Nebraska City Underground Railroad Conductor inducted into Nebraska Hall of Fame

While Nebraska City, Nebraska is well known for the well preserved Underground Railroad site known as the Mayhew Cabin and John Brown’s Cave, more residents than Allen Mayhew and his wife, Barbara Kagy Mayhew helped escaping slaves north. In 1859, sixteen-year-old Calvin Chapman came to Nebraska City with relatives. Calvin and his older brother, Thomas Chapman, a United Brethren minister, picked up escaping slaves at the Mayhew cabin and ferried them across the Missouri River to Lick Skillet, Iowa. This is the modern town of Kent, Iowa. Young Chapman would also pick up escapees at a log cabin they called Black Den and take them northeast toward Iowa. He served in the Civil War and returned to Nebraska City. He went on to be a successful businessman and once served as mayor. In the latter part of his life, he described his work on the Underground Railroad taking a total of ten wagons filled with runaways north across the River to Iowa. Calvin Chapman is buried in Nebraska City, Nebraska.


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