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Nebraska’s Winding Road to Statehood: In the Footsteps of Barbara Mayhew, a Female Settler performed by Sara Brandes Crook



In a first-person costumed portrayal, the story of Barbara Ann Kagey Mayhew Bradway's life as an early settler of the Nebraska Territory is told. Many of the vexing issues of the day are recalled, such as slavery, the disputed route of the transcontinental railroad, and Nebraska statehood, as viewed through the lens of one of the first female settlers in the Nebraska Territory. Her story has numerous references to the issue of the Underground Railroad in the Territory. Specifically the program includes why the Kansas-Nebraska Act was so controversial, particularly its provision for the use of popular sovereignty with regards to the slavery issue. More personal topics that are explained in this program include Barbara's interactions with her brother, John Kagi (John opted to spell his last name in a more phonetically manner), who was John Brown's "second in command," John Kagi's death at Harper's Ferry, and the role that the Mayhew Cabin, including Barbara herself, played in the effort to aide fugitive slaves coming up from the Kansas Territory. Finally the program explains how the issue of slavery impacted the transition of Nebraska from a territory to a state, all from a female settler's perspective .The program is part of the Nebraska Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau.

Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.

Location: 6919 “R” Road, Peru, 68421

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Sara Crook

Location Type: Program

UGRR Operatives: Barbara Ann Kagy Mayhew Bradway,John Brown,John Kagi