Skip to main content

Florida Homesteaders Photographs

Identifier: SC-115

Scope and Contents

This collection contains one series, arranged in A-Z order by title.

Series I: Photographs, Circa 1908, contains 75 black and white silver gelatin photographs, approximately 6 x 8 inches, mounted onto black stiff card stock. As a number of the photogrographs bear the photographer's stamp: "Duplicates of this photo, by Edwin A. Brush, Lakeland, Fla., phone no. 216-Two-R." It is assumed the images are of Florida families, farm life, and nature.


  • Circa 1908


Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Homesteading is a lifestyle characterized by self-sufficiency, including subsistence farming (Homesteading). The United States government took advantage of the homesteading lifestyle to encourage migration to certain areas of the country, especially the West and Great Plains, by passing acts (Homestead Act of 1862). The Homestead Act of 1862, which took effect in January 1863, promised 160 acres of farmland to United States citizens aged 21 and older or who were the head of the family (Homestead Acts). Whoever stayed on the land then had to stay for five years, cultivate the land, and build a house (Homestead Acts). If they could pay $1.25 per acre, they could own the land after six months of residence (The Florida Homestead Act). The small list of requirements for obtaining land meant that freed slaves, women, and immigrants planning on becoming citizens were eligible (Homestead Act of 1862). After the passing of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, African-Americans also became eligible (Homestead Acts).

There were several different homesteading laws passed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, including the Southern Homestead Act of 1866. This act was meant to alleviate the debt of farmers and reduce sharecropping in post-Reconstruction South by selling land at even lower prices than before (Southern Homestead Act). However, the act was unsuccessful because people were still unable to afford the prices, and it was repealed in 1876 (Southern Homestead Act). There was renewed interest in homesteading during the Great Depression when President Roosevelt implemented the Subsistence Homesteading program as part of the New Deal (Homestead Acts).

Homesteading ended in 1976 when Congress passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which repealed the previous homesteading acts (Homestead Acts). The exception to this was the state of Alaska, where homesteading was allowed until 1986 (Homestead Acts).

Fink, Robert. Homestead Act of 1862. Encyclopedia Britannica, date accessed 12 April 2019.

Homesteading. Wikipedia, date accessed 11 April 2019.

Homestead Acts. Wikipedia, date accessed 11 April 2019.

The Florida Homestead Act of 1862. Florida Homestead Services, date accessed 12 April 2019.

Southern Homestead Act of 1866. Wikipedia, date accessed 11 April 2019.


2 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is comprised of 75 photographs taken by Edwin A. Brush of homesteaders in what is presumed to be Florida in the early 20th century. Photographs show a variety of people, farm life, and nature.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

University of Central Florida Special Collections and University Archives purchased these materials in 2017. (CFM2017_12)

Processing Information

Removed photographs from original plastic sleeves and individually placed in acid free folders and boxes. Photographs were then reorganized by title in A-Z order.

Florida Homesteaders Photographs
Ria Heising
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the UCF Special Collections Repository

Special Collections & University Archives
University of Central Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 162666
Orlando Florida 32816-2666 US
(407) 823-2576