The site of the Nuckolls residence in Nebraska City, Nebraska was the site of the escape of Eliza Grayson and Celia. Despite the prohibition of slavery in the Nebraska Territory, Stephen F. Nuckolls, originally from Grayson County, Virginia, brought his family and five slaves to the territory in early 1854 from Atchison County, Missouri. He had ambitious plans for the land and drove the first stake that established Nebraska City on July 10, 1854. As a leader in Nebraska City, Nuckolls had one of the first homes constructed on the corner of 5th and Main Street in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Eventually the Nuckolls residence was torn down and is now the site of a U.S. Postal Office.
The Nuckolls home is significant to the Underground Railroad because on November 26, 1858 Eliza Grayson and Celia, two of Nuckolls' five remaining slaves, escaped to freedom. Celia and Eliza were encouraged to escape by John Williamson who led them across the Missouri River into Civil Bend, Iowa. From there the women moved through Iowa on the way to Chicago. In pursuit, Nuckolls followed Eliza to Chicago and, with the help of local abolitionists; Eliza evaded her former master and acquired her freedom. Specific information regarding Celia's fate is unknown. By the year 1860, all of the people enslaved on the Nuckolls' property had successfully escaped from Nebraska City.
Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.
Location: Corner of 5th and Main (Central Avenue), Nebraska City, 68410
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: United States Postal Service
Location Type: Site
People/Organizations Associated with the site: Stephen F. Nuckolls (Owner)
Freedom Seekers: Celia (NE, c. 1850),Eliza Grayson
UGRR Operatives: John Williamson