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Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Nebraska as a State
Produced by Ted and Carole Miller.

Part 1:

Nebraska as a State | First State Officers
Congressional Representation
Legislative | Political | Removal of the Capital

Part 2:

Impeachment of Gov. Butler:   Article I | Article II | Article III
Article IV | Article V | Article VI | Article VII | Article VIII | Article IX
Article X | Article XI

Part 3:
Impeachment of Gov. Butler (cont.):   Answer
Part 4:
Constitution of 1871 | The James Regime | Proclamation
Part 5:
The James Regime(cont.) | Supplementary Resolutions
Part 6:

Constitution of 1875:
Preamble | Article I--Bill of Rights | Article II--Distribution of Powers
Article III--Legislative | Article IV--Legislative Apportionment

Part 7:

Constitution of 1875 (cont.):
Article V--Executive Department | Article VI--The Judicial Department
Article VII--Rights of Suffrage | Article VIII--Education
Article IX--Revenue and Finance | Article X--Counties
Article XI--Corporations:   Railroad Corporations
Municipal Corporations | Miscellaneous Corporations
Article XII--State, County and Municipal Indebtedness
Article XIII--Militia | Article XIV--Miscellaneous Provisions

Part 8:

Constitution of 1875 (cont.):
Article XV--Amendments | Article XVI--Schedule
Propositions Separately Submitted | Legislative and Political

Part 9:

Legislative and Political (cont.) | Popular Votes | State Roster
State Judiciary

Part 10:

Senatorial Succession | The Political Status of Nebraska
County Boundaries

Part 11:

The Population of Counties | Omaha in 1858
Per Cent of Increase in Population | Prof. Wilber's Address

Part 12:
Hon. J. M. Woolworth's Address | Public Lands
Part 13:
Educational Lands in Nebraska | Educational
Part 14:
Slavery in Nebraska
Part 15:
The Woman Suffrage Question



   The Senate began its session in due form, and recognized the legality of Acting Gov. Hascall's acts. There were present: Senators Cropsey, Hilton, Linch, Larsh, Schofield, Tucker, Tennant and Hascall.

   The House puttered around with Messrs. Ahmanson, Beall, Briggs, Cannan, Conger, Covell, Galey, Goodin, Hall, Maddox, Nims, Rhodes, Rosewater, Wickham and the Speaker. But this was not a quorum. Certain members came to the capital undecided as to their duty, and were spirited away by the James faction, it is alleged. Others openly defied the Hascall Legislature to arrest them for contempt. A large number of Assistant Sergeants-at-Arms were named, and every means resorted to to effect the assembling of a constitutional number. The James element derisively called this the "rump" Legislature.

   It soon became apparent that no ordinary process would accomplish the ends sought after; and, with a view to permanent settlement of the difficulty, Senator Tennant permitted himself to be arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms, Delos Parker, to furnish materials for a test case. The Supreme Court of the State was then in session, and a writ of habeas corpus was issued relieving Mr. Tennant. The bench was composed of Oliver P. Mason, Chief Justice; George B. Lake and Lorenzo Crounse, Associate Justices. The point at issue was the constitutional validity of the act convening the Legislature.

   Public excitement was intense during those days of the trial, and when the decision was reached, there was scarcely breathing room in the vicinity of the capitol. The opinions of the several Judges may be found in the "Appendix of Cases," argued prior to January term, 1873, Vol. III of Nebraska Reports, p. 409. Justice Crounse, in his brief opinion, remarked that he chose "to avoid any further publication of the disgraceful transactions that have attended the administration of our State Government--transactions which have made the character of the State the subject of jeer abroad, and occasioned every good citizen to blush to acknowledge that he is a member of it." He ruled that the revocation was as valid as the proclamation convening the Legislature, and that, therefore, there was no legal authority under which Mr. Tennant could be restrained from exercising, his free will as to attendance."

   Justice Lake was "clearly of opinion that the Legislature is not now in legal session, and has no authority to compel the attendance of absent members; that all and every act done at this time, as a legislative body, is without the shadow of authority and absolutely void." He concurred with Justice Crounse, and this judgment stood as the order of the court.

   Chief Justice Mason, however, presented an opinion of dissent, and ably argued the other side of the case. This opinion was not read at the time the other opinions were, but was filed after more time had been devoted to a review of the subject. As it contains a clause somewhat reflecting upon the associate members of the bench, and that clause forms the topic, in connection with other matters, of a footnote to the case [Crounse, Neb. Rep., Vol. III, pp. 436, 437], we refer the student of history to the official record of the noted case.

   Upon the rendering of this decision by the Supreme Court, the so-called "rump" Legislature dissolved, and the curtain was rung down on a scene in Nebraska's history which adds little honor to the usually fair fame of a noble State.

   The State Republican Convention met in Lincoln, Wednesday, September 4, 1872, and nominated a ticket consisting of: For Congressman, L. Crounse; Governor, R. W. Furnas; Secretary of State, J. J. Gosper; Auditor, J. B. Weston; Treasurer, H. A. Koenig; Attorney General, J. R. Webster; Chief Justice, George B. Lake; Presidential Electors. S. A. Strickland, Otto Funks, H. G. Heist; Associate Justices, Samuel Maxwell, T. Gantt; Prison Inspector, W. W. Abbey.

   This body placed itself before the people on a platform declaring approval of the action of the national convention which nominated Grant and Wilson, and also--

   That we are in favor of a careful, economical and rigid administration of the financial affairs of the State of Nebraska, and will in the future, as in the past, hold the public servants to a strict accountability for their official acts; and that the Republican party is both able and determined to correct any abuses that may have crept into our local State government. That we, as a party, are in favor of such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as shall secure the election of United States Senators directly by the people. That we, as a party, are heartily in favor of such a policy in our State government as will promote home industries, encourage manufactures and build up a community of interests between the artisans and agriculturists of our State, having a due regard (in our State legislation to carry out such a policy) to the proper limits of State and National jurisdiction.

   The opposition party entered the field with the following standard, August 25:

   Resolved, That we, the Liberal Republicans of Nebraska, in convention assembled, do unite upon the principles adopted at the Cincinnati Convention and ratified by the convention at Baltimore.

   Resolved, That we consider the following a just and fair apportionment of the elective officers in the State, to wit: That the Liberal Republicans shall nominate the Congressmen, the Secretary of State, the State Treasurer, the State Auditor, one District Judge and one State Prison Inspector; and the Democrats shall nominate the Governor, the Chief Justice, one District Judge and the Attorney General.

   Resolved. That each convention nominate parties for the offices assigned to each by the Conference Committee, and immediately after the nominations have been made, each convention shall send a list of the same to the other convention asking--if the nominees are acceptable--they be ratified, after which the two conventions shall meet in Representative Hall in joint convention, when the entire ticket shall be read, and, if acceptable to the delegates present, they shall be declared the unanimous choice of the joint convention.

   The vote for Governor was 27,770; for Congressman, 21,536; the Republicans were the winners in the battle.

   The ninth session of the Legislature convened January 9, 1873, with the following Senate: First District W. D. Scott; Second, G. R. Shook; Third, A. Bowen; Fourth, E. W. Barnum; Fifth, W. A. Gwyer and O. Wilson; Sixth, L. W. Osborn; Seventh, J. C. Crawford; Eighth, S. W. Hayes; Ninth, Guy C. Barton; Tenth, Job A. Dillon; Eleventh, S. B. Pound; Twelfth, N. K. Greggs. Officers: Hon. W. A. Gwyer, of Omaha, President; D. H. Wheeler, Secretary; L. S. Estell, Assistant Secretary; W. D. Wildman, Sergeant- at-Arms; S. L. Barrett, Engrossing Clerk; William Caffrey, Enrolling Clerk; C. E. Hine, Doorkeeper.

   The House consisted of: Richardson, E. S. Towle, C. L. Metz, H. Holcomb; Nemaha. C. Blodgett, C. W. Wheeler; Otoe, J. H. Masters. J. W. Patrick, Logan Enyart, Paul Schminke; Cass, J. W. Barnes, J. L. Brown; Pawnee, A. H. Babcock; Johnson, L. H. Laflin; Gage, J. B. McDowell; Lancaster, A. K. White, S. G. Owen; Saunders, W. H. Dech; Saline, O. W. Baltzley; Jefferson, Nuckolls and Webster, Silas Garber; York, Polk, Butler, Platte, Hamilton, Clay and Adams, J. E. Cramer; Lancaster, Saunders, Gage, Jefferson and Pawnee, M. H. Sessions; Sarpy, George S. Burtch; Douglas, C. F. Goodman, W. R. Bartlett, J. L. Webster, M. Dunham, H. L. Dodge, E. G. Dudley; Washington, Henry Sprick; Burt, Austin Nelson; Dodge, Milton May; Cuming and Wayne, R. F. Stevenson; Dakota and Dixon, R. H. Wilbur; Platte and Colfax, A. J. Arnold; Madison, Staunton, Pierce, Cedar and L'Eau qui Court, L. M. Howard; Hall, Merrick, Greeley, Howard, Boone and Antelope, Ed Parker; Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Dodge, Bruno Tzschuck. Officers: Hon. M. H. Sessions, Speaker; J. W. Eller, Chief Clerk; E. Chadwick, Assistant Clerk; Guy A. Brown, Executive Clerk; U. B. Balcombe, Enrolling Clerk; J. F. Zediker, Engrossing Clerk; D. V. Stevenson, Sergeant-at-Arms.

