to the possibilities which their future - our present - had in store for Nebraska. Nothing could be more erroneous. For in 1854, '55 and '56, was heard portrayed in pyrotechnic verbiage the steam horse on his iron track crossing the Missouri and dashing through the Rockies to the Pacific in pursuit of the teas of China and the silks of India and Japan. Even the numerous employes and agents of the American Fur company at Bellevue, from Colonel Peter A. Sarpy and Stephen Decatur, down to the halfbreed cooks and roustabouts, waxed warmly wordy, when the coming cars were talked about. And great cities on these plains were predicted with fervid faith by scores of swarthy long-haired prophets in moccasins and buckskin breeches. They saw with mental vision, well and clearly - as in a mirror - all that our eyes behold to-day of material development of agriculture, commerce and manufacture. As in a crude block of marble the sculptor beholds the symmetry of the finished form of a goddess, so those pioneers had a mental concept of all that now surrounds and animates the stately progress of this queenly commonwealth.
   In youth the future is tilled with joys to be, triumphs yet to come. In age the past is stored with the rich and tender memories of joys departed. It is throbbing with the recollections of victories that



have vanished with the vanquished. There is in human life no present - no to-day. It is all to-morrow with youth. It is all yesterday with age.
   Man is here on the earth, in the battle of life, not a volunteer but a conscript. He is essentially and potentially what his race made him. His ancestry determined his capacity to do, to suffer and to enjoy. Nurture and environment may modify this tendency or intensify that faculty - but nature alone determines by heredity and evolution just what education may do for each individual and fixes the limits to the leading out of intellects, by the intellects to be led out, as certainly as derivation fixes the origin of the word educate in the verb "educere," to "lead out."
   Therefore the laws of heredity and evolution should be taught in the schools so that by their obedient observance humanity may improve physically and mentally. Then each family should keep a daily record within its own household - a home history. It should tell the sanitary, mental and moral condition of parents and children. Then from such domestic data - some generations hence - when humanity shall have been philosophically observing evolution and heredity for a few centuries, history may become a record of useful facts - and not a register of prejudice and romance. Then there will be for all mankind less of fortuity and more of certainty in all possible attainments, physical and mental.
   Reverting: This desultory sketch shows the influence of the ambition of Mr. Douglas in precipitating the civil war. It depicts the power which the death of Governor Burt exercised upon the existence of cities, the development of a state and the commerce of continent. Those two personalities were, the first positively, the second negatively, the immediate cause of stupendous results. Neither of them consciously planned. Both apparently chanced. And yet had the human mind the power to trace, through analysis, the ancestry of those men to the beginning of their respective families, we should find - I have not even a little bit of doubt - each result, positive and negative alike, perfectly logical, inevitable and inexorable. When that power of ultimate analysis has been perfectly will be in justice and developed by evolution and heredity, history truth written wisely and well. But at present we can only dimly discern in the record of events, that there is a logic which



"Sways the harmonious mystery of the world,
Even better than prime ministers;
Our glories float between the earth and heaven
Like clouds which seem pavilions of the sun.
And are the playthings of the wind;
Still, like the cloud which drops on unseen crags
The dews the wild flower feeds on, our ambition
May from its airy height drop gladness down
On unsuspected virtue - and the flower
May bless the cloud when it hath passed away!"


[Observations on the Upper Missouri in 1855.]


