This assessment of Nebraska’s potential appeared in Brownville’s Nebraska Farmer in the
autumn of 1859:
“It is now nearly four years ago since I, a wanderer from an Eastern State, set my foot for the
first time on the western shore of the ‘rolling, turbulent Missouri.’ I rambled up to the highest
point I could get in order to obtain a view of the country ahead and what a magnificent sight
met my gaze! The vast boundless prairie, rolling and undulating, lay before me like the waves
of a transfixed ocean, green and beautiful, mellowed to a rich glowing color by the setting rays
of the sun, and the rich, heavy massive clouds filled my soul with rapture and delight.
The busy hand of the settler had not yet appeared, with one solitary exception–away on the
prairie stood a lonely looking cabin, tending in a measure to lessen the solitude that seemed to
hang over the vast unbroken expanse of prairie.
“Such was Nebraska four years ago.–And now what a change!! The hand of the magician could
not have effected a more wondrous transformation. A magician truly has been at work; the
name of that magician is ‘Industry,’ brought here by the stout stalwart yeomanry of our land;
they, under its guiding genius, have by unflinching perseverance gone to work, and in four years
have wrought the wondrous changed, the virgin soil of our vast prairies has yielded to the genial
influence of industry, and where the homes of industrious farmers have sprung up, and the soil
of Nebraska now yields willing tribute amply and abundantly to the support of the fastly
increasing population now permanently settling upon her vast domain.
“The spot where I landed four years ago has grown into a large populous city. Four years ago,
all the corn, flour, and potatoes consumed in Nebraska were brought from abroad. Now we can
supply them; we can raise all we can consume, and have an abundance to send abroad.
“What will the next ten years do? The slow plodding ox trains will be replaced by the swift
locomotive. In less than 10 years eastern portions of Nebraska will no longer be considered ‘the
far west.’ In less than ten years Nebraska will have ceased to be a territory. She will have
become a sovereign state, and as such, in all her greatness, will proudly take her place among
the bright constellations of our land, and who then can prophesy her greatness, who can foretell