Act of May 20, 1862 (Homestead Act), Public Law 37-64 (12 STAT 392).
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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.
This primary source comes from the General Records of the United States Government.
National Archives Identifier: 299815Full Citation: Act of May 20, 1862 (Homestead Act), Public Law 37-64 (12 STAT 392).; 5/20/1862; General Records of the United States Government, Record Group 11. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/act-of-may-20-1862-homestead-act-public-law-3764-12-stat-392, July 29, 2016]
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