   The following paper was read before the state historical society at its last meeting, January 13, 1891.
   "In the year 1855 Nebraska was a wild and uninhabited waste. Its resources were practically unknown. It had been condemned in advance of its white occupation by an ignorant public opinion as a desert. It was the almost exclusive home of the Indian, and of the buffalo, and other game upon which he subsisted. Omaha was a straggling little hamlet of cheap abodes in which dwelt people, who could have been counted by a few score scattered over a large area of virgin prairie. It bore the shabby aspect of a small deserted village. The Omaha Indians lived near Bellevue, at that time in their ancient village, but were long since removed to the reservation which they now occupy. Open war existed between them and the powerful Sioux. The most eminent of the Omahas, Logan Fontenelle, a man of superior character and courage, had been overtaken and killed by his old enemy in the previous year. The Pawnees, located near Columbus in those years, were also at war with the Sioux, and the broad valleys of the Platte and Elkhorn rivers were the Indian battlegrounds. These facts tended to kindle apprehensions in the imaginations of the early settlers who, even in Omaha, were often alarmed by reports of the approach of the Sioux, who were constantly accredited with murderous designs upon the town. It is within my own easy memory to recall more than one occasion when the dwellers in the little Omaha of that early day would not have been much surprised to see a Sioux war party rushing over the adjacent hills in murderous array to make them the helpless victims of savagery and slaughter. Thirty-five years afterward I am able to affirm as a matter of confident belief that the Sioux then had as little thought of making a hostile descent upon Omaha as they have now.



   Our double safe-guard was that the Sioux had no desire to kill the white people who did not wrong and rob them, and that their fierce enemies, the Pawnees and Omahas, as brave and energetic and skillful in war as themselves, were our sufficient protection against possible forays. So far as my knowledge and recollection go, I doubt whether a Sioux warrior ever got nearer the Omaha settlement than the valley of the beautiful Logan creek in which, near its mouth, the battle was fought which resulted in the death of the valorous chief whose name it bears. But the citizens of the log-hutted and cotton-shantied hamlet gave rein to all those lively imaginations which traditions of Indian savagery naturally excite, and there were times when visions of hostile visits from the tomahawkers caused real fear among the most sober and courageous members of the little community.
   It was in the midst of scenes and conditions like these on what was then a remote frontier inhabited by a few defenseless people that, on a calm, warm day in the middle of Time, 1855, whistles from the steam pipes of the two Missouri steamers drew pretty much everybody to the sandy shore of the river to find that the boats were filled with troops, a part only of a military expedition into the heart of the Indian country under the command of the late General W. S. Harney, the famous "Hero of Chapultepec," as he was sometimes called, but in direct charge of Captain P. S. Turnley, one of the most important and capable of the quartermasters of the union army during the civil war, who was also quartermaster of the river expedition. The actual commander of the flotilla was the late General H. W. Wessels, but he could not do much in the way of commanding on the water, because he preceeded the others to Ft. Pierre, which was the objective point for concentration, and all but two of four or five boats were out of reach of each other the greater part of the time. But there was very little commanding to do. The troops were of the old Second infantry, well disciplined and orderly, under the following officers en voyage: Captain P. T. Turnley, Captain C. L. Lovell, Captain D. Davidson and First Lieutenant Thomas W. Sweeney, since distinguished in the civil war and retired upon the rank of brevet brigadier-general for gallant service on the battlefields of the union. General Sweeney is an Irishman of cultivated mind, of



charming social manners, and a born soldier. He lost an arm as a private at the battle of Cherubusco, Mexico, and was promoted from the ranks for conspicuous gallantry in action on that field. The officers thus named were on board the two steamboats, of which Captain Turnley had military charge, and which had landed at Omaha on that beautiful June day on account of cholera that prevailed among the troops. By some accident in orders the surgeon who was to have accompanied them failed to reach Fort Leavenworth in time to attend to this duty, and Captain Turnley was in search of some one to act as a substitute. He called upon Governor Mark W. Izard, then federal governor of the territory, for information about a young physician whom he had heard mentioned at the "Lower Council Bluffs Landing" of that day. Governor Izard and others told the truth, when they informed Captain Turnley, that it was a case of "Hobson's choice," as there was only one physician in this Omaha town. I was found by the officer soon afterwards, and was asked if I would accept the service and accompany the troops on the expedition to Ft. Pierre. The present honored president of the Nebraska historical society remarked in my hearing, in recent years, that it required some courage in those times for a civilian to go into the Indian country under the circumstances then existing. This had never occurred to me before, but with the prevailing apprehensions, there may have been something in it. Assurances being given that I would not be absent from my alleged home more than ten days, on the 17th day of June, 1855, accompanied by my wife, I went on board the old and badly battered stern wheeler, the "William S. Baird," with no body in particular behind me save a few indifferent friends, and my father (the late Lorin Miller), with Indians in front of me and cholera all around me. Our welcome by the officers was made grateful by every attention that army hospitality knows so well bow to bestow, and that from the troops, differing in motive from that of the officers, was one that led them to hope for relief from dangers from a terrible malady. Cholera in 1855 assumed the form of an epidemic along the traveled thoroughfares and in leading cities, and proved fatally malignant in many parts of our country. I was not afraid of it. I had seen and wrestled with his Asiatic majesty in 1849 as a medical student in Central New York, and had been well instructed in the



