Viewing Pre-emption Act of 1841
The Pre-emption Act of 1841 was passed by the 27th Congress on September 4, 1841. It encouraged settlement of new states and territories by permitting settlers or squatters on government land to purchase up to 160 acres for not less than $1.25 per acre before that tract was offered for sale to the public. The settlers had to reside on and improve their claim before they could buy it. The Act was a shift away from a policy of selling public lands to raise money for the federal treasury and toward one that encouraged settlement of the country.