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Nebraska Trailblazer #14: The State Capitol
Period Newspapers: The Capital City Controversy

The Nebraska City News
August 3, 1867

Capital of the State of Nebraska!
In the County of Lancaster!!

". . . The Capitol and other Public Buildings of the State of Nebraska have been located about fifty miles to the Westward of Nebraska City, between Yankee Hill and the town of Lancaster, . . .

Whatever of advantage can accure to any River point from this location is thus secured and insured to Nebraska City whence all merchandise, lumber, and other supplies must necessarily be transported.

Now is a time to endorse the location of the Capitol City; now is a time when every citizen of Otoe county may boast over that location. . . .

We endorse, the apparently, good judgment of Gov. Butler and his colleagues upon the Commission, for having made to Nebraska City, this eminently satisfactory selection.

We shall look forward to the laying off and building up of the city with much interest and anxiety, meantime, doing all that we can, in our capacity as a journalist, to bring good out of the enterprise. The certain location exactly meets our individual views and inclinations, and we are therefore ready to exclaim, with the best of feelings towards Plattsmouth, Bellevue, Omaha and the remainder of mankind, in true Horation spirit,

"Nune bibendum est."
Sugar in yours, or Salt?


Omaha Weekly Republican
August 7, 1867


". . . The town site of Lancaster in Lancaster county, together with a section of adjacent land on the south, has been settled as the point. Its geographic position as the government maps will show, is as follows:

From the East line of the State 45 miles.
    "    West      "     "     399 miles. 
    "    South     "     "      55 miles. 
    "    North     "     "     150 miles.

From the principal towns of the State the distances are:
From Omaha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 miles.
  "  Nebraska City . . . . . . . . . . . 43 miles. 
  "  Plattsmouth . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 miles. . . .

In locating the Capital of a State, destined in the future to count its inhabitants not by thousands but by millions, the true theory, it seems to us, would have been to locate it somewhere in the vicinity of the geographical center of the State - accessible by natural or artificial lines of communication to the great body of the people. In the case before us these considerations have been wholly disregarded, and the Capital and all our public buildings have been located in the southeast corner of the State. The future city of Lincoln can boast no river or railway communication. It is located on the site of a little village which, though two years old, contains less than forty inhabitants! If it had possessed very many natural advantages, is it not probable that at least two or three hundred people would have discovered them in less than two years. The truth is, this whole scheme of the removal of the Capital has been managed in the interest of Nebraska City. The Democratic delegation from Otoe favored it and voted for it, because they knew it was for the local interest of their people to do so. . . . Lincoln City has been so located as to subserve their interest, without materially benefitting any other portion of the State. . . . No man in his senses believes that the present location can be permanent. It is in one corner of the State - away from all the lines of travel, possessing neither the advantages of railroads, navigable rivers nor telegraphs. . . . Nobody will ever go to Lincoln City who does not go to the Legislature, the Lunatic Asylum, the Penitentiary or some other State institution. . . .

The Capital - - - Once More

That Columbus would have been the proper point at which to locate the State Capital, few men who look at the question dispassionately and without prejudice will doubt. It is situated on the line of the Union Pacific Railroad, and precisely equi-distant between the north and south lines of the State. . . .

Columbus is accessible by rail from Omaha and from the extreme western boundary of the State. Two or three years hence it will be connected by rail with Plattsmouth. . . . It is contemplated that a road from Sioux City will pass through Dakota, Burt and Cuming counties, and connect with the Union Pacific at the same point. When the DeSoto and Fremont railroad shall be constructed, it will place our Washington county friends in direct connection with Columbus by rail, and the entire South Platte country would find the route via Plattsmouth and the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad a convenient and accessible one to the State Capital. As it is, there is not a county in the State that can hope to be connected with the proposed capital by railroad for many years to come. . . . Lincoln is too far south to be reached by the B. & M. R. R. R., and it must remain isolated from every other portion of the State (except through ordinary wagon roads) for many years to come.

We do not advocate the claims of Columbus, because it happens to be situated on the north side of the Platte, but because it is centrally situated . . . and will be accessible by rail to almost every portion of the State. . . .


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