Session 1: Clerks and Cowboys: The General Land Office and the Shaping of the United States

When the public thinks of the history of the American West, images of trappers, prospectors, and cowboys rush to mind, but the land office clerks, along with the members of Congress who wrote the land laws, were far more consequential (and often quite colorful) characters. Three historians will explore the origins of the General Land Office, as well as the most famous land law of all, the Homestead Act.

Anne Hyde

Professor of History at Colorado College

Paul Sutter

Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder