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This stamp was used by the National Reform Party to impress the phrase "Vote the Land Free" on U. S. coins in the 1840s. In 1844, the National Reform Association (NRA) was organized by George Henry Evans in New York City to lobby Congress for free homesteads in the West. By marking coins, the NRA hoped to attract recognition.
The donor, Ellis Smalley was a blacksmith, political activist, and former probate judge near Council Grove. Smalley was a delegate from Plainfield, New Jersey, at the first convention held in October of 1845, and was elected Secretary of the National Reform Association. Among his duties, on May 16, 1844, Smalley and other members of the NRA signed a letter to Joseph Smith, leader of the Mormon Church, asking Smith's opinions concerning public lands. In 1848, NRA was absorbed into other political movements, like the Free Soil and Abolitionists. The efforts of the NRA led to the Homestead Act of 1862. By 1878 Smalley had moved to Kansas and was noted as a member of the City Council of Council Grove.

Date: between 1844 and 1848

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Vote the Land Free stamp - 1

Item Number: 212514
KSHS Identifier: 1882.15.1

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