importance of arresting it in the early stages when this was possible. As this is the only chance I have ever had to make an official report on my success with the cases of the troops on that interesting expedition, I will say here, that owing more to careful sanitary conditions and pure air than to any skill of mine, only one man was lost during the several weeks of the voyage to Ft. Pierre. My business was to attend to all the sick persons on the two boats that were companions on the voyage. I was kept pretty busy. It was frequently necessary for me to be transferred from one boat to the other, and the yawl, the vehicle of all work in navigating the Missouri, was brought into requisition for this purpose, and even in the darkness of the night I was obliged to make the transfer.
   Interest in this sketch would be lost, and it would be unworthy a place in the records of the historical society of Nebraska, if it should deal with merely personal incidents. Perhaps the foreground and background have been laid to warrant an intelligent judgment upon the condition of the frontier at the time the visit was made to the Mandans, Two Kettles, Minnecongues, and other noble hands, who then, as now, constituted the leading tribes of the Sioux nation. If so, it will be appreciated as a fact marking the contrasts between then and now of the prodigious progress and marvelous change that, at the time I took this journey, not 100 white men occupied the country in all the grand area of what was then embraced within the boundaries of Northern Nebraska. B. R. Folsom had started a small settlement in Tekamah. Rev. Father Tracy (Romanist) had, I believe, planted a few of his people in Dakota county. Cuming City, Washington county, and Ft. Calhoun contained a dozen or two of the pioneers. The whole region was, with these exceptions, without white inhabitants, so that, as a matter of fact, when the two steamboats swung out into the river at Omaha and moved around the bend and passed Florence, they were in a country which was as wild as when the Creator first fashioned it. Descriptions of scenery are intentionally omitted, but the beauty of the opulent foliage, which decorated the banks of the river between Omaha and the Vermillion river region in Dakota in those umbrageous June days, was a source of great pleasure to the military family on board the two boats.
   In our monotonous windings upon the sandy-whiskered channels of the Missouri, I do not remember to have seen a human being on



its shores until the arrival at Sioux City, now a flourishing town of not less than 30,000 people. We there met its founder, the late Dr. David Cook, a man of medicine and enterprise, who came down from one of two log cabins to greet the stranger and his unexpected friend, the writer of this narrative. Those cabins constituted all there was then of the now beautiful and prosperous town, which is the intellectual, commercial, and industrial centre for a large and populous agricultural region, which is not confined to one state, with its paved streets, electric lighting, telegraphs, telephones and tramways, great stone and brick buildings and blocks, numerous schools and churches, and every other solid proof of civilized strength and refinement. Dr. Cook, like some of the rest of us, in those dreary and dismal days, dreamed large dreams of the future of the new Iand, but he never dreamed dreams large enough to equal the reality, which, thanks to his fortune, he lived to see with his own eyes. His was a genial and generous spirit. He was then in the full vigor of middle manhood. A round and smiling face, a finely moulded head planted on a pair of sturdy shoulders, a good physician, an honorable citizen, and a warmhearted man; he did not deserve to be driven back from the outposts of his ambitious enterprises by pecuniary necessities, discouraged in the struggle to bring results which came at last as be had predicted and hoped. I have seen times in the battle of a long and active life when I regretted that I did not accept his kind offer, a goodly bonus in real estate in Sioux City, if I would transfer my allegiance and person from Omaha to that locality. It will go without saying that I know of no reason to regret it now.
   At the time of the early settlement of Nebraska vague and exaggerated reports floated down the Missouri through veracious Indian traders and Missouri navigators of all sorts, that somewhere, on large known and unknown islands in the upper Missouri, vast forests of cedar would be found to bring tribute to our people. I will not vouch for it as a fact, but I am not willing wholly to deny that one of the inducements I had to make the journey to Ft. Pierre - an American fur company agency, so named by the Frenchman who owned and occupied it was to make a discovery of cedar. Coal was imagined to exist in the same region, and this great staple was one of the things hoped for, but which, like the cedar forests, was never seen on that long water journey. A few small and stunted cedar growths



