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tion of the popular will which has already fixed the west-
ward "march of empire"; and we rejoice in the assurance
that you will hereafter occupy a prominent place among the
benefactors of commerce, the promoters of patriotism and
the friends of mankind.1

To which the governor replied:

I return my sincere thanks to you for the kind and compli-
mentary manner in which you have received me. In the
difficulties through which you have passed, and the embar-
rassments which you have unavoidably encountered in the
organization of this now prosperous and growing Territory,
I am conscious you had at heart the welfare of the
whole Territory. I return to you my sincere thanks for the
cordial welcome and friendly feeling with which you have
received me.
I feel that there is wisdom and in-
tegrity enough here to lay the foundation for a government,
the blessings of which are soon to be enjoyed by a popula-
tion unparalleled in the settlement of any country, a popu-
lation which will vie in point of morals and intelligence
with any country, new or old.2

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These few complimentary extracts may suffice as introductory to an official acquaintance and a prelude to the governor's first message of February 27, 1855, which ran as follows:

The circumstances under which I make this, my first official communication to your honorable body, are somewhat peculiar, my arrival in the Territory having been delayed by causes entirely beyond my control, until a late day of the session. I cannot flatter myself that I am officially familiar with the progress already made, to indicate a course of policy for the government of your future actions, with as much clearness and precision as I could desire, but finding the session fast drawing to a close, and the more important matters of legislation which are of vital interest to the people of the Territory, yet in their incipient state, or wholly untouched, I feel it my duty to call your attention to the subject, and recommend to your favorable consideration such measures as I deem important for the speedy organization of the Territory, and future peace and harmony of our young and growing community.

Council Journal, 1st session, 78.

2 Council Journal, 1st session, 78, 79.

3 Council Journal, 1st session, 97-99.

The length of the session being limited to forty days by the organic act, he recommended that the code of Iowa for civil and criminal practice be adopted, and that a general election law be framed, and a system of territorial revenue be established, and rules and regulations prescribed for defining the rights of settlers under the act of Congress. There was a most pressing necessity for the admonition against special legislation, instead of general laws, for all manner of persons were under a frenzy of excitement in order to acquire charters for banks, ferries and endless corporations, the erection of counties and location of towns, and for the permanent establishment of the capital, whereby a fictitious value should at once be attached to real estate, and vast fortunes amassed. The legislature then in session was not responsible to any settled and well defined constituencies; and many members were citizens of other states. mere adventurers, who, being on prospecting tours, found time to take part in the first organization. On the eighth day of the session, charges were made against six members of the council. for want of citizenship, and one for being a minor, leaving six to assume valid citizenship; and inasmuch as a large immigra tion was expected before another election, a preamble and resolutions were introduced in the council suggesting a general resignation of the members and a new election. Closing his message, the governor said:

Having the fullest confidence in your wisdom, integrity and patriotism, I invoke the blessing of the Divine Being upon your deliberations and look forward with lively anticipations for the result of this, the first legislative assembly of the Territory of Nebraska, to bring honor and prosperity upon her people, and invite our friends from abroad to come in and share with us the blessings of a government founded upon the eternal principles of popular sovereignty, and I trust that you will always find in me a faithful co-worker in seeking to effect these desirable objects.

During this first session a report was made on the subject of prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors, of which two paragraphs will show the drift:

That in their opinion, where the people are prepared and public sentiment sufficiently in favor of a prohibitory law to fully sustain and enforce it, such a law would be productive of the best results to the community. As

*

much, however, as we may be in favor of a prohibitory law,
until the community by petition or otherwise, may fully
manifest their determination to sustain such a law, it would
be idle to enact it.

