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Homestead Act

a special act of Congress (1862) that made public lands in the West available to settlers without payment, usually in lots of 160 acres, to be used as farms. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Homestead Act
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Historical Examples
  • On some farms, the shacks erected to establish residence under the Homestead Act are still in use.

    North Dakota Various
  • He had engaged dummy entrymen to take up one hundred and sixty acres each under the Homestead Act.

    The Yukon Trail William MacLeod Raine
  • Furthermore, the Homestead Act of 1862 gave new and cumulative impetus to the immigration which sought farming lands.

  • By about 1890 most of the desirable land available under the Homestead Act had disappeared.

    History of the United States Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard
  • The government was to extend to the producer "free capital" in addition to free land which he received with the Homestead Act.

  • Having done this, he went and pre-empted it under the Homestead Act, at the government price.

    Greater Britain Charles Wentworth Dilke
  • The Homestead Act of May 20, 1862, opened vast areas of public lands to a new immigration.

    The Boss and the Machine Samuel P. Orth
British Dictionary definitions for Homestead Act

Homestead Act

an act passed by the US Congress in 1862 making available to settlers 160-acre tracts of public land for cultivation
(in Canada) a similar act passed by the Canadian Parliament in 1872
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Homestead Act in Culture

Homestead Act definition

A law passed in the 1860s that offered up to 160 acres of public land to any head of a family who paid a registration fee, lived on the land for five years, and cultivated it or built on it.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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