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Joint Resolution of the Legislature of the State of Minnesota accepting the donation of lands by Congress . . . [Morrill Act], approved January 27, 1863

Minnesota accepted its allotment under the Morrill Land-Grant Act and used funds from the sale of the land to build the University of Minnesota. The Morrill Land-Grant Act was landmark legislation that led to the founding of 69 colleges throughout the United States and opened opportunities of higher education for generations of Americans.

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Joint Resolution of the Legislature of the State of Minnesota accepting the donation of lands by Congress . . . [Morrill Act], approved January 27, 1863

Creating Land-Grant Colleges

Representative Justin S. Morrill of Vermont, a farmer and son of a blacksmith, championed federal aid for states to create agricultural and technical colleges. Proceeds from sales of federal land granted to states would fund schools to train young farmers in modern agricultural techniques, bolstering the economic future of the nation. Southern and western states opposed the act, denouncing it as a federal incursion into states’ authority that gave advantages to more populous eastern states. Vetoed in 1859, the Morrill Land-Grant Act was reintroduced and passed in 1862.