History Books:

Battles of Freedom: The Life and Times of John Henri Kagi

John Kagi is recognized as an ardent follower of John Brown. He is described as “John Brown’s right-hand man,” “John Brown’s second in command,” and “John Brown’s most trusted advisor.” However, the depictions fall short and do not do John Kagi justice!

​Completely separate from the influence of John Brown, John Kagi grew into manhood despising slavery. Kagi was a Free-Soiler, a Republican, and an abolitionist. He was exceedingly vocal about his opposition to slavery, even whilst in the slave state of Virginia. Kagi was also an educator, a newspaper correspondent, and he earned the ability to practice law. Rather than practicing law or teaching school, Kagi devoted himself to the abolition of slavery and his professed “Battles of Freedom.” Naturally, Kagi became associated with John Brown because both men were drawn to Kansas Territory to act upon their shared strong beliefs of freedom and equality.

With fierce determination, this honorable, driven, and educated man toiled for years for the abolitionist cause. So driven was he that he showed little to no care for his personal needs or safety. For his beliefs, he was beaten, persecuted, shot, and hunted. Yet he persevered despite the pain and risks. When others conspired to silence him, Kagi continued to act as a loud, ardent voice for justice, freedom, and equality. It was for the noble cause of abolition of slavery that he sacrificed his life. Despite his many brave deeds and personal sacrifice, a better-known man has always overshadowed Kagi. Therefore, I was compelled to tell the remarkable story of this early egalitarian.

I invite you to learn about the remarkable life of this heroic young man. 

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For information about the Underground Railroad in Nebraska, please click the star below.

The Klan in Southeast Nebraska

By the spring of 1921, the Klan had infiltrated Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The most active years of the “second” K.K.K. were in the 1920’s, with 1921 being the onset of the Klan in Nebraska.  As of September of 1921, there were a reported 2,000 K.K.K. members in Nebraska. The number of Klan members in Nebraska as of August of 1924 increased to 34,800.

It was not random, obscure, or marginal people who joined the Klan. Klan members were grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends. It was city leaders, businessmen, pastors, farmers, and the local librarian. Why did Nebraskans join a hate group in such large numbers? 

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