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boundary-natural or artificial-prevent the union of all our
Within three months from the date of this official document, its author had passed from earth, and at the meeting of the next legislature, Governor Richardson said: "The Territory has lost one of her brightest intellects, one whose genius and attainments had inspired his many friends with high hopes and marked out for him a brilliant and useful future. T. B. Cuming, Secretary of the Territory, has been called away forever."
The legislature having referred this message to a committee, the following report was made by its chairman, Hon. R. W. Furnas, subsequently governor:
Thomas B. Cuming was appointed secretary of the Terri-
Council Journal, 5th session. 15. 2 Council Journal, 5th session, 30-31.
wont to tread among a people that delighted to do him
Never was the pathway of a young politician beset with greater perplexities and temptations than those surrounding the first temporary executive of the Territory of Nebraska. To be unexpectedly called upon to assume the duties of another, and expected to evolve a government from a state of elementary chaos, in the absence of precedents, would have required all that age, experience and human sagacity could have furnished. While it became his duty to designate the place for the assembling of the first session of the legislature, the final question of Capitol location was left to the representatives of the people; but inasmuch as the place of the first meeting would have the
prestige of an incipient Capitol, his decision was sought in the spirit of desperation. What there was of settlement, was divided by the Platte River into North and South, while in the two antagonistic sections, three rival towns in each were ready to destroy their local competitors to gain a permanent advantage. These were Bellevue, Omaha and Florence to the north, and Plattsmouth, Nebraska City and Brownville to the south.
Bellevue, having been the place where the first governor landed and died, and whence his acting successor issued the first official proclamation, and possessing the most beautiful location, had many reasons to anticipate becoming the permanent seat of government.
When, therefore, Mr. Cuming, having ordered the taking of a census, in 1854, and the election of members of a legislature and of a delegate to Congress, appointed the assembling of the first session for Omaha, the clans were mustered for war. In the absence of courts to issue the quo warranto or mandamus, appeal was occasionally made to the knife and revolver, and under mental conditions affected by the use of money or whiskey. Accordingly, in 1858, when the location question was again revived, and Secretary Cuming was once more acting-governor, after Governor Izard's resignation, a majority of the legislature removed to Florence, eight miles up the river, and called upon him for the records in possession of the minority at Omaha.
Before a solution of this complication was secured Gov. Richardson of Illinois arrived and, assuming control, released the young official once more to his original duty of secretary of the Territory, which place he filled until early in the spring of 1858, when he was stricken by death, in his 28th year.
GOVERNOR MARK W. IZARD.
Feb. 20, 1855 to Oct. 25, 1857.
In the illustrated history of Nebraska, a writer quoting from the Omaha Herald, proceeds as follows: "Mark W. Izard, who came into the Territory as United States marshal, was appointed successor to Governor Burt, and the ball was given in honor of his excellency." It might be here parenthetically stated that when the governor was to read his inaugural message he arranged it so that a negro was to announce his approach to the legislative chamber, by saying, "Mr. Speaker, the Governor is now approaching"; but forgetting his text he electrified the assembled wisdom with, "Mr. Speaker, de Gub'ner hab done come." The following is from the Herald:
Izard was a stately character physically; mentally, rather weak, and felt a lively sense of the dignity with which the appointment clothed him. He had never known such an honor before, and it bore upon him heavily. To the few persons who then constituted the population of the city, the governor was careful to intimate a desire to have his gubernatorial advent suitably celebrated. The factious and wary Cuming suggested the idea of giving Izard an executive ball. The larger of the two rooms, which then constituted the building, was the theatre of a scene perhaps the most ludicrous that was ever witnessed in the history of public receptions. The room had a single coat of what was called plastering, composed of a frozen mixture of mud and ice, and a very thin coating at that. The floor was rough and unplaned, and not altogether safe for those who preferred the upright position. It had been energetically scrubbed for the occasion. The night being dreadfully cold and the heating apparatus failing to warm the room, the water froze upon the floor and could not be melted by any then known process. Rough cottonwood boards on either side of the room were substituted for chairs. The hour of seven having arrived, the grand company began to assemble. Long before the appointed hour his Arkansas excellency appeared in the dancing hall. He and Jim Orton and "the band" of Council Bluffs reached the scene about the same moment.
The governor was very polite to Jim, and Jim was just "tight”
On the 20th day of February, 1855, the successor of Governor Burt having arrived, Secretary Cuming introduced him to the legislature in a most complimentary speech, which was replied to in a manner indicating that "honors were easy," and eulogiums at par.
MR. CUMING: We congratulate you and ourselves, Sir, that