May 20, 2008

The Homestead Act

(LoC) - President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. The act provided settlers with 160 acres of surveyed public land after payment of a filing fee and five years of continuous residence. Designed to spur Western migration, the Homestead Act culminated a twenty-year battle to distribute public lands to citizens willing to farm. Continued

Photo: My great grandparents' family at their homestead in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). My grandmother is in the front, standing between her father & mother.