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THE FIRST NEVADA DAY

Speeches and events transcribed from 1891 issue of Nevada State Journal
Excerpts from Sunday, November 1, 1891, Nevada State Journal pages 3 and 2:

‘ADMISSION DAY’
(spelling, grammar and punctuation corrected for modern ap style. highlights added for emphasis)

T
he first legalized birthday of Nevada was cel- ness, for whatever else has happened, the stain of
ebrated in Reno yesterday with splendor and dishonor has never tarnished or diminished its glory.
patriotism. The boys have been energetically Some there may be who will ask, What have we to
working for several weeks, with limited means, to celebrate today? What is it that Nevada possesses
do honor to our state and their efforts were crowned that she may be proud of and rejoice in the posses-
with success. The boys lack only experience to give sion of? What is the good of our having a Natal Day?
their efforts polish, and as the years roll by, they will Let me answer by asking, What is the good of any
acquire that, and with pride and honor, take their country celebrating such a day as this? What is the
places to the helm of the ship of State. benefit to the United States that on the Fourth of
Many business houses were tastefully decorated. July sixty millions of her people join in celebrating
There was a display of bunting that would do credit the day of her birth? Is it not after all a day thrown
to the Fourth of July. Farmers from the surrounding away, and nothing to show for it at night but a tired
valleys, lumbermen from the forests and miners from people, worn out from the day’s exercises. Why not
the mountains were in town. Carriages and wagons dispose with Fourth of July? Why not forget the 22nd
lined the streets and the sidewalks were crowded of February? Why not cease to decorate the grave of
with people, the ladies turning out in force. the blue and the gray heroes who fell on a hundred
... battlefields, yielding up their lives for the cause they
At the corner of Second Street and Commercial believed to be just? Why do it if it is idle show?
Row, Hank Monk’s stage, drawn by four horses, was What difference will it make to us as Americans
stopped by masked men, who at the muzzle of shot- if we forget the heroes of ’76? What difference will
guns, commanded the driver to stop. In less time it make to America if her people no longer hear the
than it takes to tell it, the passengers were robbed, Declaration of Independence read from ten thou-
the express box and mail sacks thrown out to the sand rostrums? What difference will it make to us as
highwaymen, and the stage proceeded onward mi- Americans if we never again hear that our Revolu-
nus its valuables. tionary fathers left their blood-stained footprints on
... the frozen ground of New Jersey that we may be a
free people today? What do we care for Lexington or
THE LITERARY EXERCISES Concord for Bunker Hill or Brandywine? What to us
[by President of the day F.H. Norcross] is the snow or ice; the cold and the hunger at Valley
Forge? What to us is it that Washington during that

T
wenty-seven years ago today the signature of awful winter on bended knees asked God to bless a
Abraham Lincoln made Nevada a sovereign righteous cause? What to us is it that that old bell-
state in the American Union. men in the old statehouse in Philadelphia rang out
Ever since the Fourth of July, 1865, has there been a century’s oppression and tyranny; rang in freedom
a star in the blue field of the American Flag that pro- and equality forever? Why should we set aside a day
claimed to the world our independence as a state. every year to honor the memory of Washington? He
That star is no less in size than its other sister stars has been dead a century and his dust at Mount Ver-
that cluster there together. It is no less brilliant. No non rests quietly. Why not let his memory sleep as
man can lay his finger on a single star and say this peacefully ash is ashes, with no sound to disturb it
is Nevada’s star because it is smaller and less bright save the faint ripples of the Potomac? Why decorate
than the others. It has lost its identity in its equality. the graves of soldiers, why build monuments to their
But we know it is there, and we love that flag more valor? They are dead; no more will the thunder of bat-
and we love our nation more because it is our star tle disturb them; no more will brother fight against
and we are ready to defend it with our fortunes and brother. It is all over. It was a bloody picture. Let us
our lives. forget it all; let us not bring it back to memory. What,
Through the many vicissitudes of fortune through though our country is well united through the blood
the changes our state has undergone from the dark- of those martyrs, is it a thing of the past. What good
ness and gloom that has at times o’ershadowed us, will it avail us to hone the dead?
that star has continued to shine with all its bright- We live in the present; our hopes are in the fu-

