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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/803

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NEBRASKA


731


NEBRASKA


funds set apart for educational purposes cannot, under any canon of construction with which we are ac- quainted, be held to mean that neither the Bible nor any part of it, from Genesis to Revelation, may be read in the educational institutions fostered by the state. We do not wish to be understood as either countenancing or discountenancing the reading of the Bible in the public schools. Even where it is an irri- tant element, the question, whether its legitimate use shall be continued or discontinued, is an administra- tive and not a judicial question; it belongs to the school authorities and not the courts. The motion for a rehearing is overruled and the judgment heretofore rendered is adhered to" (ibid., p. 887).

Marriage and Divorce. — Subject to procuring a civil licence, marriage can be legally performed by every judge and justice of the peace and every preacher of the Gospel authorized by the usages of the Church to which he belongs. Decrees of divorce are given for the following causes: adultery; imprison- ment for three years or more; wilful desertion for two years; habitual drunkenness; extreme cruelty; wanton neglect to support wife. The state was getting an un- enviable notoriety for the facility of securing divorces, and many outsiders were taking advantage of it. To stop this, amendatory enactments were passed by the legislature of 1909. At present, no divorce can be granted for any cause unless petitioner has had one year's actual residence in the state immediately before bringing suit and shall then have a bona-Jide intention of making his or her permanent home in Nebraska — unless the marriage was solemnized in the state and the parties shall have resided therein from the time of marriage to the filing of petition. No person shall be entitled to a divorce for any cause arising outside of the state unless petitioner or defendant shall have re- sided within the state at least two years next before bringing suit for divorce, with a bona-fide intention of making his or her permanent home in Nebraska. No divorce shall be granted where collusion seems to have existed between the parties or where both have been guilty of the same misconduct. No person shall be entitled to a divorce imless defendant shall have been personally served with a process, if within the state, or with personal notice duly proved and appearing of record, if outside the state. After three months of rea- sonable search after filing petition, court may author- ize notice by publication. Decree becomes operative and final only at expiration of six months. In 1909 there were 1807 divorces. In the same period there were 10982 marriages.

Liquor Laws. — Liquor laws are strict and well enforced. The manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquor is forbidden in many of the smaller towns and cities, and notably in Lincoln, the capital. Where the trade is licensed, it is under the system known as high licence and subject to the operation of the Slocomb Law, the most effective law ever passed for a severe regulation of the liquor traffic under the licence sys- tem. Under its provisions, treating is a misdemeanour subject to fine; selling to minors is punished by severe penalties, and the saloon-keeper and those on his bond are liable to a maximum of $.5,000 ilamages at the suit of any woman whose hi;sban[l has been allowed to become a habitual drunkardby frequenting the saloon- keeper's place of business. By statute passed during the legislature of 1909, saloons can sell liquor only be- tween the hours of 7 a. m. and 8 P. M. on week days. Sunday trading is forbidden and the law rigidly enforced.

History. — (1) Cwil. — Up to 1.541 the history of Nebr,a.ska is a blank. In that year it is claimed that Francisco Vasquez de Corcmndi) led :i parly of Sjiaii- iards in search for the fabled Kingdom nf (juivcra, supposed to be a land of bouiidlc.-;.s wealth. It is claimed that he reached 40° N. Lat., which is the south boundary line of Nebraska. This is disputed


and critics claim that he did not come further north than a point in Kansas, near Junction City. In 1662 another attempt to reach Quivera is said to have been made under command of Don Diego, Count of Pene- losa, and accompanied by Father Nicholas deFreytas who wrote an elaborate and detailed account of the expedition. It is claimed Penelosa reached the Platte, where he found a very populous city belonging to Quivera. As it was burned in one night, it could have been but a large Indian village. Penelosa returned to Mexico in June, 1662. Not much'credence is given to the story of Penelosa. In 1673 Spain claimed all the trans-Mississippi region, but ten years later La Salle asserted the sovereignty of France. In 1762 the French relinquished all this territory to Spain, but it was receded to France in 1800; finally in 1803 under the name of Louisiana Territory, it passed by purchase into the possession of the United States. In many American works the statement is made, that the first white men to visit and give a description of Nebraska were Lewis and Clark. This is incorrect. The sixth volume of Pierre Margry's "D6couvertes et Etablissements des Frangais dans I'Amdrique" (Paris, 18.56), now in the library of the State Histori- cal Society, contains the records of several expeditions to the regions between the Mississippi and the Mis- souri and further west. Among them is the original report of the journey of Pierre and Paul Mallet and their companions across Nebraska on a mission to Santa Fe to open up trade facilities with the Spaniards of New Mexico. The Mallets were French Canadians and their companions were Phillipe Robitaille, Louis Morin, Michel Beslot, Joseph Bellecourt, also Cana- dians, and Jean David, a native of France.

The report reads: "To understand the route taken by these Canadians to discover New Mexico, it is well to know that it is 100 leagues from the village of the Illinois [Indians] to those of the Missouris on the river of that name; SO leagues from there to the Canzes [Kansas]; 100 leagues from the Kansas to the Octoc- tates [Otoes] and 60 from there to where the river of the Panimahas [Omahas] empties into the Missouri [Omaha Creek in the north-east of Nebraska]". This nation is located at the mouth of the river of their name and it was there the discoverers took their starting-point, 29 May, 1739. All who had hitherto attempted to reach New Mexico thought they could find it at the sources of the Missouri, and with that idea had gone up as far as the Ricaras [Indians], more than 150 leagues above the Panis [Pawnees], with whom they confound or include the Omahas or Pani- mahas. The discoverers, on the advice of some of the aborigines, took an entirely difTerent direction and leaving the Pawnees took a route across the country, retracing their steps almost parallel with the Missouri. On 2 June, they met with a river which they called the Plate [Platte] and seeing that it did not diverge from the route they had mapped out, they followed up its right bank for about 25 leagues when they found it made a fork with the river of the Padocas which emp- ties itself at this point. Three days after that, on 13 June, they crossed to the left bank of said river. On the fifteenth and sixteenth they continued across the coun- try and on the seventeenth they fell upon another river which they named Des Costes Blanches. During these three days, they crossed a country of plains where they found barely enough wood to make fires and it appears from their Journal that these plains extended all the way to the mountains near Santa Fe. On the six- teenth they camped on the banks of another river which they crossetl and named Riviere Aimable. On the ninotponth they crossed another river which they callcil Hi\i('rc dis Soucis. On the twentieth they struck till' l;i\irrr dis Canccs. This river was prob- ably not the Kansas but the Arkansas River. In any case, both are south of the Nebraska state line, mak- ing it clear that these French Canadian Catholics,