What is a homesteader? Well, a homesteader was a person like you or me. They were not cowboys like many people say. Homesteaders left their homes for a specific reason. These reasons are looked at on page 3.
But no matter what their reason, the main thing is they were leaving their homes. They went on a very long and hard journey, and many did not make it to their destination. Homesteaders were people who left their homes.
They were people like you or me, not cowboys like movies make them out to be. They could be bankers, farmers, or anyone else who wanted to leave their homes for the west. It didn't matter if they were rich or poor. Everyone had a reason to be on the wagon train heading for the West. Homesteaders left for many reasons. These could be personal or physical. It may be something like the person had a sick aunt in the west and they were going to live with her.
Or a person may have went bankrupt and went to the west to seek a fortune. Many people left because the west had good farmlands. Or blacks left to escape the laws of the south. The next two pages describe two major reasons people left. One of the main reasons many homesteaders left was because of the Homestead Act.
The Homestead Act said that the government would give away 160 acres of land away to people for free. The only catch was the people had to pay a small registration fee and live and work the land for about 5 years. Another reason was because of gold.
Miners left their homes in the other parts of the US to go to the West. Many gold rushes were going on there. When the miners got there they set up boomtowns.
Boomtowns were small towns that were built in 3-5 days so the miners had a place to stay. They consisted mainly of shacks and tents. Many boomtowns were abandoned soon after they were built. They were then called ghost towns. Some boomtowns stayed towns and are now major cities.
Homesteaders did not take many things on their jo…