In a history of the development of public land laws published in 1968, Paul W. Gates, a noted historian of the west, summarized the 1891 Land Revision Act: “[T]he General Revision Act of March 3,1891, repealed the Timber Culture and Preemption Acts while preserving equities already established, required more specific information showing improvements and their value on desert land entries, denied the right of homestead to persons owning more than 160 acres, extended the commutation period to 14 months, ordered no further public auctions of lands except for military reservations and scattered tracts, and authorized the President to set aside public lands for reservations. Never before had Congress pruned out so many obsolete and incongruous provisions of past laws that had become subject to enormous abuses and provided additional safeguards to prevent laws still on the statute books from being misused. After most of the arable, grazing and forest resources of significant value had gone into private hands, frequently in large tracts, it was now possible for the Commissioner of the General Land Office to say, “The great object of the Government is to dispose of the public lands to actual settlers only—to bona fide tillers of the soil....” *

Posted by Deleted (9e2476b2) at 2020-11-21 02:48:35 UTC