Recent Appearances

Nebraska Chautauqua 2014

2012 ChautauquansJune 18-22 – Norfolk, NE
June 25-29 – Scottsbluff / Gering, NE

In exploring the collective effects of the Homestead Act, the Morrill Act, and the Pacific Railway Act upon the Great Plains and its people, “Free Land” will feature scholars portraying the following historical characters:

Grenville Dodge (1831-1916) – U.S. Army general during the Civil War and Plains Indian campaigns, who became the chief engineer for the Union Pacific during the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

George Washington Carver (1864-1943) – homesteader who became a world-renowned inventor and botanist.

Standing Bear (cir. 1834-1908) – Ponca chief whose trial led to the establishment of the beginning of Native American civil rights.

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) – homesteader and author of the beloved Little House books.

Willa Cather (1873-1947) – Pulitzer-Prize winning author who wrote extensively about the Nebraska homesteading/settlement experience.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) – as the Chautauqua moderator, Twain will set the tone for “Free Land” with his humor, commentary, and “national voice” as he provides context for and introduces each historical figure.

More information will be available at


Nebraska Chautauqua 2013

2012 ChautauquansJune 19-23 – Papillion, NE
June 26-30 – Grand Island, NE

More information will be available at

Free Land Chautauqua 2012
Beatrice, NE – May 21-25

Free Land Chautauqua 2012
Homestead Heritage Center
Beatrice, NE

“Free Land? 1862 and the Shaping of Modern America” as part of the
150th Anniversary of the signing of the Homestead Act.

The Chautauqua Troupe
Moderator: Mark Twain
May 21-25, 2012

Warren Brown presents Mark Twain, American humorist who commented on American culture and politics. Born Samuel Clemens in 1835, Mark Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri which would eventually become the setting for two of his most famous novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Twain began the travels that became the catalyst for much of his writing as a steamboat pilot’s apprentice on the Mississippi River. In 1861 Twain traveled with his brother to the Nevada Territory and later served as a correspondent from the Sandwich Islands and Europe, which gave him his reputation to launch his lecture and literary career.

He became a national voice of his time and fully embraced the “Free Soil, Free Labor” ideology at the heart of the 1862 legislation and was fascinated by the development of railroads through the latter half of the 1800s.

Chautauqua Workshops
May 21 Mark Twain 7:30 pm
May 22 America in the Gilded Age 12:00 pm
May 25 Twain’s Hadleyburg 2:00 pm

Mark Twain For President – October 21st, 2012

The Candidate appears at the Albee House, 13018 Maple, Blue Island, IL at the Invitation of Blue Island’s Library and Historical Society. The Candidate is expected to discuss his views on voting, free speech, education, taxes, the global economy, foreign policy, democracy, or simply remind us that the United States is the Greatest Country in World History! Messrs. Romney and Obama have been invited but, as yet, have failed to respond. Seating will be provided for their use, or to serve as a rhetorical device by Mr. Twain.


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