Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Homestead National Monument of America in Gage County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Boundaries of Freedom

 
 
Boundaries of Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2011
1. Boundaries of Freedom Marker
Inscription.
The fenceless plains were vast and open when early homesteaders first came here. But the very nature of homesteading - the possibility of an individual owning 160 acres - meant that somebody had to legally divide and define limits for the land.

The Land Ordinance of 1785 determined that land should be surveyed before settlement in a rectangular survey system. The basic unit was a township, a 36-square-mile area, that is further subdivided into sections and acres.

The Freemans homesteaded a quarter section, 160 acres, the number of acres specified under the Homestead Act of 1862. You are standing at the South-east corner of the Southwest quarter of the Northeast quarter of Section 26, Township 4 N, Range 5 E.

To homesteaders the boundaries created by surveyors were signs of freedom in a bountiful country that made a way for an ordinary family to own a piece of land.

[Regarding the background map on the marker]
Aerial views clearly show the United State Rectangular Survey System. Can you identify a section? a half section? a quarter-quarter section?

Notice the Freeman homestead is an odd shape. Homesteads could be any shape desired as long as each quarter-quarter section shared a side. In what other shapes could a homestead be made?
 
Erected by
Boundaries of Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 30, 2011
2. Boundaries of Freedom Marker
Looking east
National Park Service.
 
Location. 40° 17.087′ N, 96° 49.629′ W. Marker is in Homestead National Monument of America, Nebraska, in Gage County. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8523 West Nebraska Hwy 4, Beatrice NE 68310, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Close Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Is All Barbed Wire the Same? (within shouting distance of this marker); Homesteading's Legacy is Written on the Land (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Prairie Reborn (about 300 feet away); Walk in Their Shoes (about 300 feet away); The Homestead Heritage Center (about 400 feet away); Success Was Only Natural (about 400 feet away); Do You Live Near a Homestead? (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Homestead National Monument of America.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Land Ordinance of 1785. (Submitted on September 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Land Ordinance of 1785. (Submitted on September 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Homestead Act in 100 Milestone Documents. (Submitted on September 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Homestead Act - Primary Documents in American History. (Submitted on September 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Homestead National Monument of America
Freeman Homestead on Boundaries of Freedom Marker image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service, undated
3. Freeman Homestead on Boundaries of Freedom Marker
. (Submitted on September 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. AgricultureCharity & Public WorkPoliticsSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 354 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 25, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Paid Advertisement