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the admission of attorneys to practice at the bar of courts. The principal requirement was 21 years of age, satisfactory evidence of a good moral character, and passing an examination, in what is not stated, before a judge. Those essential elements being present, the lawyer was made. The "results” of this legislation was the immediate immigration from adjoining states and terri. tories of those without other preparation than the requisite age and moral character to this territory. They were admitted to the bar and returned to their homes fully prepared to aid the courts in those states and territories in the administration of justice.
The enterprise of that body was further manifested by the adoption of a criminal code. The act by which the criminal code was adopted was entitled “An Act Relative to Criminal Laws." The body of the act provided that “The fourth part of the Code of Iowa, given on page 349, as published in the author. ized edition of said Code, so far as practicable and not inconsistent with the laws of this territory, be and the same is hereby declared to be in full force and effect in this territory.” Thus by the enactment of this short section Nebraska became possessed of a criminal code of 803 sections, providing punishment for all the crimes known to the law of Iowa. This act was approved March 15, 1855. This immense body of criminal law remained in force until probably about the 13th of February, 1857, when it transpired that an unlucky member of the human race had committed the crime of willful and deliberate murder and employed a wideawake, enterprising, and vigorous attorney to conduct his defense. This attorney, upon an examination of his client's case, discovered that the evidence of guilt was conclusive and the presumption against his client great. There was no help nor hope of escape with that Iowa law staring him in the face. He turned his attention to politics, became a candidate for legislative honors, was elected, and in the conscientious discharge of his duties as a legislator he introduced a bill entitled "An act to repeal certain acts of the legislative assembly of Nebraska passed at the first session of the said assembly.” This act was short. Its provisions were as follows: “An act entitled 'An act adopting certain parts of the code of Iowa,' approved March 16, 1855, and also an act entitled 'An act relative to crimi. nal laws,' approved March 15, 1855, be and the same are hereby repealed." The second section of this law simply provided that the repealing act "should take effect and be in force from and after its passage.” This is called an emergency clause. You see, an emergency existed. The bill was promptly passed and the whole of both civil and criminal codes of the territory were swept out of existence. In justice to the memory of the then governor, it should be here said that he vetoed the bill, but that the necessary two-thirds vote was forthcoming, and his veto did not count. For one year it is said that the territory of Nebraska was without either a civil or a criminal code; and tradition informs us that during that period of one year civil rights were duly respected and less crime was committed in proportion to the population than during any other year in the history of the territory or state. Of course, the luckless defendant who had taken the life of his fellow man was promptly discharged and permitted to return east to visit his friends or "go west and grow up with the country," as might suit his fancy. The enterprise of his counsel was fully rewarded. A civil code copied after the code of Ohio was subsequently adopted and this code with its many imperfections is with us yet. Our lawmakers not being satisfied with Iowa rules in criminal cases, afterwards adopted the criminal code of Illinois, but Ohio had been heard from. The home of statesmen had sent her sons into Nebraska, and in 1873 the Illinois code was repealed and the Ohio code adopted. In regard to the criminal code, this Ohio code was an improvement upon the one we had previously enjoyed. We will probably retain it as the result of the perfection of human wisdom in criminal matters.
Referring to the laws passed by the pioneer session, aside from the two codes mentioned, but little of those enactments remains with us. The legislature seems to have been very busy in providing and creating corporations and naming towns and cities which existed alone upon paper, and giving them a system of
municipal government. Indeed, we are informed that so strong was the desire to incorporate cities and towns that it became necessary for one of the members to introduce a bill setting aside certain portions of the state for agricultural purposes and one section in each township was declared to be free from the blighting hand of the townsite boomers. It is interesting, indeed, to peruse the acts referred to and know that of the many cities thus created, but very few, if any, have a geographical location. The cities of Carlisle, Margaretta, Chester, Lawrence, Elizabeth, and many others were born to bloom unseen, etc.
