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Nebraska,

Was made a Territory May 30, 1854, embracing 351,558 square miles. A portion was set off to Colorado in February, 1861, and another portion to Dakota in March. In March, 1863, Nebraska was further shorn by taking off the Territory of Idaho. In 1860 the people voted against the proposition to form a State government. In

State seal of Nebraska.

April, 1864, Congress authorized the people to organize a State government, but the continuance of war and the prevalence of Indian hostilities prevented action in the matter until early in the year 1866, when the territorial legislature framed a constitution, which was ratified in June.

A bill to admit Nebraska as a State passed Congress soon afterwards, but President Johnson withheld his signature. A similar bill was passed in January, 1867, but was vetoed by the President It was passed over his veto by a vote of 30 to 9 in the Senate and of 120 to 44 in the House, and Nebraska was admitted as the thirty-seventh State of the Union, March 1, 1867. Lincoln was chosen as the seat of government soon afterwards Population in 1890, 1,058,910; in 1900 1,069,539. See United States, Nebraska, in vol. IX.

Territorial governors.

Francis Burtappointed1854
Thomas B. CumingactingOct. 13, 1854
Mark W. IzardappointedOct. 13, 1854
William A. Richardsonappointed1857
J. Sterling Mortonacting1858
Samuel Blackappointed1859
Alvin Saundersappointed1861

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State governors.

David Butlerterm began1867
William H. JamesactingJune 2, 1871
Robert W. Furnassterm beganJan. 9, 1873
Silas Garberterm beginsJan. 9, 1875
Albinus Nanceterm beginsJan. 9, 1879
James W. Dawesterm beginsJan. 9, 1883
John M. Thayerterm beginsJan. 9, 1887
Lorenzo Crounseterm beginsJan. 9, 1893
Silas A. Holcombterm beginsJan. 9, 1895
William A. Poynterterm beginsJan. 9, 1899
Charles H. Dietrichterm beginsJan. 9, 1901

United States Senators.

Name.No. of Congress.Term.
John M. Thayer40th to 42d1867 to 1871
Thomas W. Tipton40th to 44th1867 to 1875
Phineas W. Hitchcock42d to 45th1871 to 1877
Algernon S. Paddock44th to 47th1875 to 1881
Alvin Saunders45th to 48th1877 to 1883
Charles H. Van Wyck47th to 50th1881 to 1888
Charles F. Manderson48th to 54th1883 to 1895
Algernon S. Paddock50th to 53d1888 to 1893
William V. Allen53d to 56th1893 to 1899
John M. Thurston54th to 57th 1895 to 1901
Charles H. Dietrich57th to—1901 to —
J. H. Milard57th to —1901 to —


Protest against slavery.

On May 25, 1854, Charles Sumner delivered the following speech in the United States Senate in presenting a protest against the extension of slavery into Nebraska and Kansas (q. v.):

I hold in my hand, and now present to the Senate, 125 separate remonstrances, from clergymen of every Protestant denomination in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, constituting the six New England States.

With pleasure and pride I now do this service, and at this last stage interpose the sanctity of the pulpits of New England to arrest an alarming outrage—believing that the remonstrants, from their eminent character and influence as representatives of the intelligence and conscience of the country, are peculiarly entitled to be heard,—and, further, believing that their remonstrances, while respectful in form, embody just conclusions, both of opinion and fact. Like them, sir, I do not hesitate to protest against the bill yet pending before the Senate, as a great moral wrong, as a breach of public faith, as a measure full of danger to the peace, and even existence of our Union. And, sir, believing in God, as I profoundly do, I cannot doubt that the opening of an immense region to so great an enormity as slavery is calculated to draw down upon our country His righteous judgments.

“In the name of Almighty God, and in his presence,” these remonstrants protest against the Nebraska bill. In this solemn language, most strangely pronounced blasphemous on this floor, there is obviously no assumption of ecelesiastical power, as is perversely charged, but simply a devout observance of the Scriptural injunction, “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.” Let me add, also, that these remonstrants, in this very language, have followed the example of the Senate, which at our present session, has ratified at least one important treaty beginning with these precise word “In the name of Almighty God.” Surely, if the Senate may thus assume to speak, the clergy may do likewise, without imputation of blasphemy, or any just criticism, at least in this body.

I am unwilling, particularly at this time, to be betrayed into anything like a defence of the clergy. They need no such thing at my hands. There are men in this Senate justly eminent for eloquence, learning, and ability; but there is no man here competent, except in his own conceit, to sit in judgment on the clergy of New England. Honorable Senators, so swift with criticism and sarcasm, might profit by their example. Perhaps the Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Butler), who is not insensible to scholarship, might learn from them something of its graces. Perhaps the Senator from Virginia (Mr. Mason), who finds no sanction under the Constitution for any remonstrance from clergymen, might learn from them something of the privileges of an American citizen. And perhaps the Senator from Illinois (Mr Douglas), who precipitated this odious measure upon the country, might learn from them something of political wisdom Sir, from the first settlement of these shores, from those early days of struggle and privation, through the trials of the Revolution, the clergy are associated not only with the piety and the learning, but with the liberties of the country. New England for a long time was governed by their prayers more than by any acts of the legislature; and at a later day their voices aided even the Declaration of Independence. The clergy of our time speak, [360] then, not only from their own virtues, but from echoes yet surviving in the pulpits of their fathers.