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Excerpts from Sunday, November 1, 1891, Nevada State Journal pages 3 and 2:
ture. “The past is gone and cannot be recalled.” Why
bring these scenes to mind? Why not forget them?
ORATION BY C.D. VAN DUZER
Yes, why? Ah, that is a question worthy our consider-

N
ation. Can we forget them? Shall we forget them? No,
evada is one of America’s youngest children.
no, I say, we never can forget them and live.
Her father is popularly known as Uncle Sam.
When people forget Valley Forge; when they forget
We refer to her mother with pride and patri-
the Declaration; when they forget the precept and
otism as the Goddess of Liberty. She has the proud
example of Washington; when they cease to strew
distinction of belonging to the most distinguished
with flowers the graves of departed soldiers a na-
political family the world has ever known.
tion’s priceless sacrifice on the altar of union; when
In this justly celebrated family are forty-four sis-
all these things pass unnoticed and unobserved by
ters, of which Nevada is the wayward girl, the tradi-
the people of the United States, then will begin to
tional Cinderella, upon whom is placed all the drudg-
crumble and fall to pieces, the foundation on which
ery toward whom her fort-three proud sisters point
our government rests, which is the patriotism of the
the finger of shame and over whom they would un-
people.
justly throw a veil of shame and infamy.
Born in every man is a love of country, but like
All her fine clothing has been appropriated by her
everything else that is in his nature it must not be
selfish sisters. The old maid of the family, Ohio, in
starved or it will die. The spark of patriotism that
1873, surreptitiously stole her beautiful skirts of sil-
glows in every American’s breast must not be per-
ver. Sister California has acquired a reputation before
mitted to die out, for when it dies we are lost. Once,
the world for sweet singing, oratory and journalism,
twice or thrice a year that spark needs to be fanned
on Nevada’s brains. In the early sixties there was a
to a flame, and the fuel renewed to keep it burning.
general family row between the hot-headed sisters of
But what has all this to do with our celebration to-
the South and the stubborn sisters of the North, which
day? It has this to do with it. We, as Nevadans must
threw Uncle Sam into bankruptcy. Cordelia like, Ne-
arouse from our lethargy. We must play the part of
vada did not desert the old gentleman but gave him
Rip Van Winkle no longer. We must develop within
enough wealth to restore his lost credit. Now that her
our borders a true patriotism and a greater love and
sisters have stolen all her finery and ruined her rep-
respect for our state. We have suffered misfortune
utation by intimating that she has been associating
and we have been mocked by our more prosperous
with a lecherous old villain called politics. They want
sisters till we ourselves have almost grown to believe
to kick her out of the family, but the day of her resto-
we are unworthy the high position we hold. But the
ration is near at hand. A prince has appeared on the
darkest time is just before day, and already we begin
scene. Jason-like he is in his quest of the beautiful
to see the dawn of a new and brighter era. We must
silver skirt. This valiant prince is marching into the
respect ourselves and then we can command the re-
stronghold of the enemy and is boldly attacking the
spect of others. New blood is beginning to flow in Ne-
gold bug monsters that are trying to protect old Ohio
vada’s veins; new energy is taking possession of her
and retain the silver skirt. The victory is all but com-
people. A new generation is appearing for the first
plete and soon Nevada will again wear that mantle of
time in her history. May this generation banish much
which she has been disrobed, for today Ohio wears
that is unworthy of her fair name.
her skirts of silver, California wears her skirt of gold.
The celebration of this day, I believe will have its
Nevada wears no skirts at all. But she’ll get there just
effect in molding the future of our state. The young
the same.
men who are to take upon their shoulders the re-
For one so young her history has been peculiar-
sponsibilities of government have before them her
ly interesting and full of thrilling western romance.
glorious history, and the memory of that hardy race
Her very birth, at the time when the union was in
of pioneers who laid our state’s foundation so well
the throes of a civil revolution, the very purpose for
must be kept green.
which she was conceived, gives to Nevada a histori-
Though now we may be few in numbers and weak,
cal significance that attaches to no other state in the
the future looks bright before us. We have a great
union. It is true that the snowy crested summits of
state yet to build on these sagebrush plains. But we
the Sierras, bathed in a flood of golden sunshine, nor
must also remember that a great state does not so
the stars at night set in the azure sky like isles slum-
much depend on the number as on the quality of her
bering on the bosom of the ocean can, look down
citizens.
upon beautiful valleys in Nevada, whose soil has
...
been watered by the blood of revolutionary patriots,
