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Before he assumed the duties of Territorial Governor of Nebraska, May 15, 1861, ten states had passed ordinances of secession, Davis and Stephens elected president and vice-president of the Southern Confederacy, a call had been issued for 75,000 men at the north and for 32,000 at the south, Fort Sumter had been bombarded by the rebels and Massachusetts troops mobbed in Baltimore on their way to the city of Washington, and President Lincoln had ordered the blockade of southern ports.

Three days after Gov. Saunders' arrival he issued a proclamation for troops for three years' service, closing with the following emphatic language:

Efforts are being made to trample the stars and stripes, the emblem of our liberty, in the dust. Traitors are in the land busily trying to overthrow the Government of the United States, and information has been received that these same traitors are endeavoring to incite an invasion of our frontier by a savage foe. In view of these facts, I invoke the aid of every lover of his country and his home, to come promptly forward to sustain and protect the same.

His acts and messages reveal the fact that during the four years of devastating war, his thoughts were ever with the men who answered the calls for troops. Whether they were in camp or in council chamber, their wants and domestic anxieties urged him to duty and called out his ready sympathy.

In his first message to the legislature, the Governor said:

Congress, at its last session, in providing means to be used in putting down rebellion in a number of Southern States of the Union, levied a direct tax on the people. The Constitution of the United States provides that direct taxes shall be levied by Congress in proportion to the population. The proportion assigned to Nebraska amounts to nineteen thousand three hundred and twelve dollars. This tax may be assessed and collected by officers to be appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, or may be assumed by the Territorial Government. In the latter case, a deduction of 15 per cent, from the gross amount will be allowed the Territory. I therefore recommend that you make the necessary provision for its collection by adding the gross amount to the tax levy for the coming year for

territorial purposes, or that you make such other provision
for its payment as your wisdom may devise. Although the
sum to be raised is comparatively large, we should not
hesitate to bear our part of the burden. Each one should
be willing to exert himself to the utmost to avert the
danger which now threatens the Union. We would be
unworthy descendants of the good and great men who
pledged their property and their lives to secure our free
institutions, if we hesitated to make any sacrifice necessary
for their preservation.

The patriotism of those who assist our country now, when
she is defending the Constitution and the Union against
traitors and rebels, and who stand firmly by that flag, and
those institutions, which have descended to us from the
hands of Washington, will be held in grateful remembrance
by the great and the good everywhere, and their names will
descend with imperishable honor to posterity, for having
aided in preserving to their country and the world, in its
original integrity and vigor, the freest and best government
on earth.

A committee to whom was referred the subject of the direct tax, reported that inasmuch as Congress allowed the Territory $20,000 per year, for legislative expenses, the legislature should not be convened during the next year, but the $20,000 should be diverted by the general government for the cancellation of the tax of $19,312.

And to show the necessity of this, they instanced the financial condition of the people, illustrating with Douglas County.

Douglas County has a mortgage debt of $800,000 hanging over her citizens, covering the majority of the real estate in the county and bearing interest at an enormous rate of from 2 to 10 per cent per month. The court records will show a judgment debt of several thousand dollars. The County has a debt of $50,000. So with the other counties throughout the Territory. Our Territorial debt is $50,000. Our taxes in every county in the Territory have been higher for three years than in any state in the Union. Inasmuch as the progress of the Government, in the suppression of the rebellion, was the all absorbing question, his second message, in 1864, contained the following:

When you were last in session the rebels claimed all of the slave states and all of the territories south of Kansas and west to California, but the Union armies have

been steadily driving them back from the loyal states and
toward the interior from the coast, capturing fortifica-
tions and cities until now the stars and stripes float in
triumph over at least two-thirds of the Territory then
claimed by the insurgents. A few months more of vigorous
and persistent effort on the part of the great armies and
navies of the Republic, it would seem, will probably be suffi-
cient to wipe out the last vestige of this gigantic rebellion,
and establish the supremacy of the Constitution and the
laws throughout the whole extent of all the states and
territories of the Union.

It must be a source of profound gratification to you to
know that the citizen soldiery of Nebraska, springing to
arms from the peaceful pursuits of life, at the call of the
President, totally unaccustomed to the hardships and dep-
rivations of the weary march and camp life, and to the
exposure and dangers of protracted campaigns, have per-
formed their part so nobly in every trial of endurance and
courage.

A Nebraska soldier, whether called on by his country to confront the wily savages on the frontier, or the rebel hosts in battle array, has never shrunk from duty, quailed before danger, or turned his back on the foe.