on one or two islands proved to be the only foundation for the timber story, and a very black article of tough slate, made doubly black by the wash of the water on the river bank in two or three places, gave rise to the unofficial reports of the geologists, whose long range observations of imaginary coal deposits were taken from the decks of passing boats engaged in the fur trade.
   Twenty-four days had come and gone before we reached Ft. Pierre. The first 300 miles was absolutely without incident worthy of mention here. Progress over Missouri river sand-bars with a sternwheel boat, with the water in a falling way, led to all sorts of havoc with the intense, nervous constitution of my commander and friend, Captain Turnley, of whose public addresses from the hurricane deck of the "Baird" to pilots, and to some other people, Captain Billy Wilcox, of Omaha, who was "at the wheel" on that voyage of the Missouri misery, is known to have a lively recollection to this day. Many hours of each day were spent in cutting logs up into fuel, which had stranded on the sand islands and the shores, in which crew and soldiers took reluctant part. A growing scarcity of timber and increasing evidences of barrenness of the soil began to be marked features of the country after we reached the mouth of the Vermillion river, 100 miles beyond that of the Big Sioux. Now we were fairly in the Indian country. No sign of civilized life is here. Ascending smoke from the distant hilltops show, that the honest and true owner of the land is alert with signals to his more or less distant brothers, telling them that the white man is coming. It is hard to realize that this red native American has given place in all these regions to great communities that, where I saw only vast and uninhabited and boundless areas, teeming populations, railways, telegraphs, young towns and, cities, civilized homes and refined social manners, and order maintained by law, have unquestioned sway.
   The first Sioux Indian I ever saw was on the 28th day of June, 1855, when we encountered a small Sioux village upon the right bank of the river. The ruling chief displayed an old star-spangled banner that somebody had given him as a sign of welcome, peace and friendship, which greatly amused Lieutenant Sweeney, whose sense of the ridiculous was as keen as I have ever observed it to be in a man. An exchange of grunts and greetings followed between the Indians and our people. No evidence of hostility was seen on the



route beyond the absence of Indians, which indicated that they were advised that armed forces were in their country, but the army officers never allowed the danger of all attack to be out of their minds, and guards by night and caution by day was the military order after Sioux City was passed, which marked the last of the white settlements. If actual war had existed with the Indians, the boats could, and probably would, have been ambushed from the Shores of the river when near approach to them was unavoidable, and the fear of this was not out of the minds of some of us after we reached the "water that runs," River L'Eauquicourt. This tributary of the Missouri located legends of great pine forests, twins of the cedar imagery, which has been already mentioned, and had about the same foundation. One of the immediate results of the Harney expedition, of which the Missouri boat flotilla was a part, was the establishment of a large military garrison near the mouth of this river, which was named Ft. Randall. *It was in connection with this military post that I first beard of Captain Nathaniel Lyon, of the Second infantry, whom I had never met, and of whom I may have something to say later on in this paper, or in a separate one on General Harney's Sioux camp and Major Howe's court martial in the autumn of 1855, after my return from the Pierre expedition. It may be stated here that Captain Lyon, without ever having seen me in his life, and only upon report from his brother officers at Ft. Pierre made an open fight for my appointment as post trader at Ft. Randall, of whose board of post administration he was a member. I was defeated as I remember by Captain Todd, of Sioux City, who had resigned his commission in the army to accept this place, and Major W. Wessels, my friend, gave the vote which elected him, because it was a part of the unwritten code in antewar days in the army that an army officer resigning his command to take a post-tradership was entitled to the votes of his brother officers. Captain Lyon did not recognize the unwritten code. I was a pauper in those days, so to may, and did not know of my escape from a place which was worth at least $100,000 a year until months after the event when Major Wessels told me the facts himself.
   As we ascended the river, the battle of the boats with the narrow and shallow channels proved their unfitness for the service into which had judgment had brought them. Terrific storms were encountered



