publications

Foreign Investors

The 1980s witnessed considerable legislative and political struggle to protect Nebraska farmers

from corporate and foreign investors. In 1889, the verdant farmlands of the state looked like

choice pickings for English bankers. Not all Nebraskans viewed this potential influx of capital

as a good thing. This article in the Arlington Defender sounded the warning.



“‘E. W. Thomas of New York intends establishing somewhere in the west the headquarters of

an English syndicate of capitalists for which he is acting as agent. It is the purpose of the

syndicate to buy all the available first class mortgages upon farm property in several of the

western states, including Nebraska.’



“This is an associated press dispatch, and some people are so blind as to rejoice over the

prospect of English capitalists investing in this country. European capitalists are continually

looking around for some place to invest in bonds and mortgages. They know the power of

bonds and mortgages to enslave the people. There is a certain kind of slavery they are in favor

of.



“They dislike the kind of slavery which existed a few years ago in the southern states, for there

is too much bother connected with it and it is not as profitable as the kind that exists in Europe

and is being planted in America. They are in favor of an improved kind of slavery, and this

buying of mortgages all over these western states is the last chapter, save one, in the infamous

plot.



“The last chapter will be read in a few years when the papers in every county will be crowded

with sheriff’s sales and the European lords take possession of the soil of Columbia and establish

landlordism and tenantry in ‘Free America.’ The saddest reflection then will be that men knew

their duty, but were too timid and stupid to do their duty, and instead of using the only weapon

within their reach to beat back the invaders of human liberty they walked up to the polls each

year and cast ballots which helped to bring this very state of things about. ‘What fools we

mortals be!’



“A secret circular sent out to English bankers reads as follows: Slavery is to be abolished and

chattel slavery to be destroyed. This we are in favor of, for slavery is but the owning of labor,

and carries with it the care of the laborer; while the European plan, led on by England, is capital

control of labor by controlling wages. This can be done by controlling the money. To do this,

bonds must be used as a banking basis. It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to

circulate as money any length of time, for we cannot control that.”

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Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
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