The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 Law and Legal Definition

The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 is a U.S. federal statute enacted by the Congress of the United States to promote homestead settlement in the Oregon Territory in the Pacific Northwest. It permitted settlers on unsurveyed lands to select claims without regard to legal subdivisions. Each settler could have 320 acres of land, and married couples could claim 640 acres with the proviso that settlers "shall have resided upon and cultivated the same for four consecutive years" before earning final title. This Act was first instituted in Oregon's Willamette Valley, then in California. Later the Act extended to Washington. Its provisions encouraged settlement and the development of Western lands. This Act is the forerunner of the later enacted Homestead Act. The Act expired on December 1, 1855.

The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 is also known as Oregon Land Law.