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“Nebraska.” All south of 40° as “ Kan to introduce a bill to organize "Nebraska,” sas.” To settle up the region which will how few of us, comparatively, cared, or be known as Nebraska, except certain knew very definitely, what or where the portions of it, will, we take it, be a work proposed Territory was! True, we all of time and circumstances. In a northern had a vague sort of a notion that it lay latitude, cold in climate, and with much somewhere away out west towards the sterile soil, whilst at the same time the Rocky Moun ns, but it was then a matrange and habitation of some of the ter that did not concern us very nearly. wildest and most savage of the nomadic And now “Nebraska” has been echoed tribes of Indians, but few at present look from the halls of Congress to the people, to it for immediate settlement. But, to and from the people back to the halls of wards the rich and fertile region south of Congress. And more speeches have been 400 squatters and speculators are alike made about it than could have been imlooking with greedy eyes.
agined six months ago. Nebraska bas beListen to Fremont, describing (in 1842) come of a sudden a great name in our a part of this region—that on the little history, like that of a field made famous Blue” river.
by a great battle. “Our route lay in the valley, which, Well do we remember-it was in the bordered by hills with graceful slopes, spring of 1851–how the monotonous life looked uncommonly green and beautiful. of the inhabitants of the various Missouri The stream was fringed with cotton-wood River towns was broken in upon by the and willow, with frequent groves of oak, advent among them of a mysterious looktenanted by flocks of wild turkeys.
ing individual, who travelled with a carwere seen on the hills, and now and then pet-sack slung across his shoulders, and an antelope bounded across our path, or a who paid his way wherever he went by deer broke from the groves."
"phrenological ” lectures and examinations. Captain Emory, of the Topographical At each place where he was wont to stop Corps, describing another portion—that he made known the object of his visit out between Fort Leavenworth and the Paw West, stating it to be to get up a company nee Fork—says:
of explorers and settlers for Nebraska. - The country is high rolling prairie, He claimed to belong to the “vote-yourtraversed by many streams.
self-a-farm” party, and held that the Inseen only along the margin of the streams, dians had no right to keep such fine lands and the general appearance of the country as Nebraska was represented to contain. is that of vast rolling fields inclosed with Wherever he went he lectured in private colossal hedges. The growth along these on the rights of property, and in public on streams as they approach the eastern part the science of phrenology. Whilst just of the section under consideration consists as certainly wherever he appeared the of burr oak, black walnut, chesnut oak, boys always treated him to a little of that black oak, long leaved willow, sycamore, peculiar game known out West as "rotbuckeye, hackberry, and sumach; towards ten-egging.” Such was the state of public the west, as you approach the 99th meri opinion in regard to the Nebraska movedian of longtitude, the growth along the ment just three years ago. At the end streams becomes almost exclusively cot of some months' unsuccessful efforts he ton-wood. At meridian, 99 Greenwich, finally started from Fort Leavenworth to the country becomes almost entirely accomplish his mission, attended by two barren.”
or three followers half-equipped. A few A tract of country extending 300 miles days journeying took him as far as the north and south along the state of Mis Iowa Mission, at the Nemahaw agency; souri, and about 40 miles wide, is set apart here he was seized with a fever, and died for the Indians under treaties heretofore among the good folks of the Mission. He entered into between them and the govern was buried in Nebraska, and with him ment. About twelve or fourteen thousand his scheme. Indians occupy this whole section, but The mysterious individual* we have will soon be moved elsewhero by other thus introduced to the reader was at one treaties. The land thus occupied by them time of considerable notoriety; a native of comprises some of the richest and most New York, and one of the whilome desirable portions of what is the proposed Canadian Patriots,” tried some years Kansas Territory.
ago for engaging in the project of annexWhen, during the session of 1853, leave ing John Bull's little strip of the Canadas was asked in the House of Representatives to Brother Jonathan's broad domain. So
* General Thomas Jefferson Southerland,
far as we are informed, he it was who was the first public advocate for, and overt actor in, the movement to organize and settle Nebraska. But the politicians have “stolen his thunder," whilst he in Nebraska sleeps the sleep that knows no waking
There is a vague suspicion that the chairman of the committee on territories had it in contemplation in 1841 to introduce a bill for its organization. A claim has been put in for a distinguished senator, who is said to have had it in view again in 1850. But there was no "overt act”—as the lawyers say—and there it rested where it began, in the minds of those who had conceived it. No one was safely delivered of the grand idea.
Just one year after this effort, as we have narrated it, some of the Indian agents and government attachés at the various trading posts, along with the traders, commenced agitating the subject of organization, held a meeting or so, and shortly organized primary meetings for the selection of a delegate to go on to Washington. The thing was now seriously started. Half a score or more entered the lists as candidates, and finally, after the usual amount of electioneering and “ treating," a trader living happily among them was chosen to the honor of paying his own expenses on to Washington as Nebraska Delegate. This was in 1852. When the American Representatives met at Washington in "Congress assembled" the Nebraska Delegate was there among them to attend to the interests of his constituents.
