Nebraska Territorial Legislature

Nebraska Territorial Legislature


Nebraska Territorial Legislature

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The Nebraska Territorial Legislature was held from January 16, 1855 until 1865 in Omaha City, Nebraska Territory.

Major issues


In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act created the Nebraska Territory, overturning the Missouri Compromise by allowing legislatures of the Nebraska and Kansas territories to determine whether to permit or abolish slavery. Slavery was a contentious issue for the territorial legislature between the creation of the Territory in 1854 and the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861.Works Progress Administration. (1939) Negroes in Nebraska. Retrieved 9/20/07.Bristow, D. (2002) A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tale of 19th Century Omaha. Caxton Press.

State Capitol

After serving as the territorial capital for ten years, Omaha City wanted to be the capital of the new state. In 1854 land speculators formed the Omaha Claim Club as part of a scheme to persuade territory legislators to keep the capital in Omaha. Their aggressive efforts to secure land to give away to legislators led to the platting of Scriptown. However, their bid failed, and in 1865 the state capitol moved to Lincoln.



The new legislature immediately passed the Free Public School Act of 1855, which created free public schools for children across the territory. Positions for a territorial superintendent and county school superintendents to be elected by popular vote were also created. County superintendents were supposed...
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