Learn About the Morill Land Grant Acts

"AN ACT Donating Public Lands to the several States and Territories which may provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts." -- First Morrill Act, 1862

Summary: Morrill Act of 1862 established the Land Grant university system.

On July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law what is generally referred to as the Land Grant Act. The new piece of legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont granted to each state 30,000 acres of public land for each Senator and Representative under apportionment based on the 1860 census. Proceeds from the sale of these lands were to be invested in a perpetual endowment fund which would provide support for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts in each of the states.

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FIRST MORRILL ACT. July 2, 1862. AN ACT Donating Public Lands to the several States and Territories which may provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.

SECOND MORRILL ACT. August 30, 1890. AN ACT To apply a portion of the proceeds of the public lands to the more complete endowment and support of the colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts established under the provisions of an act of Congress approved July second, eighteen hundred and sixty-two.

See also: Bankhead-Jones Act
See also: Sea-Grant Act
See also: Hatch Act
See also: Smith-Lever Act