Go deeper into the history of each park with scholarly articles and essays from Oxford University Press, freely available for the centennial year.

Oxford Reference

Homestead Act

The 1862 Homestead Act was an attempt to transform the settlement of the public domain in the West. Passed by Congress in 1862 and put into operation on 1 January 1863, it offered actual settlers free title to 160 acres (a quarter section) after they had established residence and improved the land for five years. The act also sought to bind the West to the North during the Civil War.

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