at different times, which caused fears of disaster, since we found that the Indian country could blow harder winds and clap louder thunder than any other known region on earth. In the course of the long voyage, we passed in the vicinity of the "manvuis terre." In later years, it was to be my fortune to know, as an intimate friend, the distinguished geologist, Ferdinand V. Hayden, who achieved enduring fame by his labors in that desert region, and by his subsequent work as the author of the only United States geological survey of Nebraska that has ever been made. It befell me to be a personal witness of his labors. The first authentic discovery and report upon Rocky Mountain coal was when, during the construction of the Pacific railroad, Hayden brought into my editorial room of the Omaha Herald, upon his own narrow shoulders, a bag of this black but precious product, from the Rock Springs region, dumping its contents upon the floor. Over that shilling heap of coal the eloquent scientist delivered an oration, which I regret to say, could not be produced in print in the absence of a competent reporter. It was full of predictions of the immense future value of these coals to the Pacific railroad and the trans-Missouri country, which have since been realized an hundred fold as the great Steam generator of the continental railway, and hearth-warmer of all the vast region through which the national highway passes. Professional disappointment arising in the injustice of the government, in my opinion, was the primary cause of poor Hayden's subsequent insanity and premature death.
   I must close this recital. Ft. Pierre consisted of a stockade and rude buildings unassailable by the red enemy from without, when its gates were closed. Colonel Montgomery, Major Wessels, Surgeon Madison and others, made our welcome most cordial. Large numbers of Sioux had congregated for council, perhaps not less than 6,000 of them being in the neighborhood. Great "talks" were had. I remember an impassioned speech from one of the gray-haired heads of the tribes, who wore a blue coat and metal buttons, a relic of some former visit to Washington, by which I was much impressed. A finer body of men in physical stature and dignity of personal bearing I never saw in my life than I saw during my week's stay at Ft. Pierre in these untutored Sioux Indians. Agent Galpin of the fur company is remembered for his intelligence and kindness to me, and especially on account of his bright minded



Sioux wife, whose hospitality we enjoyed in his wigwam, which was furnished with the richest furs and decorated with several chidren (sic) of the half-breed brand of their mixed parentage. Mr. Galpin was an educated man, I think a collegiate. He sighed for return to civilization, but the ties which bound him to the freedom and other charms of the aboriginal life, made him a willing captive, and be died among the Sioux with whom be had long lived, and to whose many good qualities he never neglected a proper opportunity to pay just tribute.
   It had been the intention to return from Ft. Pierre upon one of three or four government transports, but it happened that Mr. Charles Chouteau was in that country with his company's boat, the little "St. Mary" of sainted name. He landed from the upper river in good time, and we took passage on her for Omaha, with the once famous pilot, Joe Le Barge, as chief man at the wheel. Two things were assured by this circumstance which were most desirable, safety and speed on the down-the-river journey, and good company in a social way. I remember the middle-aged son of the Chouteau family of St. Louis as a tall, spare man whose manners were slightly Frenchy, and always polite. Le Barge was a short, stout, alert and energetic man, with an eye like an eagle, which had been trained by twenty years of service as a student of the mysterious and muddy waterways of the Missouri. The death of Joe Le Barge, the brown faced and black eyed pilot, two or three years ago, caused a pang of regret in the hearts of tens of thousands, who dwell along the banks of the great river, who knew and admired him in both his character and calling. The journey home took about a week's time, the boat stopping at all Indian villages to discharge small packages of presents and goods and to receive whatever there was for the fur company. The sight of Omaha again after the long, and sometimes dangerous absence, was gladdening, and the welcome from friends, who seemed nearer to us than before this kind of separation, was both cheering and grateful."

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