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qui-Court, the great Platte, the Weeping Water, and the
two Nemahas, shall be shorn of their native wildness and
be resonant with the song of the husbandman, the rumble
of mills, the splash of the paddle wheel and the puff of
the steam engine; when away out upon those undulating
plains, whose primeval stillness is now unbroken, save by
the howl of the wolf, or the wind sighing through the
rank prairie grass, the American citizen shall have builded
up homes, hamlets and villages; when the steam plow,
with its lungs of fire and breath of vapor, shall have sailed
over the great land-ocean that stretches its luxuriant waves
of soil from the western bank of the Missouri to the base
of the Rocky Mountains, leaving in its wake thrifty settle-
ments and thriving villages, as naturally as a ship riding
upon a sea leaves the eddy and the foam sparkling in the
sunlight that gilds its path through the waste of waters.

When, only fifty miles westward from the Missouri River,
the strong saline waters of Nebraska shall have arrested
the attention of the capitalist, and attracted the skill of the
manufacturer and shall have become, as it must and will,
the salt producer of the whole northwest; when the rock-
ribbed mountains that form our western boundary shall
have been compelled to give up to mankind their long-
hidden and golden treasures; when afar off up the winding
channel of the great Platte, the antelope, the buffalo and
the Indian shall have been startled by the scream of the
locomotive car, as it roars and rumbles over the prairies
and the mountains, hastening to unite the states of the
Atlantic and Pacific into a unity and fraternity of interests,
a future greater and brighter than words can picture is to
be achieved, and you, the farmers of Nebraska, are its
prime architects and its master workmen.

Be inspired then to hasten the carving out of that destiny of indisputable superiority which God has assigned the American people; and, so inspired and so laboring in the great field of the world's advancement, when death, that harvester whom no seasons control and no laws restrain, gathers you to his dark and noiseless garner, may you go, like the grain that has thrived and ripened in the brightest sunshine, pure and untainted by the mildews of the world, back to Him who planted mortality on the earth, that immortality might be reaped and garnered and loved in


This agricultural address was no sporadic effort, but the commencement of a devotion to the tillage of the soil, to the cultivation of flowers, shrubs and trees, a devotion which culmi

nated in the rural decoration of Arbor Lodge, the presentation of a beautiful park to Nebraska City, and to the association of his name with Arbor Day triumphs and its beneficent results.


In the preface to a book entitled "Arbor Day," which Gov. R. W. Furnas dedicated to the Hon. J. Sterling Morton, we have the following:

Perhaps no observance ever sprung so suddenly and almost universally into use in the higher ranks of life as that of Arbor Day. The name itself attracts, and at once secures fast hold on refined, intelligent people. The thought originated with one who worships at the shrine of home and its endearing relations. A resolution providing that "Wednesday, the 10th of April, 1872, be and the same is hereby set apart and consecrated for tree planting in the state of Nebraska, and the State Board of Agriculture hereby name it Arbor Day, and to urge upon the people of the State the vital importance of tree planting, hereby offer a special premium of one hundred dollars to the agricultural society of that county of Nebraska which shall, upon that day, plant properly the largest number of trees; and a farm library of twenty-five dollars' worth of books to that person who, on that day, shall plant properly in Nebraska the greatest number of trees," was unanimously adopted by the State Board of Agriculture on motion of Hon. J. Sterling Morton, January 4, 1872.

On the day specified in the resolution, the people responded by planting 1,000,000 trees and repeated the same in 1873. Supplementing the State Board, Gov. Furnas issued a proclamation March 31, 1874, and in 1885 the legislature made the 22nd of April, Mr. Morton's birthday, a holiday, to be known as Arbor Day. In aid of the object a provision was incorporated in the state constitution and numerous legal enactments.

Within two months of the public observance of the first Arbor Day the Hon. P. W. Hitchcock was instrumental in passing through the United States senate a bill "To encourage the growth of timber on the western prairies," the beneficent operation of which continued for twenty-two years. Within the space of sixteen years Arbor Day was observed in twenty

seven of the States and three of the Territories. Editor H. L. Wood, of the Nebraska City Daily Press, having conceived the happy idea of issuing an Arbor Day edition of his paper, received congratulatory responses from many distinguished citizens. From James Russell Lowell, poet and diplomatist: "I am glad to join in this tribute of friendly gratitude to the inventor of Arbor Day." From George H. Broker, of Philadelphia: "I beg to join with you all in the congratulations that may be offered to this friend of humanity on his birthday, which was a happy day for the world into which he was born." From the brilliant author, T. J. Headly: "All honor to the founder of Arbor Day." From George William Curtis, editor: "I am very glad to join in grateful congratulations to the author of the suggestion which has resulted in so beautiful and serviceable an observance as Arbor Day." From Gov. Martin of Kansas: "Mr. Morton's thought has brought forth good fruit, and has been of vast pecuniary value to Kansas and Nebraska, and to all the states of the West." From ex-Senator T. F. Bayard: "I count it my good fortune to have long known J. Sterling Morton, and appreciate his many delightful qualities of head and heart." From John C. Fremont, the explorer and pathfinder of empire: "I am glad to have the opportunity to enroll myself among the friends and well-wishers of Mr. Morton, and to congratulate him upon the success of his unselfish and broadly useful work." In the House, the irrepressible and genial Hon. Church Howe introduced the following resolution, which was passed:

