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.
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.