Receipts for homestead applications of George Caldwell, Gainesville, Florida; and Lucinda Lockhart, San Francisco, California; November 10, 1875
Two very different homestead applications were among those filed on November 10, 1875. George Caldwell submitted his claim to a homestead in Gainesville, Florida, where he had farmed for five years. Lucinda Lockhart, widow of a soldier, based her claim on her husband’s military service and requesated that it be transferred from Arkansas to California.
Records of the Bureau of Land Management, National Archives and Records Administration
A Lasting Legacy
The Homestead Act was one of Congress’s most far-reaching laws. Congress amended the Homestead Act several times after 1862 and repealed it in 1976 under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, allowing a ten-year extension in Alaska. By 1986, when the last homesteader filed a claim, the federal government had transferred 270 million acres in thirty states to private citizens. The Homestead Act stimulated settlement of the west, promoted agriculture, and provided a foothold in the national economy to workers, immigrants, and freedmen.