Lots of people were ineligible for the Homestead Act after bearing arms against the Union, so something had to give. Throughout the nation, landowners were concerned about what would happen to land values in the east after cheap land became available in the west. Are you looking to relocate to the country? Alaska was one of the last places in the country where homesteading remained a viable option into the latter part of the 1900s. It allowed the head of a household a man or woman over the age of 21 to claim 160 acres of land and receive title to the land after living on the land for 5 years and improving the land by cultivating it and building a home See Image 1. It spawned numerous other homesteading measures, some offering up to 640 acres, during the next half-century. That method was also used by large businesses and speculators to gain ownership of timber and oil-producing land. By the end of the , some 15,000 land claims had been made.
Renewed interest in homesteading was brought about by U. The Homestead Act provided 160 acres of land for a small filing fee and a modest investment of time and effort. A Shortage Of Land Agents and Investigators To Administer The Program In many areas of the American Territories there were not sufficient local Land Offices and personnel. Some Northern Industrialists wanted to purchase cotton from the Southern Growers at a reduced price. In these areas, people manipulated the provisions of the act to gain control of resources, especially water. It was time to focus more on the final frontier. They made beds or sleeping shelves out of scrap wood and made mattresses out of prairie grass.
And be it further enacted, That the register of the land office shall note all such applications on the tract books and plats of his office, and keep a register of all such entries, and make return thereof to the General Land Office, together with the proof upon which they have been founded. Homesteading the American Mid-West has been romanticized. If that square mile is divided in half, either by a line running north and south or by a line running east and west, it now contains 2 rectangles of 320 acres each. By 1988 when the last homestead land was finally conveyed, roughly 10% of the total land in the U. In addition to helping their husbands farm, they had to care for children, maintain the home, cook and preserve food.
Summary and Definition of the Homestead Act Definition and Summary: The Homestead Act of 1862 was passed by Congress on May 20, 1862 during the Civil War 1861-1865 following the secession of the Southern states. Today, the monument is administered by the National Park Service, and the site commemorates the changes to the land and the nation brought about by the Homestead Act of 1862. About 4 million people filed claims between January 1, 1863 and 1976 when the law was abandoned. One of my favorite eras in the United States History is the period from about 1760 to 1900. Southern legislators feared that homestead laws, which divided public lands into small farms rather than large plantations, would attract immigrants and others who were opposed to slavery. Once the county was organized by the territory or the state legislature, townships could elect officers to attend to township business such as the condition of roads and choosing the name of the township.
Not to be overlooked, amendments to the act eased service members' procedures for getting land and applying their service time toward the residency requirement. Some land speculators took advantage of a legislative loophole caused when those drafting the law's language failed to specify whether the 12-by-14 dwelling was to be built in feet or inches. They turned trunks on end and used them for closets. The Homestead Act of 1862 is recognized as one of the most revolutionary concepts for distributing public land in American history. We will always cherish the fact that homesteading is an important part of Alaska's culture and history.
Be it enacted, That any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and who has never borne arms against the United States Government or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, from and after the first of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, be entitled to enter one quarter-section or a less quantity of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a pre-emption claim, or which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to pre-emption at one dollar and twenty-five cents, or less, per acre; or eighty acres or less of such unappropriated lands, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, to be located in a body, in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed: Provided, That any person owning or residing on land may, under the provisions of this act, enter other land lying contiguous to his or her said land, which shall not, with the land so already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres. This one in Morton County 1906 has a sod and grass roof and glass windows. After the Republicans won the Presidency in the 1860 Election, several Southern Politicians felt their only safe course was to secede from the Union and form a country of their own. The Homestead Act of 1862 gave rise later to a new phenomenon, large , such as the of the 1880s and 90s. When the states that formed the seceded, they also withdrew their senators and representatives from Congress, thereby giving the Republicans a commanding majority. He successfully homesteaded 80 aces of land on the Stony River in southwestern Alaska in 1979. Though the measure was meant to attract homeless immigrants throughout the east, many were too poor to be able to move west.
Sometimes they could supplement their food with items from the nearest General Store which could be a day's journey away. When these were not available they twisted grass together and burned it along with dried corn husks and buffalo fur. To achieve this end, they engineered a vast giveaway of public lands. Gates, Paul Wallace, and Robert W. The Homestead Law brought people to North Dakota far more quickly than they would have come without the offer of land. The Free Dictionary By Farlex. So in a 50 year period of time the new nation of America's size nearly tripled from what it had been at the turn of the 19th Century.
Only 48 of them lived to reach California, some surviving by eating those who died in the mountains. The filing fee was eighteen dollars or ten to temporarily hold a claim to the land. The provisions of this Homestead Act were to go into effect on January 1, 1863. The Southern Growers were not interested in this deal because they could ship their cotton to England and Germany, pay for the shipping and when the cotton was sold, make more money than they could by selling the cotton to the Northern Industrialists at the reduced price they wanted. Although homesteading itself is no longer a thing, some people still try to live that lifestyle of working and living off the land. So whenever this Homestead Bill would come up for a vote, the southern Congressmen were able to defeat it. But with vast new areas to explore and settle it was just a matter of time before settlers pushed far beyond the Mississippi River areas looking for a place to call their own.