Land Act of 1804

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The Land Act of 1804 was U.S. legislation that refined provisions for the purchase of U.S. public land north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi river. At the time, the region was divided into the Indiana Territory and the State of Ohio. The goal of the change was to make migration to the western United States more attractive. Titled An Act making provision for the disposal of the public lands in the Indiana territory, and for other purposes, the act was passed by Congress on March 26, 1804.[1]

The Land Act of 1804 superseded the Harrison Land Act of 1800, introduced by William Henry Harrison, then the congressional delegate representing the Northwest Territory. The goal of the legislation was to attract more immigrants to the western United States by allowing smaller tracts of land to be sold, rather than large tracts that individuals could not afford. The Harrison Land Act reduced the minimum amount of land that could be purchased from 640 acres (2.6 km2) to 320 acres (1.3 km2) and introduced a credit feature by which one-fourth of the purchase price was required at the time of purchase and the balance was payable in annual installments over four years. The minimum price of $2.00 an acre was unchanged from the Land Act of 1796, in which the price was doubled from that set by the Land Ordinance of 1785.

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  1. ^ "Chapter 35: Act of March 26, 1804", section 1

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