   The tenth session was an extra one, beginning March 27, 1873, for the purpose of taking action on matters relating to the boundaries of certain counties, and other legislation than that which comes within the province of this chapter. The session lasted two days.

   The State Republican Convention assembled at Lincoln, September 3, 1874, and nominated as State officers the following: For Governor, Silas Garbler; Secretary of State, Bruno Tzschuck; Treasurer, J. C. McBride; Attorney General, George H. Rogers; Superintendent of Public Instruction, J. M. McKenzie; Prison Inspector, N. S. Porter; Congressman, L. Crounse; Congressman (contingency), P. O'Hawes.

   A lengthy declaration of ideas and principles was adopted.

   WHEREAS, The Republican party, by its course for the past thirteen years as the dominant political organization of the United States, has allied itself to the liberty-loving masses of the world, and has made a record which invites scrutiny, and challenges all history for a parallel in elevating humanity, and establishing on a firm basis "a government by the people for the people," and

   WHEREAS, Its several acts in preserving the Union in promoting and strengthening a common allegiance to the flag and government of this republic have passed into history and elicited the approval of the Republican sentiment of the age, therefore we, the representatives of the Republican party of Nebraska, in convention assembled, do resolve as follows, viz:

   1st. That honest labor should be protected, and receive its just reward.

   2d. That we earnestly desire that the credit of our government shall be firmly maintained, in order that the commercial and industrial interests of the country may not suffer injury by fluctuations in values or by impairing in any degree that confidence which now prevails in regard to our circulating medium, which we hope will, at no distant day, be based upon metallic currency, the recognized money of the world.

   3d. That we believe that banking under a well-guarded national system should be free, and we counsel reform and economy in all departments of the public service, and a reduction of the public debt in such way and so rapidly, as it may be done without imposing burdens upon the industries of the country.

   4th. That we demand a rigid accountability in the discharge of official duty on the part of all office- holders, whether State or National, and that as delegates speaking for constituents, we disavow any sympathy with or for dishonest public officials, in whatever capacity they may be employed.

   5th. That while we recognize and appreciate the advantages derived by the people from a well-regulated system of railways, we demand that these public highways should be rendered subservient to the public good. That while we disavow any hostility toward railroad corporations, we proclaim our determination to resist by lawful means all efforts to impose oppressive or extortionate transportation tolls.

   6th. That taxation, to be just, must be equally imposed upon all classes of property; we therefore demand such National and State legislation as will compel railroads and all other corporations to pay the same proportion of tax as is imposed on individuals.

   7th. That we favor the proper exercise of the powers conferred upon the National Government by the Constitution to regulate commerce between the States, and to this end we recommend that the Government establish and operate a double track railway from the Missouri River to the Atlantic seaboard.

   8th. That we earnestly request that our Senators secure the passage of Crounse's railroad land tax bill.

   9th. That we favor the amendment of the constitution of the United States, providing for the election of President, Vice President, United States Senators, and all other federal officers by the direct vote of the people.

   10th. That the unwritten law enacted by the example of the Father of his Country, in declining a re-election to the third Presidential term, is as controlling as though it was incorporated in the national constitution, and ought never to be violated.

   11th. That the present so-called Quaker Indian policy has failed to afford either benefit to the Indians or protection to the frontier settlers, and we therefore demand the transfer of the management of the Indians to the War Department.

   12th. That we favor the reappointment of State representatives through the enactment of a new constitution at the earliest practicable day, consistent with our present fundamental law, and that we recommend the submission to the direct vote of the people in a separate article at the time the proposed new constitution is voted upon, the questions of "prohibition," "local option" and license.

   13th. That we approve the acts of Congress which put the rights of all citizens under protection of the National authorities, when they are assailed by hostile legislation, or by the violence of armed associations, whether open or secret, and in view of the recent outrages in the Southern States, we demand the enforcement of the laws that these rights may be securely and amply protected whenever and wherever invaded; we do, however, disapprove of all unconstitutional legislation for the cure of any of the disorders of society, or evils which prevail in our land.

   14th. That we are in favor of, and most cordially invite, immigration to our State. Nebraska needs immigration, that its vast agricultural, mineral and manufacturing resources may be developed, with an area sufficient to make ten States as large as Massachusetts, and a soil unsurpassed for fertility. We give a hearty welcome to the down-trodden masses of the Old World, and assure them that they shall be secure in their lives, liberty and property, and free to hold and express their religious and political opinion's without restraint.

   15th. That relying upon the intelligence of the people of our young and prosperous commonwealth, which is soon to take high rank in the great family of States, we hereby renew our allegiance to the party which we represent, and call upon all classes, and conditions of men to unite with us in perpetuating the blessings of free government in accordance with the cherished principles which actuate and control the great body of our people.


