First Homestead Claim is Filed
On January 1, 1863, Daniel Freeman filed the first land claim under the Homestead Act.
Since the American Revolution, the distribution of government lands was a matter of great debate. In America’s early years, setting boundaries on new land was unorganized, causing frequent overlapping claims and disputes. When land ordinance laws were introduced in 1785, the plots were large and pricey. People repeatedly called for cheaper plots or preemption – an arrangement where they would settle first and pay later.