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   The following letter was written by Ebenezer E. Cunningham at South San Francisco, California, January 6, 1905. Mr. Cunningham was a conspicuous politician at the time of which he writes. He was president of the senate during most of the impeachment trial of Governor Butler.--ED.

   I enclose a scrap of paper which has remained in my keeping for 34 years. It is in the well known handwriting of the late Judge E. S. Dundy, and was the first move made in proceedings which ended in the impeachment and removal from office of the state of Nebraska's first governor. As its history has never been told and may prove of interest, I will relate it.
   Throughout the summer of 1870, and prior to the meeting of the Republican state convention, charges of fraud and speculation were made daily, by the Omaha Herald, and other Democratic papers, against Governor David Butler and his associates in the board of [capital] commissioners, in connection with loaning school funds, and the sale of Lincoln lots, and contracts for erecting public buildings at the new state capital. These charges were believed by many citizens and by not a few Republicans, and of the number who feared the charges might prove true were Judge Dundy and the writer.
   Judge Dundy and myself, with others, were chosen as delegates to represent Richardson county at the Republican state convention of 1870, which met in the new capitol at Lincoln. Governor Butler was a candidate before the convention for renomination, and his principal competitor was Colonel Robert W. Furnas, of Nemaha county. At, that time the people of the adjoining counties of Richardson and Nemaha were straining every nerve to secure a



railroad. The Richardson county people were bitterly opposed to Furnas, believing his success would prove fatal to a railroad through Richardson county.
   When the state convention assembled, Dundy and I were the only delegates who attended, and we held the proxies of the other delegates from Richardson. We did not feel at liberty to support Furnas on account of local interests and feelings, and we feared to see Butler renominated; therefore we cast the vote of Richardson county for Samuel Maxwell of Cass county. After several ballots without a choice, Maxwell's strength began to fall away, some votes going to Furnas and some to Butler. Finally Dundy and I were reduced to the extremity of choosing between the two leading candidates, and we cast Richardson's vote for Butler, nominating him. When the convention adjourned, the Judge and I returned to the Tichenor House filled with gloom over the victory we had helped to win.
   At the fall election of 1870 I was reëlected to the state Senate, and when the legislature met was chosen president of the senate. Butler of course was reëlected governor.
   During the winter of 1870-71, I roomed with Judge Dundy, or rather we roomed together at the old Tichenor House. After the senatorial election was over, the war on Butler and his associates was renewed with tenfold fury. One evening, in our rooms at the Ticbenor, there being present, besides Dundy and myself, Tom B. Stevenson, a lawyer and former state senator, of Nebraska City, and S. B. Fulton, a young lawyer of Falls City, the Butler charges were discussed at length, and the four Republicans present were agreed that an investigation of the charges was required, in the interest of the Republican party as well as of the state. I was the only member of the legislature present, and I requested Dundy to draw a joint resolution providing for legislative investigation. The enclosed paper, with its erasures and interlineations, was the



result. After it had been completed, it was copied (by either Stevenson or Fulton, my recollection is that it was by the latter), the Judge very naturally desiring not to be known in the matter. A copy was placed in the hands of a member of each house, introduced and finally adopted by both houses, with amendments I presume, and the result of the investigation was a resolution of impeachment.
   After the first copy was made, I asked Judge Dundy to allow me to take the original paper, which request was granted, and it has remained in my possession since. Now that the Judge is gone I see no harm to any one in making the facts known and giving the paper to you, that it may find a place among other scraps of early history in case you deem it of sufficient value.
   I understand Tom Stevenson is long since dead, that Fulton is out of the state and may be under the sod, and I am probably the only one living of the four who were in the room when and where this incident had its birth. It has seemed to me that there was a sort of retributive justice in the fact that the two who gave the casting votes which made Butler the Republican nominee should have had something to do with the action which repaired in a measure their mistake and that of the Republican party.


Concurrent Resolution providing for the appointment of a committee to investigate the official acts and doings of the Commission appointed by the Legislature of this State (to locate the seat of Government and provide for the erection of Public Buildings and to sell the unsold lots and blocks on the town site of Lincoln and to locate and erect a State University and State Lvnatic Asylum).

    WHEREAS, It is currently reported throughout the State and publicly charged in certain prints of this State that the Commissioners appointed (to locate the Seat) have violated the trusts reposed in them by exceeding the authority given them under the laws by which they were created, and by engaging in certain speculations and frauds.




   AND WHEREAS, We deem it but just that if these charges are false the aforesaid Commission should have the opportunity of vindicating themselves before the Legislature and people of this State, therefore be it resolved by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska that a committee of two on the part of the Senate to be chosen by the Senate and three on the part of the House to be chosen by the House be and are hereby appointed to investigate the official acts and doings of the aforesaid Commission, and that said committee have power to send for persons and papers and that they be directed to make report of their investigation to the Legislature at its present session.1
   1 Mr. Cunningham's supposition that the foregoing preamble and resolution was adopted by the legislature is erroneous. The resolution providing for the investigation adverted to was introduced in the House by Mr. Galey, of Lancaster county, on February 1, 1871, and it was promptly passed by both houses the same day under suspension of the rules. There is no resemblance in form between this resolution and that written by Judge Dundy. House Journal, eighth session, pp. 221, 222; Senate Journal, ibid., p. 123; Laws of Nebraska, eighth session, p. 240. On January 30 Lawson Sheldon, of Cass county, offered a resolution in the Senate, for a like purpose, whose first line closely resembles that of the Dundy resolution. It was adopted unanimously, a committee of three senators was appointed by its authority, and it had begun an investigation before the joint committee was appointed. Senate Journal, ibid., p. 107.--ED.

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