Toward the Sunset: The Homestead Act and Abraham Lincoln's Legacy in the West

In 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law promising U.S. citizens and immigrants free land in the West. The Homestead Act is one of the most important social policies ever enacted in the U.S. and it combined with the 13th and 14th amendments to give Black Americans an opportunity to own land after the Civil War. In total, 270 million acres were distributed through the Homestead Act. Join Dr. Jacob Friefeld from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum as he discusses this important part of the Lincoln legacy.

Dr. Jacob Friefeld is a historian and a writer. His book, Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History, challenges the scholarly consensus about Homestead Act of 1862. His forthcoming book, The First Migrants: How Black Homesteaders’ Quest for Land and Freedom Heralded America’s Great Migration, tells the epic story of Black Americans homesteading in the Great Plains after the Civil War.

Friefeld has a passion for making history accessible for broad audiences through his writing, public speaking, and work at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum where he serves as the Illinois and Midwest Studies Research Historian.

This program will livestream on Looking for Lincoln's Facebook page and YouTube Channel. The event is FREE. Please do not click on any links that take you to pay page. Our free Facebook events will never ask you for a credit card. If you have trouble finding the event, check the main news feed on the page, and do not click on links in the comments.

Event Information

When: Wednesday, May 10, 2023 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM