Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, March 01, 1879, Page 50, Image 2

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WfT "i .
On llic south suit! of the Hivor Platte is
:i hold blulV which overlooks nil tho
neighboring prominences. It is said to
have boon much frequented hy t lie Tir
diiuis as a place of observation, and at
the summit u daughter of .lutan, iv once
noted chief, is said to have been buried.
Hut whether it was this eminence or one
far distant is uncertain.
The view from the top, on a clear day in
summer, is beautiful, and it almost causes
the beholder to forget that the scenery of
our .state is in general monotonous. A3
he looks toward the north, he sees below
him that truly magnilicent, yet useless
river, the Platte, pursuing its tortuous
course toward the Missouri. The chan
nel is dotted with frequent islands, dense
ly woodod, and these stand out in bold
relief against the barren sand bars.
Closely bordering either side of the
stream is a chain or Muffs which trend
in each direction as far as the eye can
reach. The rounded knolls are sparsely
dotted with scrubby oak trees, reminding
one of a neglected apple orchard in the
older states. The deep ravines that inter
sect the blufl'i are marked by lines of
brush-wood, and on the declivities one
may often see a projecting ledge of
As one looks away from the river, the
prominences are seen to be less sharply
defined, and they fade away into that
gently undulating sea of prairie which is
o characteristic of the Great We&l. One
may gaze for a long distance up the river
and see the bluffs begin to iceede from
the stream, and at length fade away in
the mellow haze of the western sk.
The river is useless because no steam
boat is seen on its shallow waters. The
rugged bluff's have repelled the settler to
more favored localities, and since the
liver scenery has boen little marred by
his labors, it well befits the solitude of
the stream itself.
A rich train of thought is suggested to
the one who would take a retrospect! v.;
look as lie gazes upon the yet almost pri
meval landscape before him. What would
be revealed if Time, to whom centuries
are but days, would choose to disclose the
history which these hills have witnessed t
Twenty years ago, those distant prairies
were unbroken hy the fields which now
so thickly dot them. Here and there,
along the river and ts tributaries, might
have been seen the log cabins of the pio
necrs and their irregularly shaped Holds.
Another step backward in the past, and
the settler had not yet appeared, though
the Mormons had begun to migrate to
their distant home in the vast, and then
almost unknown, region of the Rocky
Mountains. Their long caravans empha
sized the resemblance which tho western
half of our country bears to the Orient.
As if to make the analogy more complete,
hands of Indians, similes of the nomadic
Bedouins, sometimes appeared, either to
waylay some caravan, attack a hostile
tribe, or to hunt the buffalo and the ante
lope. We look a little further into tho past.
The pale face had not yet appeared to
dispute possession with the Indian, but
otherwise the picture is quite unchanged.
Our retrospect lias even yet extended but
a short distance back. We might almost
limit it to the opening of the present cen
tury. We arn not yet satisfied; in fact,
our curiosity is bit' just aroused. Ques
tions like these suggest themselves: how
long lias the Indian occupied this land?
has his condition never been higher than
that in which he was found by the white
man? was this vast region a solitude be
fore the Christian Era, when the Mediter
ranean lauds were as populous as now?
Wo may propose other questions, but a
satisfactory solution of them is not al
ways possible. However, it seems unnat
ural to suppose that the New World, as
we call it, haa not been peopled for a long
time. Whether our race is indigenous
to the Western Continent, as some main
tain, whether it originated from the ouc