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About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (April 20, 1899)
12 Conservative *
The earth had labored long in travail sore ,
And in deep sorrow and in agony
Brought forth she all the wayward sons of
Who waked to toil and sadness , pain and
A weary , ceaseless round of human woo.
Unlit by any star or ray of light ,
The night of sin and shaino and weariness ,
Made vocal with spent sighs and broken
That sodden , could not rise for weight of
Slow winged its trackless passage toward
Then sudden glowed a star across the dark ,
And wise men saw and followed its glad light ,
To where the Babe in manger slumbering
A tiny one of God who yet should lead
All men in paths of Lif e and Truth and Love.
Fast sped the light from grateful heart to
And men communed together and grew
In consciousness of good which knows no
No lurking shades of evil that afright ,
For flees the darkness when appears the
Until at last arose that happy morn
Most blessed on earth , when all of pain and
Were swallowed up in victory , and rending
Proclaimed our Lord , the Lord of Lifo , and
O'er Death and all his shadowy train of ills.
Then perfect day appeared unto men's sight ,
The old earth knew and trembled in her joy ,
As gently led she forth her fairest child ,
The lily tall , a fragrant offering.
The little children chanted loud their praise ,
And men , hushed still their hearts and heard
With fuller meaning , that far heavenly
On earth , good will , the Prince of Peace doth
February , 1890.
EARLY EXPLORATION OF THE
Recent editorials in THE CONSERVA
TIVE , touching upon the American Fur
Company and its work in the great
Northwest , and especially mentioning
the ChouteaTis and Sarpys , have at
tracted considerable attention in various
sections of the United States. Among
the letters received from Nebraska
points , the following correspondence
It will bo agreeable to THE CONSER
VATIVE to give publicity to any reason
able amount of correspondence relating
to the early trappers and other em
ployees of the fur company , as well as
to those letters which may be found in
the archives of the company or which
relate to the magnitude of the business
of the company in any of the years from
1819 down to 1854.
The Chouteau family of St. Louis has
no doubt the largest amount of corres
pondence relative to the doings of the
fur company and their employees now
extant. The state historical society of
Nebraska has endeavored through its
able secretary and librarian , Mr. Jay
Amos Barrett , to secure from the Chou-
teaus all those letters written from or
relative to Nebraska.
"KEARNEY , Neb. , April 11 , 1899.
EDITOR CONSERVATIVE ,
"Nebraska City , Neb.
"My Dear Sir : I see an article in THE
CONSERVATIVE in regard to the Ameri
can Fur Company. An uncle of mine
by [ .the name of Alexander McKelvey
left New York in 1838 and enlisted in
the Sappers and Miners at St. Louis and
came "West. That is the last trace his
family had of him , unless this letter I
enclose will give some light on the sub
ject. If the letter is of any benefit to
the State Historical Society , after copy
ing what they would , please return the
letter to me. I would like to know if
they get anything concerning the above.
"A. H. MCKELVEY ,
"Kearney , Neb. "
"DENVER , Colo. , October 20 , 1895.
"Mr. ALEXANDER H. MCKELVEY ,
" 1512 Avenue B ,
"Kearney , Neb.
"Dear Sir : You are correct in the
belief of my being in the employ of the
American Fur Company , and coming
West in 1888 , from St. Louis ; but I do
not remember a man by name of Alex
ander McKelvey , although he may have
been one of our party , for it is now
nearly sixty years ago. I was among
the very youngest of them and was one
of the trappers , not one of the sappers
and miners. There were one hundred
and ten of us altogether , forty of whom
were trappers and more than one-half
of these were Frenchmen. Five or six
of the remainder were American boys ,
of whom I was about the youngest.
We were called the 'powder monkeys. '
My calling being trapping , I was in all
probability separated from , the sappers
and miners as soon as we got out on the
frontier. Moreover , if I was not , being
one of the very youngest , my immediate
and intimate associates would naturally
be among the very youngest of our party ,
thus separating me from the older ones ,
of whom your uncle was probably one.
Again , we never troubled ourselves to
remember , or even to learn , a man's
name , but called him by the first nick
name that suggested itself , and by this
name he was always afterwards known.
If a man had a red head he was called
'Reddy ; ' if a curly head , 'Curly ; ' if a
long or short nose , 'Nosey , ' etc. Some
times ho was called after some pecul
iarity of character , or after the name of
his state ; in fact , anything but his true
name. This was thought very facetious.
Your uncle might have been known as
'Sap , ' being a sapper , or possibly 'Mac'
or 'Aleck ; ' in fact , anything but his
true name. I am sorry I cannot give
you any information concerning him ,
but you can see from what I have
written how very strange it would be if
I could , unless , as I have already inti
mated , he had happened to be of my
ago and an intimate at that. If I should
happen to think of or hear anything
that recalls him to iny memory I will '
write you about it with pleasure. Butte
to bo candid , I fear I never shall , as too
much time has elapsed since our separ
ation , if indeed we ever knew each
other. And yet , strange as it may seem ,
wo may have been the best of friends in
"Hoping to hear of the safe arrival of
this letter into your hands in the due
course of the mails , and that you will
bear in mind that my address is Dixon
postoffice , Wyoming , not Denver , Colorado
rado , I remain
"Respectfully yours ,
"JAMES BAKER. "
_ The cost of local
GOVERNMENT , government ii > ,
Nebraska and in
nearly nil other states ought to be re- ' .
duced. Taxes levied merely to make I
jobs in paving , road and bridge building - }
ing , out of which favorite or partisan
contractors may get profits , should
never be levied. But they are levied in
nearly every city and county.
A committee of three good taxpaying
citizens should be raised in every ward , j
and precinct of Otoe county and charged "
with the duty of thoroughy investigat
ing the needs of each locality as to
bridge work and road work. These
committees should be convened once
each three mouths at the courthouse to
properly present to the county commis
sioners their views of taxes that are not
necessary and of those that are necessary.
These committees should also see to
it that the county or city pays no more
for labor and material than private per
sons pay. A committee of economy is a
needed safe-guard to prevent the fur
ther increase of the cost of local govern
What did the republican -
publican legis 1 a -
ture just adjourned from Lincoln ac
complish for Nebraska ?
Did it repeal the odious , unnecessary
and tax-eating sinecure places which its
own party greed created in the years of
its fatness and voracity ?
Did it abolish the costly , inefficient and
do-nothing board of railroad commis
Did it wipe out the Hiltouian soft-snap
oil inspectorship and drive from the
public crib the maverick and estray poli
ticians whose oleaginous and shining
faces were always glistening above the
tax trough ?
Did it. reform and improve the revenue
laws of the commonwealth ?
Did it amend and make equitable the
law providing for the election of county
commissioners by districts ?
What did the last republican legisla
ture do to promote the general welfare
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