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scone

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Homesteader - someone who settles lawfully on government land with the intent to acquire title to it

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Pursued in different ways around the world—and in different historical eras—homesteading is generally differentiated from rural village or commune living by isolation (either socially or physically) of the homestead. Use of the term in the United States dates back to the Homestead Act (1862) and before.

The Homestead Acts were several laws in the United States by which an applicant could acquire ownership of government land or the public domain, typically called a homestead. In all, more than 160 million acres of public land, or nearly 10 percent of the total area of the United States, was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders; most of the homesteads were west of the Mississippi River.

An extension of the homestead principle in law, the Homestead Acts were an expression of the Free Soil policy of Northerners who wanted individual farmers to own and operate their own farms, as opposed to Southern slave-owners who wanted to buy up large tracts of land and use slave labor, thereby shutting out free white farmers.

The first of the acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, opened up millions of acres. Any adult who had never taken up arms against the Federal government of the United States could apply. Women and immigrants who had applied for citizenship were eligible. The 1866 Act explicitly included black Americans and encouraged them to participate, but rampant discrimination, systemic barriers and bureaucratic inertia slowed black gains. Historian Michael Lanza argues that while the 1866 law pack was not as beneficial as it might have been, it was part of the reason that by 1900 one fourth of all Southern black farmers owned their own farms.

Several additional laws were enacted in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Southern Homestead Act of 1866 sought to address land ownership inequalities in the south during Reconstruction. The Timber Culture Act of 1873 granted land to a claimant who was required to plant trees—the tract could be added to an existing homestead claim and had no residency requirement
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The Kinkaid Amendment of 1904 granted a full section—640 acres to new homesteaders settling in western Nebraska. An amendment to the Homestead Act of 1862, the Enlarged Homestead Act, was passed in 1909 and doubled the allotted acreage from 160 to 320 acres Another amended act, the national Stock-Raising Homestead Act, was passed in 1916 and again increased the land involved, this time to 640 acres

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scone

Sergeant Major
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Feb 20, 2005
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Like the wagons trains west thread I did …. I hope all add to them Share your stories if you know them I love history a bit little here and there and enough to get me into trouble with some one who knows more what but what better way to learn lol

but there's rail roads , pony express , miners, Buffalo hunters, Brothels and stage coaches to be explored
 
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scone

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It’s been a long time since I was in school but can remember studying about the Homestead Act. Have seen some of these photos before but not all of them.. thanks for sharing this awesome story and photos.
No OU fan but Boomer Sooner! Tough then and before and now we cant go any where with out connect to the internet or tv sad... as I type on this lol laptop … but yes nearly a week in the CW reenactment world no shower no tv no radio phone If emergency no internet on it then just a text... I lived lol :smile:
 
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John Winn

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Thanks for the cool pictures ! The history of the settlement of the west is a rich one. In the southwest and California there's land that was obtained when those places were still Mexico. In the PNW there was the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 (which expired in 1855) and some of those claims still exist as private inholdings on federal land. A really big deal was the discovery of gold and silver which resulted in several settlement booms in various parts of the west. Southwestern Oregon was settled largely as a result of the discovery of gold in Jacksonville but also because of the Applegate trail, a branch of the Oregon trail (not shown on the above map). Before any of that, of course, all of the PNW was claimed by England and there was the Hudson's Bay Company. Oh, and then don't forget the Mormons !

I, too, would have been a very poor homesteader (or CW private).
 
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scone

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Tennessee - From the "The City Between The Lakes"
@ Eleanor Rose
Interesting thread! The concept of homesteading is alive and well today. I would not have made a good homesteader back then and I wouldn't today.
And @donna We need to learn as much of the old ways as we can... And teach our youth … You can read but to see things first hand a treasure …

1st what better way to interact with kids share your Knowledge...

2nd I believe the old ways will come back... maybe not ours but theirs's or their young ones …

lot can done to this- farm , shelter . water , food, animals … going overboard I know
 

scone

Sergeant Major
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
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Location
Tennessee - From the "The City Between The Lakes"
Interesting thread! The concept of homesteading is alive and well today. I would not have made a good homesteader back then and I wouldn't today.
The will to live and survive - sure you could … we become easy to the simple life … what if you woke up one day and every thing was 1860ish or before Twilight Zone in 2019 … that's a great idea hmmm Who do I talk to ...
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Thanks for the thread! I was unfortunately addicted to Michenor for a long time and got intrigued by Homesteaders. ( still intrigued even if Michenor isn't a terrific source )

Agree @scone , this kind of extremely simple albeit tough way of living is attracting a new generation. For all it's obvious disadvantages I can see the attraction. You work for yourself, whether you made it work is up to you and there's probably no one else around for miles. I'd sign up.
 
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