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3. That we earnestly, solicitously, anxiously, and prayerfully petition His Excellency, James Buchanan, the President of the United States, to nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, confirm our friend and host as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Utah. And furthermore, be it
Resolved, That we wish Joseph Murphy, Esq., long life, honor, happiness and prosperity in this world; that we thank him for this entertainment; and that when late he may be called to return to heaven, his ecstatic psychological essence may evaporate to sing forever and ever beneath the ambrosial palm trees of that viewless world, where the Hesperian oligarchy blooms perennially forever and aye.
A newspaper printed up the river, called the Bugle, in 1854, published the following:
The Military Reserve on which Nebraska City is situated has not been publicly abandoned. What assurance have settlers that the War Department will not order the whole Reserve-six miles long, three broad-upon which the pleasant town site of Nebraska City is situated, to be sold to the highest bidder? The public buildings are yet unsold, and the people may at some future day find their happy homes subject to the auctioneer's hammer.
During the fall of the same year the first foot race took place, in which Wilson M. Maddox was beaten by the writer.
In 1855 the first legal "mill" occurred, before Judge E. R. Harden, of Georgia. Hon. O. P. Mason and H. P. Bennett engaged in physical combat, but no blood was shed. The court was much astonished at western habits.
During the same year Hon. J. S. Morton became interested in the Nebraska City News. Upon his first arrival with his estimable wife they visited the printing office, then in the second story of the old Block House, in company with the writer, finding Shack Grayson the sole person in charge, who afterwards-owing to his early associations-became a distinguished member of the Mississippi legislature.
In 1856 the proprietors of Nebraska City, fearing that the town of Wyoming would eclipse Nebraska City, concluded to buy that town, and did so, but they did not pay much for it.
Later in the same year Riden & White published the following statement of the stock market:
Nebraska City lots, $50 to $300. No choice ones offered.
Omaha scrip, no inquiry.
Omaha lots, no sales.
Wyoming lots, heavy transfers to capitalists.
Hamilton, ten shares for a brass watch and a little black dog.
Otoe, Gideon Bennett reports that no sales made except to those who will build.
Delaware, no inquiry.
Powhocco, 20 shares for an old blind horse and two Peter Funk watches.
Fairview, 36 shares for a big white dog and an old gun.
In January, 1857, the Otoe County Lyceum was established, and the following officers elected:
President-W. R. Craig.
Vice-President-Wm. E. Pardee.
Recording Secretary-Philip K. Reily.
Corresponding Secretary-H. H. Harding.
Librarian-H. M. Giltner.
Sergeant-at-Arms-J. O. B. Dunning.
Trustees-Joshua Garsiele, M. W. Riden, Henry Bradford, S. F. Nuckolls, M. K. Kay.
In 1858 the great firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell commenced freighting for the government from Nebraska City to Utah, New Mexico, and military posts in the West. During that year they started out 4,000 teamsters, with 3,000 wagons, and over 30,000 head of oxen. Their business was managed by Alexander Majors, Esq., in a manner that gained the admiration of the country and gave the city an impetus in every branch of business.
The writer and other old settlers were invited to go out to camp to see the first train started, upon which occasion Mr. Majors addressed the "Outfit" as follows:
OX TEAMSTERS: I am a moral and religious man, and feel it my duty as a member of society to carry out and enforce so far as possible a wholesome moral influence; therefore I give every employe one copy of the Holy Bible to defend himself against moral contaminations, and also a pair of Colt's revolvers and a gun to defend yourselves against warlike Indians; and each of you are required to sign a contract to the effect that while in our employ you will not use profane language, nor get drunk, nor gamble, nor treat animals with cruelty, nor interfere with the rights of citizens or Indians; nor do anything ungentlemanly towards
any one; and a violation of this agreement shall make you liable to a discharge and a forfeiture of your wages.
We pay the highest prices that are paid for the services that you are now about to engage in, and your good behavior is a part of the value that we receive for what we pay you.
If it were right to take a man's labor for nothing, which it is not, I would not allow any one of you to travel with one of our trains if you would board and find yourselves and work for nothing, and at the same time violate the rules of propriety just laid down to you.
It is my desire that our firm shall be a means of largely benefiting our employes while they are associated with us. To do this, we must have rules and discipline for your government, which must be obeyed, otherwise there will be confusion, and your standard of morality would be lowered. There are two distinct kinds of influence that affect the children of men-what we call the bad and the good. If men enjoy the genial and wholesome influences desired, they must be practically right in their lives. Otherwise the bad influence will take hold of
I desire you, wagon masters, to be kind and gentle and dignified toward the men in your care, and for this your reward will be the respect and gentlemanly deportment of your men toward you.
I want you young men who are placed under these wagon masters to obey them, and shall anything then go wrong they will be held accountable for any blunders. Now, young gentlemen, you will observe by the rules established that I do not require you to sign a temperance pledge, but to keep from getting drunk. I will, however, suggest that the only sure way to keep from getting drunk is not to drink at all.
If I had a weakness of that kind, and a man calling himself my friend invited me to drink, I would consider him more an enemy than a friend. There are some here who may say that they cannot refrain from the habit of swearing. Perhaps you have not thought of what a wicked thing profane swearing is.
