Tuesday, May 29, 2012
150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act
On May 20, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act that allowed any American citizen or intended citizen to lay claim to 160 acres of surveyed Government land. The applicant was required to live on the land and improve it by building at least a 12' by 14' dwelling and raising crops. At the end of 5 years, the homesteader could apply for his patent (also known as a deed or a title). This was the avenue for thousands of Americans to become landowners.