THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: US President Lincoln Signs Homestead Act into Law (1862)

US President Lincoln Signs Homestead Act into Law (1862)

The Homestead Act was a federal law that sought to shape the American West by populating it with farmers. The act provided for the transfer of 160 acres of unoccupied public land to each homesteader at $1.25 an acre after six months of residence or for a nominal fee after five years. However, the generous law became subject to fraud and corporate abuse. The settlers did not fare much better, given the harsh land and arid conditions out West. Who was the last person to take advantage of the law? More… Discuss

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