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Remembering Nathaniel Morgan and the 1840s lynching in Dubuque that took his life

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

A group in Dubuque is raising money for a monument memorializing a Black man who was murdered in 1840 by a group of men.

In 1840, Nathaniel Morgan lived and worked in Dubuque with his wife Charlotte. But that September, a mob lynched him over unproven accusations of theft. The mob was acquitted and two centuries later it remains a little-known incident in Dubuque or Iowa history.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with two Dubuque residents about their efforts to memorialize Morgan and remember his murder and how those events shook the town.

At the top of the show, we listen back to Nebbe's last interview with writer Carl Klaus about his 2021 book "The Ninth Decade: An Octogenarian's Chronicle," and the process of growing old and writing about it. On Feb. 1, 2022, Klaus died at the age of 89.

The first two segments of this show originally aired on Oct. 7, 2021.


  • Carl Klaus, author of “The Ninth Decade: An Octogenarian's Chronicle" and the founder of the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program. He died at the age of 89 on Feb. 1, 2022.
  • Ernestine Moss, co-chair of the Nathaniel Morgan Memorial Committee and longtime resident of Dubuque
  • Brian Hallstoos, associate professor of history at the University of Dubuque and co-chair of the Nathaniel Morgan Memorial Committee
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Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa
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