ChiefsPlanet

ChiefsPlanet (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/index.php)
-   D.C. (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/forumdisplay.php?f=30)
-   -   Education History Trivia Question: 40 acres and a mule (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=264284)

La literatura 09-26-2012 03:15 PM

History Trivia Question: 40 acres and a mule
 
You might remember from your history classes about the radical Republican idea to provide former slaves with "40 acres and a mule."

My question to you all: where did they come up with the 40 acres?

Baby Lee 09-26-2012 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Literature (Post 8952696)
You might remember from your history classes about the radical Republican idea to provide former slaves with "40 acres and a mule."

My question to you all: where did they come up with the 40 acres?

Hint: The metric system wasn't much used, and was barely introduced, in America at the time.

EDIT: Think Sections, Divisions, Subdivisions, and Homesteads.

Aries Walker 09-26-2012 03:34 PM

There was no complex mathematical formula involved; Sherman wanted to placate the black people he was freeing with the promise of a bunch of land all their own, so he made the number up. It's really about that simple.

Amnorix 09-26-2012 04:13 PM

Would have come from former slave owners, if I understand your question correctly. Never got far.

Aries Walker 09-26-2012 04:16 PM

Oh, I was reading it as "where did they get the number 40".

The idea was that Sherman, during his March to the Sea, would seize white slave-owners' lands (plantations, basically) and give them to the black people. It didn't last; as soon as Johnson took over, he cancelled the whole deal, and gave the land back to the whites it was taken from.

Baby Lee 09-26-2012 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aries Walker (Post 8952809)
Oh, I was reading it as "where did they get the number 40".

That's what I thought the question was. If it's as Amno is stating, yeah, it was a swath of abandoned, but still titled, land in the SE US.

The mules weren't part of the proclamation, Sherman just had a bunch of mules left over from the campaign that he let applicants pick from to run their farming operations.

If it's as I original understood it, 40 acres is 1/4 mile x 1/4 mile. Original surveyors designated Sections as 1x1 mi., then divided 1/2x1/2 and subdivided into 16 40 acre plots in a square mile.

The cynic in me is half expecting Jenson to bring in some theory that 40 acres was 1/4 of a Homestead, like N***ers were 1/4 of a citizen.

La literatura 09-26-2012 04:29 PM

I'm thinking, 'Where did they come up with the number 40,' not, from whom do they take the land from.

Why 40, and not 30 or 50?

La literatura 09-26-2012 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baby Lee (Post 8952813)
If it's as I original understood it, 40 acres is 1/4 mile x 1/4 mile. Original surveyors designated Sections as 1x1 mi., then divided 1/2x1/2 and subdivided into 16 40 acre plots in a square mile.

You sound like a lawyer trained west of the Alleghenies. It wouldn't surprise me if Amnorix had never known that because there was no large scale, uniformed surveying in the original colonies, whose counties form around waters.

La literatura 09-26-2012 04:38 PM

There is no book that I can find about this huge project of surveying the entire country west of the Allegheny Mtns, and there should be one. I guess I'll have to do it.

Pawnmower 09-26-2012 04:38 PM

I think standard block of land (i forgot the name) was like 160 acres or 320...way back in the day....My dad had a 40 acre block and some of my other relatives had 160 / 80 acre blocks...

So my answer is that 40 is 25% of 160, and a common small piece back in the dizzle.

ChiefsCountry 09-26-2012 04:39 PM

Its 1/16 of a section of land, which 640 acres.

Baby Lee 09-26-2012 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Literature (Post 8952844)
You sound like a lawyer trained west of the Alleghenies. It wouldn't surprise me if Amnorix had never known that because there was no large scale, uniformed surveying in the original colonies, whose counties form around waters.

Heh, more like growing up in KC, where the numbered streets are in 1/10s of miles. Most suburban blocks are 1/10 x 2/10 [learned that when I got a 10 speed with a speedometer on it]. Then it occured to me things like 195th street is just shy of 20 miles [ie, 19.5] from downtown.

JonesCrusher 09-26-2012 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Literature (Post 8952830)
I'm thinking, 'Where did they come up with the number 40,' not, from whom do they take the land from.

Why 40, and not 30 or 50?

Is starting a thread the first thought that comes to mind when you have a random question?

Amnorix 09-26-2012 04:44 PM

Ah, why 40? Yeah, no clue. West of Mississippi land stuff -- also no clue.

La literatura 09-26-2012 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pawnmower (Post 8952851)
I think standard block of land (i forgot the name) was like 160 acres or 320...way back in the day....My dad had a 40 acre block and some of my other relatives had 160 / 80 acre blocks...

So my answer is that 40 is 25% of 160, and a common small piece back in the dizzle.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiefsCountry (Post 8952852)
Its 1/16 of a section of land, which 640 acres.

Yeah, you guys know your stuff. 640 acres is a square mile, and that's how the entire frontier was basically chalked off. And within that square mile, you divided into quarters, which could again be. and commonly was, divided into quarters.

And every title abstract and legal description of land that's not platted in a city (and maybe some that is), starts off being called something like "The NW1/4 of the SE1/4 of [that particularly labeled square mile (e.g., Sec. 12 of Township 13 of Range 14)


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:53 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.