The state of Nebraska was sure to cover as many points as possible in relation to public land received from the federal government. This act lumps together “general schools”, what would later become public schools, and the university. The act specifies in length the bureaucratic procedures that were to be taken to ensure the value of the lands would forever go “undiminished.” In short, all proceeds from land sales were to be directed to the treasurer of the State. In turn the treasurer would invest the proceeds in United Sates or State securities, which were to bear not less than six per cent annual interest. The annual interest then supplemented the university fund.
This act made the unification of the state college and agricultural college official. It also recognizes that the federally endowed land need still be surveyed.
This short piece of legislation shows the Nebraska legislature acknowledging their acceptance of 90,000 acres and 72 sections of public land for the purpose of an agricultural college. Additionally the State is clarifying their intent to work within the legal confines of land sales set forth by the federal government.
This is a reprint of the original Morrill Act passed in 1862. The Nebraska legislature printed it in their records verbatim, with the final passage being a complete acceptance of the federal terms.
An Act to Establish the University of Nebraska (section 21)
This piece of legislation is critical for the establishment of the University of Nebraska. The state legislature dictated all aspects of a university's function for as far as they could foresee.
Section 21 of the Act is particular to the federal land endowment. The division of the University fund is clearly articulated. Very little of the language deviates from the original Morrill Act.
Two years after the original passage of the act to establish the university, this short amendment was created. The legislature wanted to clearly delineate between the regents’ fund and the university fund. Where two thirds of land sale profits would benefit the university fund, and the other third was to supplement the regents’ fund.
This brief section stipulates that land sales were not to exceed 40 acres large. This was intended to keep land speculators from buying up large tracts of land.