Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska Time Traveler
question and activity cards

Nebraska Joins the Union, grades 5-8


a. Between 1803 and 1854, only Native Americans and a few other groups of people were allowed in the region that became Nebraska. Find an object, painting, photo, or document relating to each of the groups listed below. What does the item tell you about the group?

fur traders




Oregon trail travelers



b. Go to the Lifelines ­ Frontier Transportation and Communication display. Find two objects that relate to invention in travel and communication. What are they? What was their impact?

Object                            Impact (How the invention helped people.)


c. Find the object made by an African American. What is the object?

How many slaves were in Nebraska in 1855?

d. Go to the Civil War section. What object was used by James W. Thomas?

Where and how did he use the object?

Why was the Second Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry organized? (Hint: Read the label entitled "Volunteer Cavalry on the Frontier.")


e. Go to the Getting a Farm section. Find the official document that gave land away to a veteran. How many acres did he receive? (Hint: The number is less than 160.)

What was the 1862 Act approved by Abraham Lincoln that promised 160 acres of virtually free government land?

What four qualifications did a person have to meet to own this land?



Your ideas: Why do you think the U. S. government gave land away?


f. Go to the Carson Parlor. During the Victorian period (late 1800s) appearances were very important. Imagine you lived in this house and used this parlor to entertain guests. What object in this room would you be most proud of?


g. Go to the Town Building section. Find and describe the "wildcat notes."

Name three of the banks that created the money.

How has our system of money changed since these notes were used?



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Last updated 7 March 2000 

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