state of Nebraska was originally a part of the great
Louisiana Territory purchased from France in 1803.
Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804-1806 the region
was little known to white men. During the
early history of the
New World each of three nations, Spain, France and
England laid claim to this land.
Spanish based their claim on the explorations of
Coronado in 1541 when he was searching for the rich
Quivira, with its gold and silver. Although
his expedition ended in failure as afar as riches
were concerned, his exploration
gave the Spanish a claim to the land as far north
as the 40th degree latitude. Another outcome
of this trip
was the fact that many of the Nebraska and Kansas
Indians come into possession of horses that had
the adventurers. Before that there had been
no horses in the Nebraska Country.
French claimed the land because their traders and
trappers had explored along the Missouri and Platte
had established trading posts there. The Spanish
had discovered the region but had left it. The
English claimed the land because of grants by the
King to early eastern settlers. These grants
specified the width
of each claim in miles but the length was to extend
from the Atlantic Ocean to the "South Seas,"
as the Pacific
Ocean was then called. Nebraska land was within
the boundaries of several of these grants.
great nations were interested in flying their flags
over our state. After the French and Indian
War in 1763, the
French conceded all of their lands east of the Mississippi
to the English and all of their lands west of that
to the Spanish. Later, in France, Napoleon
Bonaparte became emperor. He bought back this
region from Spain.
It became known as the Louisiana Territory.
In 1803, needing money, the French sold all
of the land to the
Americas. This is known in history as the
"Great Purchase," and it added millions
of fertile acres to the United
name of our section of this land did not come into
existence until after 1842. At this time Lieutenant
Fremont was sent out from Washington to find new
overland routes to the West. He visited with
Indian Tribe living along a broad flat river, which
we know as the Platte but which was called the "Nebrathka"
by the Indians. Fremont liked the name and
in his reports to the government, he suggested that
name, meaning broad water, be given to this land.
In 1844, the Secretary of War approved the
and this region became known as the "Nebraska
Country" from that time.