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 Posted: Mon May 20th, 2013 07:38 pm
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Texas Defender
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  On this date in 1862, Mr. Lincoln signed a significant piece of legislation into law. It was the Homestead Act of 1862. It provided for the distribution of government land to those who promised to settle on it and improve it. Any adult, without regard for race or sex, could apply for 160 acres of land (This was increased during the 20th Century to as much as 640 acres). If the provisions were met (Those who had taken up arms against the U.S. Government were disqualified), the applicant could acquire title to the land after five years.

  Eventually, 1.6 million applications were made, and while only about 40% of applicants obtained title to the land, about 270 million acres of government land (Some 10% of the land mass of the U.S.) were passed to private individuals. The legislation had a profound effect on the settlement of the country long after the Civil War ended.

The Homestead Act of 1862

Last edited on Mon May 20th, 2013 07:50 pm by Texas Defender

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