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        Homesteading - Homesteading Act and Northern Plains

        Originally overlooked as unproductive, the Northern Plains offered opportunity for any determined person to own free or inexpensive land by homesteading. Land grants to railroads also provided a source of land for migrants to the prairie. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act and created opportunity for the 372,000 families that poured onto the prairies.

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