Many young men have mistaken notions in regard to this practice. I may think it an accomplishment, while it is a shameful disgrace. It carries with it other evils that you would be ashamed to acknowledge that you were guilty of.
Many say that it is the only bad habit they have—that they hate a liar or a coward. They forget that it is next to impossible to swear without commencing with a lie. The greatest cowards in the world are the most profane and vulgar Swearers. No man who calls upon the Almighty to damn his soul means what he If he did he would not be guilty of such blasphemy. Now, young gentlemen-you who think that you cannot refrain from swearing-I will now tell you of three positions where it would not be possible for you to swear. I will call with you upon your mother sitting at her center table with the old family Bible on it, and two or three other ladies with her. Could you introduce me to them and wind up with an oath? Not one of you is so degraded as to be guilty of doing so.
I will now go with you to church.
We will place three Christian ministers in the pulpit, fill the pews with fathers and mothers with their little curly headed, blue eyed, and rosy cheeked boys and girls. Is there a gentleman among you that could bring out a profane oath with such surroundings? The next situation
in which we will make the test will be in the position in which we are now associated. We are here in our rough costumes, we have the ox yoke, the huge wagon and log chain, and our situation is one that gives us nothing to bolster up or restrain us, but the manhood and remembrance of our good mothers and their advice. Now, young gentlemen, I will say to those who assert that they cannot help swearing I will cease speaking for two minutes, so as to give time for any man who is now present who says that he cannot refrain from swearing to deliver himself from some of those huge oaths. [A pause.]
So now, not one of you seems burdened with a desire to swear. I thank you, young gentlemen, for standing the test, and pray that you may always maintain true integrity and refrain from profane practices. If perchance I meet one of your mothers I pray that she will not say to me that while you were in our employ you lost your good name, and my aim shall be to send you back to your homes with your habits and business qualifications bettered instead of lowered. Now, young gentlemen, in time of peril remember your fathers and mothers who raised you, and the God who sustains you.
Farewell. I will omit no opportunity
That may convey my greetings, love to thee.
F. S. NUCKOLLS.
OTOE COUNTY IN EARLY DAYS
Thinking a sketch of the early history of good old Otoe county would be a readable article in your columns and at the same time be appropriate to the times, I will give a few items of the many incidents that fell under my observation at an early day in the organization, settlement, and progress of the territory; more particularly that which refers to the then Pearce, but now Otoe county.
As my books and papers referring to transactions which happened in those days were all burned when my house was burned, I can only speak from memory and approximate as to dates. It should be remembered that this whole country bordering on the Missouri river, including Kansas, was called Nebraska territory, or the Great American Desert, supposed to be an uninhabitable waste; not until about from '50 to '54, during the great California emigration, which passed over nearly every portion of this wild country, was the fact generally known that this vast country possessed agricultural qualities unsurpassed by any portion of our wide-spread country. Stimulated by these facts a few adventurous individuals put a practical test to the productiveness of the soil by planting different kinds of grain and
vegetable seeds, with the happiest results. Conspicuous among these is the name of General Southerland, an exile leader of the Canadian rebellion. His writings and lectures, fortified by his experimental knowledge, contributed no little in kindling the fire of excitement which soon after swept along the other side of the river, until even the women seemed to excel the men in enthusiasm, chickens as they crowed seemed to hurrah for Nebraska.
even the very
During the summer of 1853 communications with Indians disclosed the fact that the Kickapoos, half-breed Missouris, Otoes, and Omahas were not only willing but anxious to sell their lands to the government. In order to facilitate business we determined to call a convention to meet at St. Joseph, Mo., during the winters of '53 and '54, for the purpose of memorializing the President and Congress in regard to the necessity of taking early steps to treat with the Indians, organize the territory, and open it up for settlement.
The convention was called, the delegates from this part of the country were: H. P. Bennett, from Glenwood, Iowa; A. A. Bradford and W. McEwen, from Sidney, Iowa; H. P. Downs, from old Fort Kearney, Nebraska; S. F. Nuckolls and C. H. Cowles, from Linden, Mo.
In starting from Linden nothing unusual occurred to disturb our happiness until near Savannah, Mo. Mr. Nuckolls and myself being in a buggy behind the rest, in hurrying up we drove astride a stump which proved a little too high for our buggy tongue, breaking it in several pieces, compelling us to switch off for repairs. But it is better to be born lucky than rich; Mr. Nuckolls having a lumber wagon a short distance behind, which soon came to our relief, taking us in tow for St. Joe, where we landed all right.
The convention being organized the next thing that occurred to interfere with our harmonious action was in the committee room of the committee on resolutions, Charles F. Holley, chairman. We played mock-congress from "dusky eve until early morn," the committee being nearly equally divided on a resolution substantially as follows:
Resolved, That the emigrants in the territory ought to receive the same protection to property that they enjoyed in the states from which they emigrated.
Of course property, in the resolution, meant slaves. We finally compromised by agreeing to report nothing on the subject, little dreaming that we were making a small ripple in the tidal wave which was