1872 – Homestead Act Amended

During the Reconstruction Era, the Homestead Act was amended to add protections for people of color. Homestead grants were issued to citizens who met certain criteria. Since many people of color did not obtain full citizenship status until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, they did not qualify for the Homestead program. The Homestead Act was amended in 1872 to prohibit making a “distinction on account of race or color” in the issuance of Homestead grants thereby opening up the program to those who were not White.