"Nebraska," New York Daily Times, 18 Feb. 1856.
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OMAHA CITY, (Nebraska Ter.,)
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 1856.
The members of the Legislature have all gone home—that is, those who did not live here, and had homes to go to. The temporary capital seems like a partially deserted village. The life and progressiveness of the place have vanished. In a few days, the Governor starts via Washington City to his home in Arkansas. Numbers are leaving for the States, there to stay until the opening of Spring, when Nebraska will again teem with anxious speculators, and numbers who come west to make themselves and their families homes and farms. Much of the land will then be in market, and opportunities afforded for capitalists, rarely ever equaled. At present, there is but little money in the country. At the opening of the land office, money can easily be loaned at from 15 to 60 per cent. per annum, and secured by real estate mortgage.
The prospect of a speedy settlement of Nebraska, I deem flattering. The land cannot be excelled in point of fertility, and the face of the country is unequaled in point of beauty. Along the Missouri bottoms, whilst the settler must expect a liberal annual dose of the fever and ague, he may search the world over for lovelier or more fertile farms. When I speak of the Missouri bottoms, I mean the country adjacent to that river, and subject to the diseases prevalent to low, marshy lands. It is true, the first, or river bottom, as it is here termed, is unfit for cultivation is many cases, and these bottoms do not extend far back from the river, before they reach the second bench or bluffs, yet my own experience has taught me that settlers seeking permanent homes, where they can avoid the effluvia and pestilence arising from these marshes and low grounds upon the Missouri River, should select more eligible and perhaps more lovely sites inland. The land is, of course, not as generally claimed there, and fully if not more fertile. The Territory is well watered, yet (as perhaps the reader has before understood) not as well timbered.
A large Mormon emigration, through to Salt Lake, is expected to pass in the Spring. This is a tedious, wearisome trip of about 1,000 miles from here and occupying about seventy-five days. It is a trip, however, of interest as well as of toil. About 200 miles out on the Platte River you reach Fort Kearney; about 500 miles brings you to Fort Laramie; 750 miles brings you to the summit of the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains. There are also innumerable incidents pertaining to the trip such as a scrimmage with the Indians—loss of stock, and perhaps the loss of yourself, that generally satisfies a man of ordinary romantic desires with one trip.
A new paper, entitled the Nebraska Democrat is now in operation here. It obtained the Territorial printing, and is therefose the official paper of Nebraska.