Homesteading in Nebraska


“Life in Nebraska–Pre-Emption improvements…”  From Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  New York: May 21, 1859.  Wood engravings with article.  Very good condition.


In the 1850s, at the same time many easterners were heading to Oregon and California, many others saw the wide open lands of the new territories of Nebraska and Kansas as inviting places to settle.   The preemption act of 1841, allowed settlers to stake a claim of 160 acres and after just over a year of residence and improvement, to buy that land from the U.S. Government.  While many took advantage of this act, there were also many speculators who tried to take advantage of it, leading to conflict and outrage.  This article in Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper of 1859, contains an antidote about this issue, as well as two illustrations showing “pre-emption…according to the letter” and “spirit of the law.”