In the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln signed into law two visionary programs that helped our people come together again and build America up. The Morrill Act helped States create new land grant colleges. This is a land grant university. The university in my home State was the first land grant college west of the Mississippi River. In these places, young people learn to make American agriculture and industry the best in the world. The legacy of the Morrill Act is not only our great colleges and universities like Rutgers but the American tradition that merit and not money should give people a chance for a higher education.
Mr. Lincoln also signed the Homestead Act that offered 100 acres of land for families who had the courage to settle the frontier and farm the wilderness. Its legacy is a nation that stretches from coast to coast. Now we must create a new legacy that gives a new generation of Americans the right and the power to explore the frontiers of science and technology and space. The frontiers of the limitations of our knowledge must be pushed back so that we can do what we need to do. And education is the way to do it, just as surely as it was more than 100 years ago.
It is the goal of Homestead Congress to tell the Homestead story and it is our sincere hope that our homestead stories, both modern and old, delivered through the frontier of blog technology have educated you, our readers, on and about the heroic homesteaders of America.
Many thanks to our 2008 contributors:
Todd Arrington, Homestead National Monument
Jesse Bolli, Homestead National Monument
Jerry Davison, Volunteer Homestead Congress
Denise Elmer, Volunteer Homestead Congress
Gene Finke, Homestead National Monument
Jessica Fleming, Homestead National Monument
Bernadette Korslund, Volunteer Homestead Congress
Dr. Leo L. Lemonds, author Nebraska Veterinary History
Manuel Hastings’s Memoirs
Lisa Roberts, Southeast Community College
Emery Stoops, author Prairie Pioneers
A Brief Story of the National Christmas Tree
by C.L. Arbelbide