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What happened to claims that were abandoned?

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What happened to claims that were abandoned?

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Of the approximately two million claims made under the Homestead Act, about sixty (60) percent were unsuccessful. Claims not “proved up” (meaning that the homesteaders on them did not complete the ownership requirements and receive title to the property) were known as relinquishments. When a homesteader relinquished his or her claim, it reverted back to the active control of the U.S. government. Most relinquishments were opened back up to homesteading, and many new settlers moved onto relinquished claims in hopes of finding homes already built, trees cleared, wells dug, or crops planted.

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