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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, 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:

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 the men
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

1 Council Journal, 3rd session, 46-48.

are more secure than if John C. Fremont had been the
fortunate candidate, neither do we think that it will be for
the interests of the South that her peculiar institution
should be secured to her. Seeing that with them, and all
her superior natural advantages, a blight hangs over and
eventually cripples and enervates all her energies.

His last veto1 arrested a bill entitled, "An act to repeal all criminal laws passed at the first session of the legislative assembly," which was finally passed over the veto, and before the convening of the legislature, December 9th, 1857, Thomas B. Cuming was again acting-governor, due notice of which has already been taken in the section concerning him.2

'Council Journal, 3rd session, 158-159.

2 See page 3.

Jan. 10 to Dec. 5, 1858.

In the Directory of Congress the following appears:

William A. Richardson was born in Fayette County, Kentucky; graduated at the Translyvania University; studied law and came to the bar before attaining his twentieth year. He soon settled in Illinois, and in 1835, he was elected state attorney; in 1836 he was elected a member of the legislature; in 1838 he was elected to the state senate, and again in 1844 he was elected to the legislature and made speaker of the House. He was chosen a presidential elector in 1844. In 1846 he served as captain in the Mexican war, and on the battlefield of Buena Vista was promoted by the unanimous vote of his regiment; in 1847 was elected a representative to Congress from Illinois where he continued to serve by re-election until 1856, when he resigned. In 1857 he was appointed by President Buchanan, governor of Nebraska, which position he resigned in 1858; in 1860, he was, against his consent, re-elected to the house of representatives, but before the expiration of his term in 1861, was chosen a senator in Congress from Illinois, for the unexpired term of his friend, S. A. Douglas, serving on the committee on territories and the committee on District of Columbia.

From the legislative records it appears that Gov. W. A. Richardson assumed the duties of his office on or about the 12th day of January, 1858, at which time he was called upon to recognize the action of the majority of the legislature then in session at Florence, to which place they had seceded from Omaha. On the ground that Omaha was the seat of government for the territory, their request was promptly refused, while the minority. adjourned the legislature, on January 16, 1858, four days after his accession to power. Inasmuch as all criminal laws had been repealed, and a great legal confusion existed, an extra session convened on the 23d of September, 1858, and a regular one or

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dered by law to follow it beginning October 4th, 1858. One brief message1 sufficed for both sessions and also announced the fact of the governor's resignation of his office. As a justification for a special session he said:

The only law under which crime can be punished in this Territory is the common law of England. All other criminal laws have been abolished by a previous legislature. The common law of England is so uncertain and doubtful in reference to every proceeding and offense and its punishment, that every point will have to be adjudicated before the courts can tell what the law is.

As reported the territorial indebtedness was $15,774, and it was said that only five counties had paid a part of their taxes, also that banks had failed to redeem their notes and should be dealt with accordingly, and that Congress should be memorialized in aid of roads and bridges and general improvements. In a burst of enthusiasm never yet justified, he fancied a new Eldorado of gold at Cherry Creek and Laramie Peak, that "should give an impetus to every branch of industry, and eventually make the great valley of the Missouri not only the garden but the central money power of the Union." In imagination his ears caught the thundering Union Pacific trains, and his eyes. were gladdened by the world's commerce gliding from ocean to But he is entitled to utter in glowing rhetoric impressions of the future:


Nebraska occupies a position in the very heart of this great republic, and as she is now the geographical center of the Union, so shall she soon become the commercial. Standing as we do midway between the Atlantic and Pacific, where the wealth and commerce of both oceans shall pay tribute to our people, their wealth, their advancement, and their power is inevitable. With a soil unsurpassed in fertility, and a climate whose healthful influences are admitted by all, settled by a class of people whose industry, enterprise, and intelligence is fast converting the wilderness into a garden, who shall dare portray the fullness and prosperity of that splendid destiny which is reserved for the future State of Nebraska. * *


1 Council Journal, 5th session (containing also journal of special session), 12-15.

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