On the 2d of February, 1853, unanimous leave of the House of Representatives was asked and granted to introduce
to organize the Territory of Nebraska.” On the 10th of February this bill passed by a large majority, but was not brought to the vote in the Senate. The Territory embraced in this bill extended only from 36° 30' parallel north latitude to the 43d parallel, and from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains; bearing only a small proportion to that which is now proposed for organization.
In 1853, a new Delegate was chosenin fact two or more claimed the right to the post of honor—and, on the 4th of January, 1853, Douglass of Illinois introduced in the Senate his Nebraska bill; followed upon the 23d of the saine month with certain other amendments, bounding and subdividing the Territory substantially, as we have herein endeavored to set forth.
To sum up: Thus we have, in the spring of 1851, just three years ago, an
ex-Canadian « Patriot"
first publicly agitating the subject and getting “ rottenegged ” for his pains. One year thereafter, the traders, agents, and missionaries, all told not over a hundred, electing a Delegate. Six months more, the first bill for organization passing the House of Representatives. In another six months,
new bill, substantially, passing the Senate, and perhaps ere this reaches the eye of the reader becoming the law of the land, or perhaps lying over to another Congress. Truly we live in a fast age !
Six months ago, on his return to Washington from Nebraska, where he had been looking into matters, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs declared that there were not three white men in the whole Territory, residents, other than Government attachés. It would be a matter of some curiosity could we lay before the reader a copy of the "poll books” used at the recent election for Delegate. There would be found on them some very euphonious and poetic names of half-breeds, and braves—in fact, perfect “jaw-break
We would not startle our reader at all, but we are compelled to inform him, in vindication of the truth of history, that there is already a newspaper published semi-occasionally, bearing at its head in flourishing capitals " Nebraska City, Nebraska Ty.” We are afraid, however, that he will be still more startled when we inform him that the city has its existence as yet only in imagination, and its only citizen a solitary army supernumerary in charge of the remnants of what once was old Fort Kearney. Sub rosa, we would whisper, that the thing isn't an impossibility at all. It is only “gotten up” and printed on the opposite side of the Missouri River, at a printing office in the State of Iowa, and there dated and purporting to be published in Nebraska. Possibly, at some future day it may
become the official gazette, and receive some of the crumbs of patronage.
The peculiar physical formation and developments of the vast region we have been considering, have long excited the wonder, and engaged the study of men of science. Its celebrated mauvais terres -a sort of geographical sphinx among the scientific world-its vast plateaus of table land—the singular saline efflorescenses of its low lands, and the crustaceous formations and shells along the margins of its streams; have all been regarded with much interest by the eye of science.
Its broad Platte River, or Nebraska,
sweeping castwardly through its centre, and the romantic Kaw or Kansas skirting its southern border, each with innumerable tributary streams, fringed with valleys luxuriant with vegetation, and set off with huge conical sand hills thrown up at some remote period from the bed of the streams by the action of the wind, and rising like tall towers to the view; its vast plains stretching out east and west between these rivers, covered with tall prairie grass, rolling like the sea ; its climate cold in certain latitudes almost as the polar regions in others mild and genial, and in summer fanned by breezes fresh from the ice-ribbed mountains! All impel us to pronounce Nebraska an intensely interesting region, and its settlement a vast acquisition to the trade and commerce of the great Mississippi Valley.
Acquired by us originally by purchase
from a foreign Government, being one of the appendages to the celebrated Louisiana purchase," our Government for the last half century has been unceasing in its efforts to acquire information concerning it. From the time when Lewis and Clarke were sent out on their memorable expedition, paddling their canoe up the mad Missouri, treating and trading with Indians on either side, we come down to the expeditions of Long, and of Bonneville, and still later to those of Freinont. Since the expeditions of the last, our information has been considerably added to, and the Government now has out, we believe, no less than four topographical parties, on as many different routes, collecting information, which, it is to be hoped, will be ready to be laid before the country previous to the adjournment of the present Congress.
THE ENCANTADAS, OR ENCII ANTED ISLES.
BY SALVATOR R. TARNMOOR.
(Concluded from page 355.)
HOOD'S ISLE AND TIE IERMIT OBERLUS.
“That darkesome glen they enter, where thoy find
The which his naked sides he wrapt abouts.” SOUTULAST of Crossman's Isle lies
Hood's Isle, or McCain's Beclouded Isle; and upon its south side is a vitreous cove with a wide strand of dark pounded black_lava, called Black Beach, or Oberlus's Landing. It might fitly have been styled Charon's.
