Enactment of the 1850 Swamp Land Act
On September 28, 1850, Congress passed the Swamp Land Act of 1850. The Swamp Land Act of 1850 was the second piece of legislation passed in regards to the overflowing of Swamp Lands in the South. The first bill was passed on year earlier, in Mississippi. These Act ceded all unusable land due to swamps and flooding to be ceded to the State Governments. The states were then given the rights to sell the land to independent parties and speculators who wanted to purchase land for their investments or to establish commerce. The proceeds from these slates were then meant to be used by the State to establish means for future flood protection in other parts of the state.
The passage of this act helped to solidify many of the independent drainage efforts in these states that had previously been beset with scandal. The states granted the act in 1850 were: Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Missouri.
- Southern Recorder, September 20, 1850.
- Charles Wilson and William Ferris, The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 355, 381.
- David Vaught, "After the Gold Rush: Replicating the Rural Midwest in the Sacramento Valley," The Western Historical Quarterly Vol. 34, Part 4 (2003): 447-468.