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Instead of denouncing railroads per se, or urging government control, he declared:
It is an erroneously conceived idea, and quite prevalent, that the interests of the railways and the people of the State are inimical. In fact. the success of each lies principally in the prosperity of the other.
I am of the opinion that if a constitutional amendment creating a board of railroad commissioners, with ample power in the premises, could be submitted to the people it would receive their approval by an overwhelming majority, and I believe this vexed question could be nearer settled satisfactorily in that than in any other manner.
But with temporary relief, and permanent aid for irrigation, with fair and ample facilities for transportation, he urged intelligent economy and the freest exercise of the elective franchise as the great conservator of human freedom:
It is your duty to sacredly guard this right to your fellow electors and to reduce to the absolute minimum any infringement of it. Especially does it seem to me that the employees of the larger corporations should, by wise legislation, have such protecting care thrown about them that they may in the exercise of the right of suffrage act with out any fear whatsoever from the displeasure of their employers, whose political convictions may be different from their own.
It is undenied that the Australian ballot law was a needed reform and has done much toward purifying elections in Nebraska, but I am confident it would grant a privilege without mischief if the law should be amended by you so that the elector can designate, where it is possible, his choice of candidates and at the same time express by his ballot his political convictions.
I would respectfully suggest that each political party having a fair percentage of the vote in any district should have representation on the election board, and that not more than two judges should be selected from any one political party.
There can be no more important subject for the careful consideration of lawmakers than the protection of the purity of the ballot, and I would most respectfully call your attention to our existing election laws and invite a
comparison with those of other states, to the end that
If the legislature and he himself shall be so fortunate as to measure up to his standard of duty, his message two years hence will have joyful acceptance.
Although possessing various political beliefs we as legislators and executive should have but one great object in view-to discharge the duties incumbent upon us in a good businesslike manner for the common good of all. Each of you as a legislator has been elected as the advocate of the principles of some political party, but today you represent all the people of your district. In my capacity I shall earnestly endeavor to be the governor of all the people.
NEBRASKA IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE.
PRELIMINARY HISTORICAL SKETCH.
The territory of Nebraska was organized by act of congress May 30, 1854:
January 11, 1860, Nebraska passed an act to submit the question of calling a state constitutional convention which was defeated at an election March 5, 1860.
April 19, 1864, congress passed an act to enable Nebraska to submit a constitution to a vote of the people, with reference to admission as a state of the Union, and the legislature framed and submitted such an instrument, which was adopted at an election June 2, 1866. Thereupon a bill for her admission passed congress July 27, 1866, which was held by President Johnson and neither signed nor returned during the session. January 16, 1867, another bill passed and was vetoed by the president and passed over his veto on the 9th day of February, 1867.
The state constitution thus placed before congress provided for the exercise of suffrage by white male citizens only, but since emancipation had taken place and the 15th amendment was in process of adoption, an injunction was placed upon us, requiring that before admission the state legislature should agree, in behalf of the people, "that there shall be no denial of the elective franchise to any person, by reason of race or color," in the State of Nebraska. To secure this pledge, Governor Saunders convened the territorial legislature on the 20th day of February, 1867, when the fundamental condition was adopted, and President Johnson issued a proclamation March 1, 1867, declaring Nebraska a state in the Union.
There being but four days of the second session of the thirty