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Act of May 20, 1862 (Homestead Act), Public Law 37-64 (12 STAT 392).

Act of May 20, 1862 (Homestead Act), Public Law 37-64 (12 STAT 392).

5/20/1862
General Records of the United States Government

The Homestead Act granted citizens or future citizens up to 160 acres of public land provided they live on it, improve it, and pay a small registration fee.

Find further background information and a transcript of the Homestead Act on the list of 100 Milestone Documents of American history on www.ourdocuments.gov.

Additional Details from our Exhibits and Publications:

Free land in the land of the free

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. On January 1, 1863, Daniel Freeman made the first claim under the Act, which gave citizens or future citizens up to 160 acres of public land provided they live on it, improve it, and pay a small registration fee. The Government granted more than 270 million acres of land while the law was in effect.

Document contains: 4 pages.