Fancher Family Association



These records contain numerous references to the Authority for these land sales as
April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry. This date refers to the Land Act of 1820.  Passed by Congress on 24 April 1820, this law abolished the purchase of public land on credit and required cash sales for public lands after 1 July 1820. It reduced the size of the tract from 160 to 80 acres, reduced the price from $1.65 to $1.25 per acre, and the act required only a down payment of $100 to gain clear title to 80 acres of land. (Before, under the old credit system, $80 had been required to make just a one-fourth payment on 160 acres.) The new law made land purchases more affordable than ever before to a broader spectrum of the American public. The public land was located in the Northwest Territories and Missouri (in what was then "the West"). The Land Act of 1820 was instrumental in ushering in a new age of Western influence. The low price of land made it possible for more settlers to move West, increasing the population there, and the Congressional seats from these eventual states. The Land Act of 1820 also helped quell land speculation, even in the aftermath of the numerous forfeitures associated with the Panic of 1819.
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