Introduction to Homesteading
“In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is a broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act … ” George W. Bush, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 2005.
To see what other Presidents said about the Homestead Act go here.
Soloman butcher Collection
The success of the Homestead Act was hastened by the passage of several other laws that include the Emancipation Proclamation and the Railroad Act [see Abraham Lincoln and the West]. It was also influenced by Thomas Jefferson's Land Ordiance of 1785. These laws were instrumental in the settlement of the western United States.
Did You Know?
To "Prove up" a homestead, the owner was required to make improvements including building a home, breaking the soil, and planting a crop for 5 years.