It received its name from a wild white creature who spent many years here; in the person of a European bringing into this savage region qualities more diabolical than are to be found among any of the surrounding cannibals.
About half a century ago, Oberlus deserted at the above-named island, then, as now, a solitude. IIe built himself á den of lava and clinkers, about a mile from the Landing; subsequently called after him, in a vale, or expanded gulch, containing here and there among the rocks about two acres of soil capable of rude cultivation; the only place on the isle not too blasted for that purpose. Here he succeeded in raising a sort of degenerate potatoes and pumpkins, which from time to time he exchanged with needy whalemen passing, for spirits or dollars. His appearance,
from all accounts, was that of the victim of some malignant sorceress; he seemed to have drunk of Circe's cup; beast-like; rags insufficient to hide his nakedness; his befreckled skin blistered by continual exposure to the sun; nose flat; countenance contorted, heavy, earthy; hair and beard unshorn, profuse, and of a fiery red. He struck strangers much as if he were a volcanic creature thrown up by the same convulsion which exploded into sight the isle. All bepatched and coiled asleep in his lonely lava den among the mountains, he looked, they say, as a heaped drift of withered leaves,
torn from autumn trees, and so left in beyond theirs, unless it were for the stusome hidden nook by the whirling halt por brought on by drunkenness. But for an instant of a fierce night-wind, sufficiently debased as he appeared, there which then ruthlessly sweeps on, some yet lurked in him, only awaiting occasion where else to repeat the capricious act. for discovery, a still further proneness. It is also reported to have been the stran Indeed the sole superiority of Oberlus over gest sight, this same Oberlus, of a sultry, the tortoises was his possession of a larger cloudy morning, hidden under his shock capacity of degradation; and along with ing old black tarpaulin hat, hoeing pota- that, something like an intelligent will to toes among the lava. So warped and it. Moreover, what is about to be recrooked was his strange nature, that the vealed, perhaps will show, that selfish very handle of his hoe seemed gradually ambition, or the love of rule for its own to have shrunk and twisted in his grasp, sake, far from being the peculiar infirmity being a wretched bent stick, elbowed more of noble minds, is shared by beings which like a savage's war-sickle than a civilized have no mind at all. No creatures are so hoe-handle. It was his mysterious cus selfishly tyrannical as some brutes; as any tom upon a first encounter with a stranger one who has observed the tenants of the ever to present his back; possibly, be pasture must occasionally have observed. cause that was his better side, since it “ This island's mine by Sycorax my revealed the least. If the encounter mother ;” said Oberlus to himself, glaring chanced in his garden, as it sometimes round upon his haggard solitude. By did—the new-landed strangers going from some means, barter or theft-for in those the sea-side straight through the gorge, days ships at intervals still kept touching to hunt up the queer green-grocer reported at his Landing—heobtained an old musket, doing business here-Oberlus for a time with a few charges of powder and ball. hoed on, unmindful of all greeting, jovial Possessed of arms, he was stimulated to or bland; as the curious stranger would enterprise, as a tiger that first feels the turn to face him, the recluse, hoe in hand, coming of its claws. The long habit of as diligently would avert himself; bowed sole dominion over every object round over, and sullenly revolving round his mur him, his almost unbroken solitude, his phy hill. Thus far for hocing. When plant never encountering humanity except on ing, his whole aspect and all his gestures terms of misanthropic independence, or were so malevolently and uselessly sinister mercantile craftiness, and even such enand secret, that he seemed rather in act of counters being comparatively but rare; dropping poison into wells than potatoes all this must have gradually nourished in into soil. But among his lesser and more him a vast idea of his own importance, harmless marvels was an idea he ever had, together with a pure animal sort of scorn that his visitors came equally as well led for all the rest of the universe. by longings to behold the mighty hermit The unfortunate Creole, who enjoyed Oberlus in his royal state of solitude, as his brief term of royalty at Charles's Isle simply to obtain potatoes, or find what was perhaps in some degree influenced by ever company might be upon a barren not unworthy motives; such as prompt isle. It seems incredible that such a other adventurous spirits to lead colonists being should possess such vanity; a mis into distant regions and assume political anthrope be conceited; but he really had pre-eminence over them. llis summary his notion; and upon the strength of it, execution of many of his Peruvians is quite often gave himself amusing airs to captains. pardonable, considering the desperate But after all, this is somewhat of a piece characters he had to deal with ; while his with the well-known eccentricity of some offering canine battle to the banded rebels convicts, proud of that very hatefulness seems under the circumstances altogether which makes them notorious. At other just. But for this King Oberlus and times, another unaccountable whim would what shortly follows, no shade of palliaseize him, and he would long dodge ad tion can be given. He acted out of mere vancing strangers round the clinkered delight in tyranny and cruelty, by virtue corners of his hut; sometimes like a of a quality in him inherited from Sycorax stealthy bear, he would slink through the his mother. Armed now with that shockwithered thickets up the mountains, and ing blunderbuss, strong in the thought refuse to see the human face.