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Excerpts from Sunday, November 1, 1891, Nevada State Journal pages 3 and 2:
or upon plains famous as historical battlefields, or regret, a silent love, a holy veneration for the men
upon cities where monuments of bronze and stone whose self sacrifice has paved the way for this and
commemorate the deeds of battle born and veteran future generations success and prosperity.
sacred heroes. With sweet remembrance we meet today to pay
The warrior is a great man. It takes a brave heart tribute to and keep fresh in our memory the recol-
to face the cannon’s fiery mouth on the battlefield. lection of nature’s greatest noblemen — the western
It takes a true courage to plant the banner of victory pioneer. They have passed and daily are passing be-
on the enemy’s ramparts. History refers with pride yond the silent river to meet their reward beyond the
to the valor and courage of the conquering hero who skies.
has carried a victorious arm into the heart of the en- In the beautiful drama of Ion this instinct of im-
emy’s territory and before whose skill fortified cities mortality so eloquently lettered by the death-devoted
have fallen and under whose stern necessity happy Greek must find a ready response in every thoughtful
lands have been devastated. soul. About to sacrifice his young being to fate his be-
But there is a greater hero, upon whose brow the loved Celmanthe asks him if they shall meet again, to
laurel wreath of success is more deserving to be which he replied:
placed. It is the discoverer. Can we conceive of a “I have asked that question of the hills that are
courage more true, a fortitude more lasting, an am- eternal, of the streams that flow on forever, of the
bition more noble, a self sacrifice that is greater than stars, among whose azure paths I have so lately
that with which the discoverer and pioneer must walked. They were all dumb. But when I gaze upon
be endowed. He leaves the sacred circle of a happy thy beauty there is a love that mantles through that
home. He strikes boldly forth across the lonely plain tells me it cannot wholly perish. We shall meet again
into a dark and unknown wilderness. Unseen ene- Clemanthe.”
mies lurk on every side. With patient endurance he As we stand here today and recall the deeds of val-
penetrates the mountain fastness and on the lofty or and courage of the honest and open hearted pi-
summit where never before the virgin soil has been oneer we cannot doubt but that the recording angel
marred by the footstep of man, where never before beyond the azure blue, within the splendor of the
has been heard the sound of human voice, he plants eternal mansion beyond the skies, with pen dipped
the banner of development and human progress. in the undying and immortal fires of glory has written
Such are the deeds of the heroes whose names by the name of that American hero, General Grant,
adorn the yet unwritten pages of Nevada’s histo- the name of the western pathfinder John C. Fremont,
ry. Such were the deeds of our fathers who years and with the equal justice has placed with the names
ago left happy homes in the away East to build up a of the valiant soldier of the civil war the names of the
new empire in the golden West, who threaded their vast army of early pioneers of the golden West.
way across desert and mountain and settled amid Nevada’s history is yet in the future. It is unwrit-
the wilds and dangers of the unknown West, who ten. We are confronted today with the most serious
against almost unsurmountable difficulties devel- considerations for our state’s welfare and future.
oped and built up this state, who in hours of adver- There is no denying the fact that for twenty-fie years
sity were buoyed up by hope like a silver thread that we have been on a steady decline. The men who ear-
ran through the warp and woof of their lonely lives, ly settled this state came here to get rich, with no
who tenaciously clung to their purposes and died in thought of settling here permanently. They have dug
their work unrewarded; future generations enjoying our millions out, which have gone to beautify and
the fruits of their labor. The only monuments to these develop other lands. The wealth produced by Neva-
unkown heroes are the decaying slabs that point out da has created the marvels of modern science of the
in the lonely desert where some traveller fell by the nineteenth century.
wayside, some crumbling mound on the mountain The present generation of men who have gained
side where the miner fell in quest of silver treasure, wealth, fame, name and reputation in this state, who
the bleached house on the desert and the lone cabin are about to pass from the stage of active life have
on the mountain side over whose moss covered walls hardly began to develop the resources in this state.
the soughing pines sing a sad requiem to the memory The work for the future of this state lies in the hands
of the departed pioneer. These humble monuments of her young men.
are richer and dearer in associated memories than We, as young men, ought to study the great prob-
sculptored marbled and moulded bronze. Deep in lems of this state’s welfare—the silver question the
our hearts there is an imperishable memory, a fond irrigation question. Acquaint ourselves with the

