Saturday, March 1, 2008

Did you know.Homestead Facts

The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln and was in effect for 123 years, from 1863 to 1986.

Thirty of the 50 states contained public lands available for settlement under the Homestead Act.

The Homestead Act was responsible for the settlement and distribution of 270 million acres of land in the United States.

Women, African Americans, and immigrants from nearly anywhere could claim land under the Homestead Act.

It is estimated that as many as 93 million homesteader descendants may inhabit the world today.

The Homestead Act affected many different aspects of U.S. life, including agriculture, industrialization, American Indians, immigration, and the natural environment.

Homestead National Monument of America is the only site in the country dedicated to exploring the national and international impacts of the Homestead Act.

Congress passed the Homestead Act and created the Department of Agriculture, the transcontinental railroad, and the land grant college system all within two months of each other (May-July 1862).

The Homestead Act became effective on the same day as the Emancipation Proclamation: January 1, 1863.

Homestead National Monument of America is located on the Daniel Freeman homestead, one of the very first homesteads claimed anywhere in America.


Anonymous said...

This was helpfull with my US History takehome test.

Anonymous said...

This site is really wrong and needs to get there facts straight. There was more than 1 homestead act and the women, African Americans, and immigrants from nearly anywhere could not claim land only white men with families and single white men.

BBell said...

Indeed there was more than one Homestead Act; however, the original Homestead Act of 1862 was in effect from 1863 until 1976 in the lower continental United States, with provisions for homesteading in Alaska until 1986. The Homestead Act did not discriminate based on gender, race, or nationality. Women were, indeed, allowed to homestead, as well as African Americans and immigrants eligible to become U.S. citizens. The Homestead Act of 1862 was not only for white males. Thousands of women, African Americans and immigrants participated and gained land under the provisions of the Homestead Act of 1862. I would encourage reading Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas after Reconstruction by Nell Irving Painter. Also, Staking Her Claim: Women Homesteading the West by Marcia Hensley is a great look at women homesteaders. Our you could read a first person account, for example Letters of a Women Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart or Rachel Calof’s Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains by Rachel Calof, edited by J. Sanford Rikoon. For more information please contact the Historian at Homestead National Monument of America.