A number of counties were duly and properly bounded and made ready for business, some of which have entirely disapp ared from the map of the state. Among this latter class might be mentioned the county of Greene, with no county seat nor town lots. The county of Black Bird, with Black Bird city for a county seat, but no town lots. The county of Clay, with a provision that the seat of justice "shall be called Clayton.” This embryo city seems not to have had a permanent habitation and therefore no city lots were demanded. The county of McNeale was duly created and Manitou was decreed to be its seat of justice and fifty city lots were required "for the purpose of building a court house and other necessary county buildings.” Jackson county was also born and with it the requirement that its county seat "shall be called Jacksonville," and the requisite fifty city lots were demanded for building purposes. Johnston county was declared to lie west of Forney county and its legal existence duly decreed, and it was said the seat of justice “shall be called Frances,” with fifty city lots. Izard county closes the list, with Hunton for the county seat and fifty lots reserved. "From a legal point of view," we conclude that these efforts were not productive of great results. It is evident that the antimonopolist had not then grown to his present magnificent dimensions, for, if there was any subject upon which that legislature might be said to be orthodox, it was that of the creation of corporations and monopolies. If there was any one enterprise or line of business which did not demand the right to the exclusive exercise of "corporate power," they failed to make the exception. Everything, from the magnificent railroad company, with its millions of dollars of capital stock, to the bridge and ferry company, with its few dollars and pocket ferry-boat for crossing the spring branches and wet weather drains with which the territory at that time abounded, was provided for.
The Western Exchange and Marine Insurance Company, with its capital stock of $50,000, and R. W. Latham, William Kempton, James S. Izard, J. McNeale Latham, W. E. Moore, Thomas H. Benton, Jr., and their associates, not to exceed thirteen in number, their heirs and assigns as incorporators, was duly incorporated and the necessary plans and specifications provided, ready for business. It has never been my pleasure to form the acquaintance of that artificial individual, and whether "the legal results” of that law have ever been manifested, I am at this moment unable to say. I think, however, its life was short, owing, possibly, to the inexcusable blunder of the legislature in selecting the unlucky number-13- as the maximum number of incorporators. This was a bad break and one for which we can imagine no valid excuse. I think it “killed the bill." Had that organization survived we would have had some legal results right there, for by the terms of the bill the "heirs" of the incorporators were not forgotten, and, though unbora when the law was passed, they were “by act of law” made a part of that corporation, whether agreeable to them or not. It is quite probable that the "object of the bill" was to change the rule for the classification of property and make the capital stock of that corporation real estate, descendable to heirs by the law of inheritance. These things are “hard to find out.”'
Competition and the law of the “ survival of the fittest” were not forgotten and so “The Franklin Insurance Company” was also set upon its feet with a capital stock of $10,000, with Paddock, Hathaway, Ellsworth, Kempton, Estabrook, Corfield, and Richardson as incorporators, evidently for the purpose of holding its larger brother in line. While this company had less money, it had some advantages over the big brother,--for instance, instead of having the unlucky number "thirteen" for the number of its incorporators, it was blessed with the scriptual number "seven,"—the perfect number. This more than outweighed the more money and incorporators. It is supposed this latter company lived fully as long as the former one.
The Platte Valley and Pacific Railroad Company was started on the road to future greatness with its $5,000,000 (apital one day before the Missouri River and Platte Valley Railroad Company, with a like capital, became its rival.
We should also notice the fact that salt was not forgotten. Two corporations were created in order that the industry known as the manufacture of salt should keep fully up with the procession.
The educational interests of the territory received the fostering care of the "Pioneer.” The "Nebraska University," with capital stock of $150,000 and fifteen incorporators, was created and that great institution was given permission to live. Its location seems to have been at “Fontenelle, in Dodge county.” Its perpetuity and safety were doubtless intended to be secured by the fourteenth section of its charter. It was as follows: “The said institution and its preparatory departments shall be open to all denominations of christians, and the profession of any particular faith shall not be required of those who become students. All persons, however, who are idle or vicious, or whose characters are immoral, may be suspended or expelled." You thus see it was in no sense a reformatory institution. The Jew could stay away and the idle, vicious, and immoral could "travel." I more than half suspect that our present “University of Nebraska"—the pride of every patriotic Nebraskan--is not the result of that bill.
Simpson University, with $150,000 capital stock, was turned loose about the same time, but the fatal “thirteen” mistake was again made, and there are no results from a legal point of view" in sight.
"The Nebraska City Collegiate and Preparatory Institute," with an equal volume of capital stock, was given permission to