Working the Range: Essays on the History of Western Land Management and the Environment

By John R. Wunder | Go to book overview

III
LAND POLICY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

"They have borne and forborne, and waited, and waited for
something to be done to extinguish the Indian titles, until fur-
ther forbearance ceases to be a virtue. . . . Hence hundreds have
gone over, and thousands will soon follow, and make claims. . . .

"The country must be settled and improved and that speedily;
Missouri is no longer to be on the borders of civilization. And
woe be unto the man or the set of men who attempts to resist the
onward march of the Anglosaxon race towards the setting sun,
Nebraska! To Nebraska is now the rallying cry of thousands
upon our borders. The cold steel of infantry' has no terrors for
them. They are determined now to act, and take the country and
settle it. Who'll prevent the people from settling on Uncle Sam's
farm?"

Lucien J. Eastin, Editor,
St. Joseph ( Missouri) Gazette,
April 26, 1854

The task of making the farmlands and ranchlands available efficiently and economically to the thousands who desired them was difficult. Demand frequently pressured the bureaucratic apparatus, forcing government to adopt and modify land policy. In turn, these land policies would satisfy in part only legitimate farming and ranching needs.

-111-

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