From myself, I desire to thank them for their generous interposition. Already they have done much good in moving the country. They will not be idle. In the days of the Revolution, John Adams, yearning for independence, said, “Let the pulpits thunder against oppression!” And the pulpits thundered. The time has come for them to thunder again. So famous was John Knox for power in prayer that Queen Mary used to say she feared his prayers more than all the armies of Europe. But our clergy have prayers to be feared by the upholders of wrong.

There are lessons taught by these remonstrances which, at this moment, should not pass unheeded. The Senator from Ohio (Mr. Wade), on the other side of the chamber, has openly declared that Northern Whigs can never again combine with their Southern brethren in support of slavery. This is a good augury The clergy of New England, some of whom, forgetful of the traditions of other days, once made their pulpits vocal for the fugitive slave bill, now, by the voices of learned divines, eminent bishops, accomplished professors, and faithful pastors, uttered in solemn remonstrance, unite at last in putting a permanent brand upon this hateful wrong. Surely, from this time forward, they can nevermore render it any support. Thank God for this! Here is a sign full of promise for freedom.

These remonstrances have especial significance, when it is urged, as has been often done in this debate, that the proposition still pending proceeds from the North. Yes, sir, proceeds from the North; for that is its excuse and apology. The ostrich is reputed to hide its head in the sand, and then vainly imagine its coward body beyond the reach of pursuers. In similar spirit, honorable Senators seem to shelter themselves behind scanty Northern votes, and then vainly imagine that they are protected from the judgment of the country. The pulpits of New England, representing in unprecedented extent the popular voice there, now proclaim that six States, with all the fervor of religious conviction, protest against your outrage To this extent, at least, I maintain it does not come from the North.

From these expressions, and other tokens which daily greet us, it is evident that at last the religious sentiment of the country is touched, and through this sentinent I rejoice to believe that the whole North will be quickened with the true life of freedom. Sir Philip Sidney, speaking to Queen Elizabeth of the spirit in the Netherlands animating every man, woman, and child against the Spanish power, exclaimed, “It is the spirit of the Lord, and is irresistible!” A kindred spirit now animates the free States against the slave power, breathing everywhere its involuntary inspiration, and forbidding repose under the attempted usurpation. It is the spirit of the Lord, and is irresistible. The threat of disunion, too often sounded in our ears, will be disregarded by an aroused and indignant people. Ah, sir, Senators vainly expect peace. Not in this way can peace come. In passing such a bill as is now threatened, you scatter from this dark midnight hour no seeds of harmony and goodwill, but broadcast through the land, dragon's teeth, which haply may not spring up in direful crops of armed men, yet, I am assured, sir, will fructify in civil strife and feud.

From the depths of my soul, as loyal citizen and as Senator, I plead, remonstrate, protest against the passage of this bill. I struggle against it as against death; but, as in death itself corruption puts on incorruption, and this mortal body puts on immortality, so from the sting of this hour I find assurance of that triumph by which freedom will be restored to her immortal birthright in the republic.

Sir, the bill you are about to pass is at once the worst and the best on which Congress ever acted. Yes, sir, worst and best at the same time.

It is the worst bill, inasmuch as it is a present victory of slavery. In a Christian land, and in an age of civilization, a time-honored statute of freedom is struck down, opening the way to all the countless woes and wrongs of human bondage Among the crimes of history another is soon to be recorded, which no tears can blot out, and which in better days will be [361] read with universal shame. Do not start The tea tax and stamp tax, which roused the patriot rage of our fathers, were virtues by the side of your transgression; nor would it be easy to imagine, at this day, any measure which more openly and wantonly defied every sentiment of justice, humanity, and Christianity. Am I not right, then, in calling it the worst bill on which Congress ever acted?

There is another side, to which I gladly turn. Sir, it is the best bill on which Congress ever acted, for it annuls all past compromises with slavery, and makes any future compromises impossible. Thus, it puts freedom and slavery face to face, and bids them grapple. Who can doubt the result? It opens wide the door of the future, when, at last, there will really be a North, and the slave power will be broken — when this wretched despotism will cease to dominate over our government, no longer impressing itself upon everything at home and abroad—when the national government will be divorced in every way from slavery, and, according to the true intention of our fathers, freedom will be established by Congress everywhere, at least beyond the local limits of the States.

Slavery will then be driven from usurped foothold here in the District of Columbia, in the national Territories, and elsewhere beneath the national flag; the fugitive slave bill, as vile as it is unconstitutional, will become a dead letter; and the domestic slave trade, so far as it can be reached, but especially on the high seas, will be blasted by the congressional prohibition. Everywhere within the sphere of Congress the great Northern hammer will descend to smite the wrong; and the irresistible cry will break forth, “No more slave States!”

Thus, sir, standing at the very grave of freedom in Nebraska and Kansas, I lift myself to the vision of that happy resurrection by which freedom will be assured, not only in these Territories, but everywhere under the national government More clearly than ever before I now penetrate that great future when slavery must disappear. Proudly I discern the flag of my country, as it ripples in every breeze, at last in reality, as in name, the flag of freedom—undoubted, pure, and irresistible Am I not right, then, in calling this bill the best on which Congress ever acted?

Sorrowfully I bend before the wrong you commit. Joyfully I welcome the promises of the future.


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