The house of representatives having passed a bill excluding free negroes from obtaining a settlement in the territory, it was finally indefinitely postponed in the council by a vote of 7 against 4. On the 19th day of December, 1855, Governor Izard delivered his second message1 to the legislature, and as the facts of history were few, and the realms of fiction unbounded, he dealt in the imaginary creations of the present and the gorgeous realizations of the future. The infant territory was prosperous, the early organization was of bold and energetic measures, the principles of "popular sovereignty" vindicated, the people happy in a degree heretofore unexampled, while towns and cities were springing up as if by magic. The capitol, for which he had projected the plans, and which were worked out in detail by the accomplished architect of St. Louis, William Rumbold, would be the most imposing of buildings, and would be copied by Kansas, and admired by all master builders visiting the Territory. The territorial road westward to Kearney would be the forerunner of the Pacific railway; and the completion of the surveys of government lands would supercede the term "squatter" and we become sovereigns of the soil. Special attention being given to the ordinary wants of the new community, and a highly colored portrait drawn of our enterprising and intelligent and patriotic neighbors of the Pacific slope, he promised hearty co-operation with the new legislature, and invoked upon them the guidance of Divine Providence.

One of the most notable acts of the body was the adoption of the report of the committee on codification of laws, and an effort to arrest the ocean tide of divorce applicants and to refer them

Council Journal, 2nd session, 5-15.

exclusively to the courts, became a pressing necessity. The end of the second legislative year found a network of corporations, and the town site plats in universal existence. On the 6th of January, 1857, Governor Izard came to the front with his last message,1 but he came up smiling, and his voice attuned to strains of congratulations. While Kansas had been desolated by pillage and her people murdered, Nebraska had been at peace:

When we reflect that but two short years have passed since Nebraska was a vast uncultivated and unsettled region, with scarcely a mark to indicate that civilization had reached its borders, its present condition almost startles us with a conviction that the hand of magic, rather than enterprise of the pioneer, has wrought the change. We can boast of a population of more than 15,000 intelligent, orderly and energetic citizens, who may challenge comparison with those of any State or Territory in the Union, of flourishing towns and prosperous cities, with their broad and beautiful prairies, being thickly dotted with comfortable farm houses and well cultivated fields, yielding their rich treasures to the hand of peaceful industry, and with handsome church edifices, well regulated schools and busy streets. The appreciation of property has far exceeded the expectations of the most sanguine. Business lots upon streets where the wild grass still flourishes are readily commanding from $500 to $3,000 each, and land adjacent to our most prosperous towns commanding from $50 to $400 per acre.

In the election of James Buchanan to the presidency (which preceded the great internal war), he saw an evidence that the slavery agitation was settled forever, and exclaimed:

Preparatory to the reception of the immense tide of immigration and wealth that is destined to flow into our Territory at the opening of spring, from all sections of the country, it is our duty that you will adopt, at an early day, a wise and judicious system of legislation for the security of persons and property.

The value of education, common and collegiate, received marked and extended attention, and the duty of memorializing Council Journal, 3rd session, 12-20.

Congress for grants of land for those purposes was vigorously pressed.

Reiterating many former recommendations, he closed his of ficial communication:

In conclusion I cannot too earnestly exhort you to cultivate a spirit of harmony and conciliation in your councils, and I trust that under the wise direction of an overruling Providence, the result of your deliberation may be such as will best promote the future growth and prosperity of our young and rising community.

Following the message in hot haste came a resolution for a committee on removal of the capitol, which in two days thereafter, reported in favor of the measure, which passed the legis lature and in due time was vetoed by the governor. The insinuations of undue influences in the original location at Omaha were offset by the following language of the veto measure:1

It is not pretended that a single house, or even sod shanty has been erected on the site of the proposed capital, or in the vicinity. It appears to be a floating town, not only without a location, but without inhabitants..

In regard to banks and banking a committee used the following:

Who are the men
Are they sovereign
Most, if not all of

We have now six banks; add six more and we have twelve,
a bank for every thousand inhabitants.
who are asking for these charters?
squatters of Nebraska? Not at all.
the leading men are from other states, who would be very
much obliged to us now to legislate to them the opportunity
of filling our pockets with their bills, but who would laugh
us to scorn when they had our gold and our property in
their possession.

The bill to incorporate the extra six met with the executive veto and failed to become a law. The committee to whom was referred so much of the governor's message as related to the election of President Buchanan, reported:

That while we have no objection to the election of James Buchanan, yet they cannot see that the rights of the South 'Council Journal, 3rd session, 46-48.

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