   Resolved. That we learn with deep regret of the desolation caused by severe drouth and grasshoppers in many of our frontier counties, and we hereby extend to the needy settlers our hands of sympathy, and we recommend that relief associations be formed in all parts of the State where practicable, for the purpose of raising funds and supplies for the settlers in those devastated districts.

   Resolved. That we believe it to be the duty of the next Legislature to make an early and liberal appropriation for the purchase of seed for next year's planting in those districts, and such other relief as may be necessary, in order to aid industrious settlers and to prevent the depopulation of these districts.

   Resolved. That we request our Congressional delegation to use their influence in order to secure, at as early a day as possible, the passage of an act similar to the act for the relief of settlers in Minnesota and Iowa to extend the time for final proof and payment.

   On September 10th the opposing organization declared:

   1. That the restoration of gold and silver as the basis of currency; a resumption of specie payment as soon as possible without disaster to the business interests of the country, by steadily opposing inflation, and by the payment of the national indebtedness in the money of the civilized world.

   2. Individual liberty, and opposition to sumptuary or prohibitory laws. Free commerce, and no tariff except for revenue purposes.

   3. Rigid restriction of the governments, both State and National, to the legitimate domain of political power, by excluding therefrom all executive and legislative intermeddling with the affairs of society, whereby monopolies are fostered, privileged classes aggrandized, and individual freedom unnecessarily and oppressively restrained.

   4. The right and duty of the state to protect its citizens from extortion and unjust discrimination by chartered monopolies.

   5. That we appreciate the beneficial influence of railroads in developing the resources of the country, and favor liberal legislation in that direction, but only on a basis of taxation equitable in its application both to citizen and to corporation.

   6. That we believe the people are the source of all power, and that their will, and not the wishes of mere party demagogues, should govern and form the real basis of all republican governments.

   The vote for Governor was 36,019; for Congressman. 35,964. The result was favorable to the Republicans.

   The eleventh session of the Legislature began January 7, 1875. The Senate roll stood: First District, T. C. Hoyt; Second, J. B. Fisher; Third, J. E. Lamaster; Fourth, S. M, Chapman; Fifth, C. B. Rustin and J. S. Spaun; Sixth, Waldo Lyon; Seventh, Alexander Bear; Eighth, H. D. Perky; Ninth, Guy C. Barton; Tenth. Rufus H. Abbott; Eleventh. C. C. Burr; Twelfth. N. K. Briggs. Officers: Hon. N. K. Briggs, President, D. H. Wheeler. Secretary; C. L. Mather, Assistant Secretary; George F. Work, Engrossing Clerk; J. W. Conger, Enrolling Clerk; Levi A. Stebbins, Sergeant-at-Arms; C. E. Hine, Doorkeeper.

   The House was composed of: Richardson, Henry Fischer, E. S. Towle, Seth W. Beals; Nemaha. Church Howe, C. M. Hayden; Otoe, N. R. Pinney, Logan Enyart, J. H. Tomlin, Eugene Munn; Cass, J. L. Brown, H. W. Farley; Pawnee, W. F. Wright; Johnson, C. A. Holmes; Gage, J. B. McDowell; Lancaster, A. T. Hastings, Louis Helmer; Saunders, J. F. Roll; Seward, D. C. McKillip; Saline, G. H. Hastings; Thayer, Jefferson, Nuckolls and Webster, F. J. Hendershot; York, Polk, Butler, Platte, Hamilton, Clay and Adams, Albinus Nance; Lancaster, Saunders, Gage, Johnson and Pawnee, Thomas C. Chapman; Sarpy, James Davidson; Douglas, B. H. Barrows, J. M. Thurston, Jacob Weidensall, John Baumer, Frank Murphy, A. H. Baker; Madison, Stanton, Pierce, Cedar and Knox, R. S. Lucas; Hall, Merrick, Howard, Greeley, Boone and Antelope, Loran Clark; Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Dodge, J. W. Barnes; Lincoln, Cheyenne, Dawson, Buffalo, Sherman, Valley, Kearney and Franklin, M. V. Moudy; Washington, E. S. Gaylord, Dodge, J. C. Seeley, Colfax, Frank Folda; Burt, W. G. Olinger; Dakota, B. F. Chambers; Cuming, J. C. Crawford. Officers: Hon. E. S. Towle, Speaker; G. L. Brown, Chief Clerk; J. F. Zediker, Assistant Clerk; S. B. Jones, Engrossing Clerk; Miss Sarah C. Funke, Enrolling Clerk; J. W. Manning, Sergeant-at-Arms; J. W. McCabe, Doorkeeper.

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