History and Culture
It is the purpose of our government "to elevate the condition of men, to lift artificial burdens from all shoulders and to give everyone an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life." President Abraham Lincoln, July 4, 1861.
The Homestead Act of 1862 was one of the most significant and enduring events in the westward expansion of the United States. By granting 160 acres of free land to claimants, it allowed nearly any man or woman a "fair chance." Homestead National Monument of America, located in Southeast Nebraska, commemorates this Act and the far-reaching effects it had upon the landscape and people.
To learn more examine the pages below [those labeled PDF require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view].
Did You Know?
The Homestead Act, Emancipation Proclamation and the Railroad Act were passed at the same time and worked together to move emigrants to the west for settlement.