Loading Events

The Queen’s Road: Nebraska’s Bumpy Ride to Statehood
Presenter: Jeff Barnes
(PSST: This is the sequel to the talk he previously gave at the Hastings Museum. Same topic, but a different time period.)

The wild and woolly first years of the Nebraska Territory is the subject of Nebraska historian Jeff Barnes’s presentation of “The Queen’s Road: Nebraska’s Bumpy Ride to Statehood” at the Hastings Museum on Sunday, March 3, at 1:30 p.m. The program is sponsored by Humanities Nebraska. Barnes’s talk covers the transitional years of the Nebraska Territory, as its borders shrunk but its national significance increased. Its Platte River Valley was more important than ever for commerce, communication, and transportation, while federal policies increased its role as a battleground between Native and Euro-American peoples.

“Nebraska’s Civil War years were also the footnote setting for unique happenings in history,” says Barnes, “including the first killing by an unknown Bill Hickok and the running of the first self-powered vehicle for the hauling of wagons across the Plains. Our place in history also found us as the first state to join the Union over a presidential veto.”

The presentation includes many historic images, maps and anecdotes in the telling of Nebraska’s sometimes shaky trek to statehood.

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Barnes writes and lives in Omaha. He is a former board trustee with the Nebraska State Historical Society, past chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, trustee with the Union Pacific Museum Association, and a frequently requested speaker with Humanities Nebraska. He is a twice-awarded recipient of the Nebraska Book Award and the author of Cut in Stone, Cast in Bronze: Nebraska’s Historical Markers and Monuments, 150 @ 150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial, The Great Plains Guide to Custer, and Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park. He recently updated his first book, Forts of the Northern Plains, for the University of Nebraska Press/Bison Books with publication in May 2024