After urging that all possible effort should be made for the comfort of the soldiers in the field, and of the sick and wounded, and of widows and orphans, and for allowing the soldiers to vote for state and national officers, he passed to the subject of monuments.

I also recommend that you make the necessary provision for keeping a correct record of the names of all who enlist in the military service of the Territory, to be preserved among the public archives; and that the names of all who are wounded or fall in battle should be inscribed on a roll of honor, to be carefully preserved for the inspection of future generations. I also suggest that justice to this class of our fellow citizens seems to me to require that a monument should be erected at the capitol, on which to inscribe the names, and preserve the memory of all from this territory who have fallen in their country's service since this rebellion commenced, or who have fallen during its continuance.

He further elucidated the steps leading up to emancipation, as a military necessity, and its influence at home and abroad on

the final result, and declared in favor of an immediate peace consequent upon a restored union. In his message of 1865, Governor Saunders made the following prediction:

This war for the preservation of our national life, although protracted through more than three years of bloody strife, is at length happily drawing to a close; and recent events would seem to indicate, with almost mathematical certainty, that the end cannot be far in the future. Slowly, but steadily and surely, the Union armies are exhausting the strength and resources of the rebel forces. Their lines are being rapidly contracted—their ranks decimated beyond the possibility of recuperation, and the spirit of the misguided masses has been broken. Our armies and navies almost encompass them, while one of our greatest generals, with his victorious columns, has marched through the very heart of the Empire State of the South, from the interior to the coast, and captured the most populous and important commercial city in the rebellious district, almost without opposition. The significant facts leave no room to doubt that at an early period the supremacy of the constitution and the laws will be restored in every portion of the country, thus establishing human liberty, alike in the South and in the North, and vindicating the capacity of the people for self government.

One year later he had the happiness to herald the consummation of the great work, in the following language of his annual message, of January, 1866:

Our flag, emblem of the unity, justice, power and glory of the nation, now floats in triumph over every part of the Republic. Every foot of our national territory has been preserved intact. The supremacy of the constitution and laws is acknowledged by all the inhabitants, but this great boon has been secured at a fearful cost of blood and treasure. Having thus passed through the Red Sea of disaster which menaced us, and for a time threatened to engulf and overwhelm the fair fabric of justice and liberty reared for us by our fathers, may we not hope that our glorious Union will be perpetual and dispense its blessings for all future time to the oppressed and downtrodden who may seek an asylum in this land of liberty and equal justice from the tyrannies of the old world.

When the question of emancipating slaves was discussed, as a

military necessity, Governor Saunders held and expressed very decided views:

Look, if you please, at the effort put forth by the cunning politicians and traitors of our country, to prejudice the minds of the unwary against the President's proclamation emancipating the slaves in rebel districts. Thousands throughout the country had their minds thus prejudiced, and for the time being poisoned, against the measure; and yet, that very same measure has, perhaps, done more to give us strength, both at home and abroad, than any other adopted by the administration. And perhaps we ought not to close our eyes to the fact, while dwelling on this subject, that many of the best and wisest men in the country believe that if the slaves should all be liberated, during,the progress of the war, it will be a just retribution on those who originated the rebellion; for there is a universal conviction among all classes, that slavery was, either directly or indirectly, the cause of the war, and that the guilty cause ought to be destroyed, and that without this, no lasting, permanent peace can possibly be secured. If it stands in the way of victory, of peace, of a restored and perpetual Union, let it die the death of the malefactor.

On the 25th of January, 1864, Governor Saunders had the supreme pleasure of placing his signature to a joint resolution of the Legislature complimented the territorial troops:

RESOLVED, That the thanks of the people of this territory are due, and are hereby tendered through their Legislative Assembly, to the brave men who have gone from our territory to battle for the preservation of our country. That we look with pride and satisfaction upon the record our soldiers have made since the war of the rebellion was inaugurated, and that their unsurpassed bravery on every field, from Fort Donelson, where the blood of Nebraska first mingled with the crimson tide of the brave of other states, who consecrated with their lives the first great victory of the war, down to the heroic defense of Cape Girardeau, where the sons of our territory, almost unaided, achieved one of the most brilliant and decisive victories that will adorn the annals of the present struggle, a record which commands the admiration of the world, and places us under a debt of gratitude to those brave men which we can never repay.

How thoroughly the Governor's patriotic efforts were supple

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