Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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NEBRASKA, a state of the American Union, formed from territory ceded by France. (See ANNEXATIONS, I.) The territory of Nebraska was organized May 30, 1854 (see KANSAS-NEBRASKA BILL); it included territory now in the state of Colorado, and the territories of Montana, Dakota and Wyoming. An enabling act was passed April 19, 1864, and the state was admitted by act of Feb. 9, 1867, on the fundamental condition that the new state should never deny the elective franchise, or any other right, to any person, by reason of race or color, excepting Indians not taxed. The condition was accepted by the state legislature, Feb. 20, 1867, and the state was declared admitted by the president's proclamation of March 1, 1867.


—BOUNDARIES. The boundaries of the state are as follows: Beginning at the intersection of north latitude 40° with the western boundary of Missouri; thence due west to longitude 25° west from Washington; thence due north to north latitude 41°; thence due west to longitude 27° west; thence due north to north latitude 43°; thence due east to the Reya Paha river, down that river to the Niobrara river, down that river to the Missouri river, and down the Missouri to the place of beginning.


—CONSTITUTIONS. The first constitution was framed by the territorial legislature, Feb. 9, 1866, and was ratified, June 21, 1866, by a popular vote of 3,938 to 3,838. It forbade slavery, the contraction of a state debt of more than $50,000, and the creation of corporations by special laws; it fixed the terms of the governor, senators, and representatives at two years; and it made Omaha the capital. It also confined the elective franchise to white citizens, but this was abrogated, as above stated, before the admission of the state.


—A new constitution was framed by a convention at Lincoln, June 12, 1875, and ratified by popular vote Oct. 12. Its principal changes were restrictions upon special legislation and upon the power of corporations, and an apportionment of members of the legislature.


—GOVERNORS David Butler. 1868-71; Wm. H. James, ex officio, 1871-3; Robert W. Furnas, 1873-5; Silas Garber, 1875-9; Albinus Nance, 1879-83.


—POLITICAL HISTORY. Since its organization as a state, Nebraska has been republican in every election, national or state. All the governors, senators and representatives in congress have been republicans. The republican majority has been constantly increasing (with the exception hereafter noted); the republican vote for governor in 1870 was 2,851 to 278, and, in 1880, 52,337 to 28,167. In 1872, for governor, the democrats polled their largest proportional vote, 11,227 to 16,548. The legislature has always been very strongly republican; in 1882 but twelve of the 114 members were democrats.


—Among the political leaders who have been made prominent by their state are the following: Lorenzo Crounse, representative, 1783-7; Phineas W. Hitchcock, United States senator 1871-7; A. S. Paddock, United States senator 1875-81; Alvin Saunders, United States senator 1877-83; John Taffe, representative 1867-73; John M. Thayer, United States senator 1867-71; T. W. Tipton, United States senator 1867-75, and democratic candidate for governor in 1880; Edward K. Valentine, representative 1879-83; and Charles H. Van Wyck, United States senator 1881-7.


—See 14 Stat. at Large, 391, App. iv., No. 9, for act of Feb. 9, 1867, and proclamation of March 1; 2 Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; Appleton's Annual Cyclopœdia, 1867-80; Porter's West in 1880, 846.


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