Whereas, The President-elect of the United States has seen fit to select one of the most distinguished citizens of this State for Secretary of Agriculture; and

Whereas, J. Sterling Morton, one of the pioneers of Nebraska and the creator of Arbor Day, is particularly well equipped for the position, which we firmly believe he will fill with credit to Nebraska and honor to the Nation; be it RESOLVED, That the house, irrespective of party politics, tender its thanks to the Hon. Grover Cleveland for the honor conferred upon the State of Nebraska.

The fact that the measure was introduced by a republican and

was passed without a dissenting vote was especially gratifying to the friends of Mr. Morton.

Within two months Mr. Morton became Secretary of Agricul ture. When the people of New Jersey, in compliance with the governor's proclamation, met to celebrate Arbor Day, their program spread before them an elaborate, philosophic, and statistical essay, by the Secretary, upon the Forestry of Civilized


Of the "relentless, never-ending war between the animal and vegetable kingdom," he said:

Like great wheels the cycles revolve and reappear, now in the animal and then in the vegetable world, as mere mites in the stupendous machinery of the universe. The glow of beauty on the cheek of youth to-day, may tomorrow tint a rose growing upon that youth's grave.

We die, we are buried, and down into our very graves the kingdom of the forest and field sends its fibrous root-spies, its pioneers, and sappers and miners. The grand oak, the majestic elm, throw out their arms and foliage to wave and shimmer in the sunlight, and deploy their roots and rootlets to invade graves, and bring them food and strength from the tired forms that sleep therein.

The almost infinite possibilities of a tree germ came to my mind, one summer when traveling in a railway carriage amid beautiful cultivated fields in Belgium. A cottonwood seed on its wings of down drifted into my compartment. It came like a materialized whisper from home. Catching it in my hand I forgot the present and wandered into the past, to a mote like that which had, years and years before, been planted by the winds and currents on the banks of the Missouri. That mote had taken life and root, growing to splendid proportions, until in 1854 the ax of the pioneer had vanquished it, and the saw seizing it with relentless, whirling teeth reduced it to lumber. From its treehood evolved a human habitation, a home-my homewherein a mother's love had blossomed and fruited with a sweetness surpassing the loveliness of the rose and the honeysuckle. Thus from the former feathery floater in mid-air grew a home, and all the endearing contentment and infinite satisfaction which that blessed Anglo-Saxon word conveys, that one word which means all that is worth living for, and for which alone all good men and women are living.

Never did the Secretary of Agriculture seem a more fitting part of his surroundings than when on Arbor Day, 1894, he stood uncovered under the towering trees and among the aspiring shrubs, upon the flower-clad lawn of his great department; and there, with firm hand, steadied in place the Morton Oak of the future.

And equally true to nature and the occasion did inspired intellect entwine the moral and epitaph:

It seems to me that a tree and a truth are the two longest lived things of which mankind has any knowledge. Therefore it behooves all men in rural life besides planting truths to plant trees; it behooves all men in public life to plant economic and political truths, and as the tree grows from a small twig to a grand overspreading oak, so the smallest economic truth, as we have seen in the United States, even in the last year, can so grow as to revolutionize the government of the great Republic. I say, then, that we should all plant trees and plant truths, and let every man struggle so that when we shall all have passed away we shall have earned a great epitaph which we find in St. Paul's Cathedral in London. You remember Sir Christopher Wren was the architect of that wondrous consummation of beauty in building, and there among the heroic dead of England's greatest heroes upon land or sea repose his remains. On other tombs are marked words of eulogy, fulsome sometimes, always intense, but upon the sarcophagus where Sir Christopher Wren's remains repose is inscribed only these simple words: "Si quæris monumentum circumspic"-If you seek my monument look around you. So every man, woman and child who plants trees shall be able to say, on coming as I have come, toward the evening of life, in all sincerity and truth: "If you seek my monument, look around you."

This occasion was a surprise arranged by the officials of his department; but one year afterward it was more than duplicated on Congress Heights, D. C., April 22, 1895, being Arbor Day and his sixty-third birthday, when sixty-three trees were planted in his honor and named for distinguished persons. One of these he planted and named "Sound Money."

Mr. Morton's ability as a platform speaker made him a favorite in many states long before his introduction to a president's

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