Justin Smith Morrill Homestead
The first National Historical Landmark established in Vermont, this homestead preserves the history of Justin Smith Morrill. The site is operated by the Friends of Morrill Homestead with the support of the site's owner, the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation. Morill rose from humble origins and served in the House and Senate for 44 years. Denied the opportunity to attend college, Morill authored legislation that led to the creation and expansion of state-subsidized universities.
Backstory and Context
The subsequent 1890 Morrill Act forced the former Confederate states to establish separate colleges for African Americans or desegregate the colleges established under the 1862 Morrill Act. The Jim Crow states chose to establish sixteen black colleges and universities (i.e. the 1890 Land Grant Institutions) under the auspices of this latter Act. This second Act provides federal funding to 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities that were established before 1964. Students and alumni of these institutions of higher learning played a pivotal role in the dismantling of Jim Crow and the passage of civil rights laws in the United States.