The text of the Land-Grant Act of 1862 (and more) is found in Title 7, Chapter 13 of the United States Code.1

Sponsored by Justin Smith Morrill, a Congressman from Vermont,2 the Land- Grant Act of 1862 was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2. Also known as the Morrill Act, it granted to each State 30,000 acres of land per congressional delegate. The States were directed to sell this land and use the proceeds to establish "at least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts..."

The second Morrill Act, or "Agricultural College Act of 1890", extended the provisions to the southern States which had been excluded from the first Act because of the Civil War. Ironically, before the War, these States' delegates had blocked similar enactments in Congress. This second Act also expanded the grant system to include black institutions.

Later, the "Smith-Lever Act" of May 8, 1914 established agricultural extension services "in order to aid in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on the subjects relating to agriculture, uses of solar energy with respect to agriculture, home economics, and rural energy..." Extension work included "development of practical of instruction and practical persons not attending or resident in said colleges in the several communities."


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.