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Plattsmouth, Nebraska

Read at the twenty-third annual meeting of the Nebraska
Academy of Sciences, Lincoln, May 16, 1913





C. E. Bessey, Lincoln


A. E. Sheldon, Lincoln


W. G. Bishop, University Place

First Vice-President

A. A. Tyler, Bellevue

V. P. Earth Science. Section

E. F. Schramm, Lincoln

V. P. Physical Sciences and Mathematics Section

G. D. Swezey, Lincoln

V. P. Biological Sciences and Medical Section,

H. B. Latimer, University Place

V. P. Ethnology and Folk-Lore Section

R. F. Gilder, Omaha

V. P. Engineering Section

J. D. Hoffman. Lincoln


Nebraska Academy of Sciences
Vol. IX              No. 1


   Rev. Michael Allen Shine was born May 19, 1869, in Kinsale County Cork Ireland. He early came to America, however, and received his education in the public schools of Massachusetts, St. Charles College of Ellicott City, Md., and St. Mary's University of Baltimore, Md. On December 19, 1896, he was ordained priest by His Eminence James, Cardinal Gibbons, in the cathedral at Baltimore. His first charge was at Red Cloud, Nebr., with Riverton, Guide Rock and Superior as missions. Harvard, Nebr., was his next charge, with missions at Aurora and Nelson; then Sutton, with Fairfield as a mission, until July, 1903, when he was appointed Rector of the Cathedral at Lincoln. In August, 1908, he removed to his present parish at Plattsmouth, Nebr. Father Shine holds active membership in numerous societies, religious, educational and commercial. The major portion of his leisure moments has been devoted to researches into the early history of the Nebraska region, and he has contributed widely to literature in that field.

(cover page repeats)


   A cloud of obscurity long hung over the history of the Nebraska region prior to the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-06. We knew that the early French maps located with approximate accuracy the position of the Nebraska Indian tribes. We knew that occasional French trappers and fur traders ventured up the Missouri. After the publication of the sixth volume of Margry's memoirs in 1888, we knew something of the brief reports regarding the "Missouri Country" which these bold adventurers brought down the river to New Orleans nearly one hundred years before Lewis and Clark. But for the most part the record of Nebraska in the world's history was a blank prior to 1804.

   Father Shine has rendered a great service to this early and almost unknown period of Nebraska, history by bringing together in a brief article the important historical information we have regarding the Indians of Nebraska during the eighteenth century, citing sources so that each statement can readily be located and verified. Since Father Shines paper was given a year ago a most important additional document has been discovered at Seville, Spain, and published in French in the American Historical Review for January, 1914. This is the "Journal of Jean Baptiste Truteau on the Upper Missouri," from June 7, 1794, to March 26, 1795, by far the most valuable contribution yet discovered regarding actual conditions of the early fur trade in Nebraska a hundred and twenty years ago when this region was under the dominion of the king of Spain and adventurous French fur traders from St. Louis were endeavoring to establish permanent fur trading posts in the region of Nebraska and the Dakotas. Truteau's journal gives us the most definite and vivid first hand portrait of the great Omaha chief Blackbird found in any literature. Besides this it gives us an actual account written from day to day of life among the Nebraska Indians in that distant time. A translation of this document from the French, together with other early



French documents relating to Nebraska, has been made by the editor of this series and will shortly appear in another pamphlet of the series.

   Meanwhile Father Shine's story of Nebraska Aborigines in the Eighteenth Century furnishes the best condensed account of early Nebraska Indians yet written, and is printed in pamphlet form as a valuable contribution to Nebraska history and an incentive to further study of early Nebraska sources by our people.


Nebraska History Seminar,
University of Nebraska.
October 12, 1914.





Nebraska History, Political Science and Economics

   In the years 1885-1891 Dr. George E. Howard, as professor of history in the University of Nebraska and secretary of the Nebraska State Historical Society, laid the foundations for systematic research in Nebraska history and exemplified his plans by publication of two important volumes of collections of the society.

   When Dr. Howard was called in 1891 to the chair of history at Leland Stanford University, California, the work in history was divided. Prof. Howard W. Caldwell became professor of American history and civics and secretary of the Nebraska Historical Society. Nine volumes of Nebraska historical publications followed under his editorship, between the years 1892 and 1907.

   In 1895 Professor Caldwell founded a seminar, consisting of graduate and advanced students in the University of Nebraska, for study, research and publication in the field of American history. From 1899 the work of this seminar was for some years largely directed to the study of problems in Nebraska history and government. Among its members at this time were C. E. Persinger, Leon E. Aylsworth and Addison E. Sheldon, all now members of the University history and political science faculties. Gradually the number and interest of advanced students so increased that two seminars were formed, one for the general field of American history, the other for special research in Nebraska history. Both of these are increasing in numbers and interest at the present time.



Growing out of this work in Nebraska history several publications have been made, among them these:

The Territorial History of Nebraska Told by Its Makers

Professors Caldwell and Persinger

Civil Government of Nebraska

Professor Caldwell and members of seminar

History of Higher Education in Nebraska, 1854-1899.