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Excerpts from Sunday, November 1, 1891, Nevada State Journal pages 3 and 2:
needs of the state, devise ways and means for the fu- able and is a source of continual revenue; gives labor
ture of the state, take a hand in her politics and I can to man and sustains for years a population.
say on behalf of the young men of Nevada that we in- While the mining interests of this state great as
tend to stay here and fight it out on this line if it takes they are may be eventually exhausted, her agricul-
the rest of our lives and that if we ever get wealth it tural resources never can. When comes the power,
will be expended in building up our state and not in the wealth, the influence of America? From her farm-
beautifying other states and cities. ing resources. Sudden wealth produces a monied
The present generation of young men growing up aristocracy; the equal acquisition of wealth slowly a
in this state who are independent in thought and ac- free people.
tion over whom the smiles of the politician will avail Everything in God’s plan has a place in the econo-
nothing; over whom the offer of gold will have no my of nature. In the early stages of the world’s history,
powers who have the welfare of the state at heart. before men became civilized and progressed through
We see all around us development in every form. competition, they settled in the fertile valleys of the
Southern California was once as forbidding a desert world where the greatest results could be produced
as any part of Nevada. Capital, advertising and en- from the least amount of labor. As the world became
ergy has made her the granary of the world. Utah, populated and these valleys all settled up the popu-
similarly situated, is a land of happy homes of en- lation crowded out, and settled on those spots where
terprise and is a rich territory. Idaho, on the north, is nature, by rains, irrigated the soil, rather than by in-
fast becoming a great state. Arizona, on the south, is undation. The next move brought the people farther
forging ahead, and we alone are being left in the rear. back upon the higher plains where their ingenuity
Why is it? Not that we are so differently climatical- had to be exerted in order to devise means to irrigate
ly situated, not that we have not the resources, not the land. As they had to put forth more effort and
that we have not the possibilities; but that every cent competition to become greater they became more
taken from the state has been used in building up civilized and enlightened. Thus the world has be-
other states, that her citizens are not public spirited, come populated and civilized until at last naught but
enough, that in order to support a class of politicians the arid regions of the earth are left. Spots that fifty
we are being taxed to death. years ago were said to be impossible of irrigation are
We with our 45,000 people covering an immense today thriving lands of progress. As the population of
area of territory we occupy a most unique position in America grows it crowds farther west and into those
the Union. We, whose leading industry is silver min- less favored localities where great labor is required
ing, are taking up the fight on the financial question to produce wealth. The day is not far distant when
which is the greatest national issue today, and taking these arid regions must succumb to the demands of
the lead in it. civilization and become prosperous farming commu-
Our representatives, both in and out of Congress, nities. Whether it be by the ingenuity of man through
today are the recognized leaders of the world’s fi- the expenditure of money or by the hidden power of
nances. Their logic is more effectual than money in science that shall cause unwilling clouds to yield up
dealing with this great question upon the issue of their precious stores, it matters not but it will come.
which we are to survive or perish. Men so far above Upon this important topic we cannot be too well
partisanship that they are broad-gauged statesmen informed and as much depends on the result we
in every respect, who have more influence in the should closely watch it, for in reality who else than
Congress of the United State than any other member the young men of Nevada are to be benefited by this
of the august body, whose fearless attitude, whose movement which, though not immediate, must be in
very inspiration, whose loyalty to this state will be the near future.
the means of restoring the white metal to its proper On the silver question we are a unit. On the irriga-
position. tion though as to the ultimate results we are united,
Another great question upon which the young men yet as to the ways and means we differ.
of Nevada ought to educate themselves is the irriga- Let us aid however with heart and soul the sin-
tion question. In reality the most permanent foun- cere efforts of capital and let us extend to the men
dation upon which any state can build permanency who have enough faith in our state to invest money
is her agricultural possibilities. An acre of mining a hearty welcome and to those men who come into
ground may become exhausted and worthless in a this state and are expending large sums of money out
year and cease to produce. An acre of farming land of estates grown rich in Nevada, let us give a double
produces for years and grows each year more valu- welcome. Let us not retard their movements by jeal-

