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RG1369.AM:  James Woodruff Savage, 1826-1890

Manuscript: 1880

Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska

Size:  One folder


Born in Bedford, New Hampshire, on February 2, 1826, James Woodruff Savage was the son of Rev. Thomas Savage and Lucy (Woodruff) Savage.  He attended Phillips Andover Academy and then Harvard University, where he graduated in 1847.  He practiced law in New York.  He enlisted during the Civil War, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel and commanded the 12th New York Cavalry.

In 1867 Savage came to Nebraska and settled in Omaha where he formed a law partnership with Charles F. Manderson.  After eight years Savage was elected and served two terms as judge before poor health forced him to resign his position.  He married Lucy (Tucker) Morris in 1875.  He resumed his law practice and around 1883 was appointed government director of the Union Pacific Railway Company.  He also served as director of the Omaha Public Library, trustee of Bellevue College, and president of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

James Woodruff Savage died on November 22, 1890 and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Omaha, Nebraska.


The collection consists of one folder containing a handwritten manuscript of “The Discovery of Nebraska” by James W. Savage.  The manuscript is undated, but Savage read “The Discovery of Nebraska” before the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society on April 16, 1880.  The manuscript describes the purported “discovery” of Nebraska by Spanish explorers looking for the mythical city of Quivira.

Note:  See the library for published versions of The Discovery of Nebraska as well as other writings by James W. Savage.  The library also includes various items about the legend of Quivira.  See also the Nebraska History index for references to James Savage and to Quivira.


Manuscript, “The Discovery of Nebraska,” by James W. Savage


Subject headings:

Coronado, Francisco Vasquez de, 1510-1554

Indians of North America — Legends

Quivira (Legendary place)

Savage, James Woodruff, 1826-1890

Spanish in Nebraska


Revised TMM      05-08-2018