Professor Howard W. Caldwell

Nebraska Constitutional Conventions; The Archives of Nebraska; Poems and Sketches of Nebraska; History and Stories of Nebraska (a text-book in Nebraska Schools)

Addison E. Sheldon


   Interest in Nebraska history as a field for profitable research and historical training increases each year. The present seminar in Nebraska history is conducted by Professor Caldwell and Director Sheldon of the Legislative Reference Bureau. The seminar meets each week. Investigations in the original documentary records of the state, in files of Nebraska newspapers, in personal letters and recollections are carried on by each student under the direction of the instructors. Reports on these investigations are read and criticized. In the course of one, two or three years a thesis is worked out by the student with a carefully edited list of sources of information. From time to time the most available of these theses are published as chapters of Nebraska history. A partial list of topics pursued in these researches at present and during the past two years follows:

History of Nebraska State Board of Agriculture

M. A. Sharp

The Nebraska Movement from the Farms to the Cities

Leon H. Moomaw

History of Farmers' Co-operative Societies in Nebraska

Frank S. Perkins

A History of Agriculture in Sheridan County

Harry E. Rush

Christian Missions Among Nebraska Indians

David J. Williams

Progress in Civilization of the Oglala and Brule Sioux

Anna Hahne

History of the Nebraska Labor Bureau

Leon H. Moomaw


Labor Conditions at Packing Houses in South Omaha

Ralph C. Sweeley

Nebraska Authors and Their Works

Florence B. Schell

History of Bank Guaranty Legislation in Nebraska

Z. Clark Dickinson

History of Taxation in Nebraska

William E. Hannan

Federal Appointments in Nebraska

George A. Munn

Economies in Retail Nebraska Trade

E. I. Stancliff

Dependent Children in Nebraska

Myrtle Keegan

Management of Nebraska Penitentiary

Alfred J. Melville

Legislative Employes in Nebraska

Frank S. Perkins

Workings of Australian Ballot in Nebraska

C. W. Mottinger

History of Political Parties in Nebraska, from 1885-1900

James W. Eckersley

Legislative Control of Railroads in Nebraska

Robert McMasters

The Construction of Railways in Nebraska

Earl H. Davis


   Upon the return of Dr. George E. Howard to the University of Nebraska and the establishment of the department of political science and sociology in 1906 courses were founded leading to original research work in living questions of the day.

   As an outgrowth of this work was established the Tuesday Evening Seminar under leadership of Dr. Howard and Professor Aylsworth. This seminar is composed of graduate students, many of them candidates for the M. A. or Ph. D. degree. Independent and original investigations are made in the whole field of political and social subjects.

   Nebraska topics are chosen so far as practicable. The experiences of other states and countries in government and social betterment are brought into comparison with those of our own. Men and women are thus trained in knowledge of Nebraska affairs and better fitted for their duties as citizens.

   The written results of this Nebraska research work are edited with care and published for the information of the general public. Into many of them go months of most careful investigation, comparison and criticism. When completed they become an author-

ity upon questions of fact in their field and the basis of intelligent action by the citizens and the legislature.

   Under the act of the Nebraska, legislature of 1911 the Nebraska Legislative Reference Bureau is affiliated with this department in courses of study, research and publication.

   Among the subjects of Nebraska research now under way or recently undertaken by this seminar are the following:

A Model System of Garbage Disposal for Lincoln.

Grace M. Clark

A Model Civil Service System for Lincoln

C. A. Sorenson

The Organization, Functions and Cost of County Government in Nebraska (with special reference to Lancaster county)

Edna D. Bullock

The Municipal System of Nebraska

Thomas C. Goodrich

The Preferential Vote in Municipal Elections

C. E. Lemmon

History of Municipal Legislation in Nebraska, 1854-1911

Mary E. Elliott

Social Effects of the Free Text-Book System (with special reference to Nebraska)

Mary Tremain

Recent Legislation for the Administration of State Education: How to Take the Superintendent Out of Politics

Julia M. Wort

The Administration of Education in Nebraska.

Charles E. Teach

The Minimum Wage, with Special Reference to the Nebraska and California Laws

Rabbi Jacob Singer

History of Labor Legislation in Nebraska

John F. Krueger

The Contract-Labor System, in the Nebraska Penitentiary

W. E. A. Aul

The Need of the "Short Ballot" in Nebraska: A Study of Our System of Elective Offices

C. A. Sorenson

Should the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions Establish a Nebraska, Reformatory?

W. E. A. Aul

Comparative Merits of the Eight O'Clock Closing and No License Policies in Nebraska,

Marcus M. Beddall

The Spoils System in Nebraska

Walter B. Sterrett

The Administration of Public Health in Nebraska

Clara Coulter Wolf

An Investigation of Family Desertion in Lincoln

Annie Hawes

The Road to Citizenship: A Study of Naturalization in a Ne-


braska County (published in Political Science Quarterly, September, 1912) ; A Foreign Industrial Group in Lincoln,

Hattie Plum Williams

Reform of Judicial Procedure (chiefly with reference to Nebraska)

Henry C. Luckey


Under direction of Prof. J. E. Le Rossignol and Prof. G. O. Virtue a seminar on economics has been instituted in the department of political science and commerce. Below are some of the research subjects under investigation there, the work being largely done in the Nebraska field:

Agricultural Credit

R. A. Canady

Comparison of Producers' and Consumers' Prices of Agricultural Products

H. C. Filley

Division of Sources of Revenue for State and Local Purposes

M. S. Pate

Nebraska State Railway Commission

F. F. Laune

Assessment of Real Estate in Lancaster County

V. D. Smith

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