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Excerpts from Sunday, November 1, 1891, Nevada State Journal pages 3 and 2:

ous suspicious but extend them aid. ples of gold in the garden of Hesperides.
Already the East is turning to the West for bright
and original minds; already the heads of educational And after all, what constitutes a state?
institutions call for Western men. Wall Street trem- Not high raised battlement or labored mound,
bles at the dash of Western financiers. The senate Thick wall or moated gate,
chamber feels the influence of Western Senators. Nor cities proud with spires and turrets crowned
The literary world owes much to Western minds. Nor bays and broad armed ports
If it is true that certain climatic conditions and No - men, high minded men,
physical configuration of the land is conducive to hu- With powers as far above dull brutes endued,
man intelligence and mental growth; that from Erin’s In forest, lake and fen,
green isle comes the soul-stirring eloquence; from As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude,
the sunny, luxuriant shores of the Mediterranean, Men who their duties know,
the sweet songs of poesy; from Albion’s fair shore But know their rights and knowing dare maintain
and Germany’s hardy clime the rough, rude warrior; Prevent the long aimed blow.
from the lofty Alps and Apennines love of liberty and And crush the tyrant while he rond the chain,
independence of action and patriotism, then can we These constitute a state.
look with hope to the future of our men and wom-
en, for in no other positions of the globe do we find
so many favorable conditions for human intelligence
as in Nevada. Here we can gain from yonder snow-
capped Sierras whose lofty summit fling defiance to
mankind, liberty and love of country, freedom and in-
dependence; from emerald-hued hills and velvet val-
leys, eloquence; from the majesty of her mountains,
lofty aims. With the foundations of the state will lain,
we will in the future have a freedom-loving people,
the subtle influence of whose intelligence will have
melted the chains of servility that bind a people to
corporate power, independent in thought and action,
the happiest and most prosperous in America.
Such a future is a possibility. For no particular lo-
cality in America offers a greater field for human en-
ergy than Nevada. Far from the elevating influences
of New England culture on one side, separated on the
other by a natural barrier from the educational influ-
ences of the West, she forms as it were a lone Empire,
within whose borders is room for a kingdom as pow-
erful as Germany and as compact as Belgium, con-
taining within her expanse a fertility of resources far
surpassing in natural wealth any two or three great
countries of the old world, a soil that under proper
cultivation will produce greater value with less labor
than anywhere else in the known world.
A land with a line of eternal snows, with moun-
tains whose peaks reared in the expanse less blue
reflect their majestic smiles into mirrored mountain
lakes, whose canyons and mountains fastness pre-
serve winter snows that melted by the summer’s sun-
ny smiles send down rippling streams to productive
and thirsty plains, whose vegetation is nurtured by
winds upon whose dripping wings come munificent
showers, where gold and silver in rocks are crushed
by mills, over which hang peaches that mock the ap-
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