Patrick Kennedy's Homestead Certificate, 1891
This is Patrick Kennedy's homestead certificate given in accordance with the 1862 Homestead Act, securing his right to the 160 acres of land in Cedar County, Nebraska. Seeking to create more yeoman farmers, believed to be the backbone of antebellum America in the North, the Republican authors and advocates of the of the Homestead Act managed to pass it only after the Southern Democrats left the 37th Congress. Signed into law on May 20, 1862 the Homestead Act required the potential homesteader to be 21 years of age or older, or be the head of a family when filing an a claim for a federal land grant, live on the land for five years and have made improvements, and finally file the deed of title. After 1873 homesteaders in Nebraska and Kansas often filed claims for additional land under the Timber Culture Act seeking to enlarge their land holdings through claiming improvements planting trees.For interviews and oral histories of this and other items please visit the History Harvest YouTube Channel.