of being master of that horrid isle, he Except his occasional visitors from the panted for a chance to prove his potency sea, for a long period, the only companions upon the first specimen of humanity which of Oberlus were the crawling tortoises ; should fall unbefriended into his hands. and he seemed more than degraded to Nor was he long without it. One day their level, having no desires for a time he spied a boat upon the beach, with one
man, a negro, standing by it. Some dis habitation and produce his property. His tance off was a ship, and Oberlus imme potatoes, pumpkins, and tortoises, with a diately knew how matters stood. The pile of dollars he had hoarded from his vessel had put in for wood, and the boat's mercantile operations were secured on the crew had gone into the thickets for it. spot. But while the too vindictive smugFrom a convenient spot he kept watch glers were busy destroying his hut and of the boat, till presently a straggling garden, Oberlus makes his escape into the company appeared loaded with billets.
mountains, and conceals himself there in Throwing these on the beach, they again impenetrable recesses, only known to himwent into the thickets, while the negro self
, till the ship sails, when he ventures proceeded to load the boat.
back, and by means of an old file which Oberlus now makes all haste and ac he sticks into a tree, contrives to free himcosts the negro, who aghast at seeing any self from his handcuffs. living being inhabiting such a solitude, Brooding among the ruins of his hut, and especially so horrific a one, immedi and the desolate clinkers and extinct yolately falls into a panic, not at all lessened canoes of this outcast isle, the insulted by the ursine suavity of Oberlus, who begs misanthrope now meditates a signal rethe favor of assis him in his labors. venge upon humanity, but conceals his The negro stands with several billets on purposes. Vessels still touch the Landing his shoulder, in act of shouldering others; at times; and by and by Oberlus is enand Oberlus, with a short cord concealed abled to supply them with some vegein his bosom, kindly proceeds to lift those tables. other billets to their place. In so doing Warned by his former failure in kidhe persists in keeping behind the negro, napping strangers, he now pursues a quite who rightly suspicious of this, in vain different plan. When seamen come ashore, dodges about to gain the front of Oberlus; he makes up to them like a free-and-easy but Oberlus dodges also ; till at last, comrade, invites them to his hut, and weary of this bootless attempt at treach with whatever affability his red-haired ery, or fearful of being surprised by the grimness may assume, entreats them to remainder of the party, Oberlus runs off drink his liquor and be merry. But his a little space to a bush, and fetching his guests need little pressing; and so, soon blunderbuss, savagely demands the negro as rendered insensible, are tied hand and to desist work and follow him. He re foot, and pitched among the clinkers, are fuses. Whereupon, presenting his piece, there concealed till the ship departs, when Oberlus snaps at him. Luckily the blun finding themselves entirely dependent derbuss misses fire; but by this time, upon Oberlus, alarmed at his changed frightened out of his wits, the negro, upon demeanor, his savage threats, and above a second intrepid summons drops his bil all, that shocking blunderbuss, they willlets, surrenders at discretion, and follows ingly enlist under him, becoming his on. By a narrow defile familiar to him, humble slaves, and Oberlus the most inOberlus speedily removes out of sight of credible of tyrants. So much so, that two the water.
or three perish beneath his initiating On their way up the mountains, he process. He sets the remainder—four of exultingly informs the negro, that hence them—to breaking the caked soil; transforth he is to work for him, and be his porting upon their backs loads of loamy slave, and that his treatment would en earth, scooped up in moist clefts among tirely depend on his future conduct. But the mountains; keeps them on the roughOberlus, deceived by the first impulsive est fare; presents his piece at the slightest cowardice of the black, in an evil moment hint of insurrection; and in all respects slackens his vigilance. Passing through converts them into «reptiles at his feet; a narrow way, and perceiving his leader plebeian garter-snakes to this Lord Anaquite off his guard, the negro, a powerful conda. fellow, suddenly grasps him in his arms, At last, Oberlus contrives to stock his throws him down, wrests his musketoon arsenal with four rusty cutlasses, and an from him, ties his hands with the monster's added supply of powder and ball intended own cord, shoulders him, and returns with for his blunderbuss. Remitting in good him down to the boat. When the rest part the labor of his slaves, he now apof the party arrive, Oberlus is carried on proves himself a man, or rather devil, of board the ship. This proved an English great abilities in the way of cajoling or man, and a smuggler ; a sort of craft not coercing others into acquiescence with his apt to be over-charitable. Oberlus is own ulterior designs, however at first ab. severely whipped, then handcuffed, taken horrent to them. But indeed, prepared ashore, and compelled to make known his for almost any eventual evil by their