HOMESTEADERS- they produced some textiles, clothing, and craftwork, but mostly preserved foodstuffs.
Lead a self-sufficient lifestyle
They also made craftwork for household use, and sold it.
The Homestead Act of 1862 was signed into law in May. It opened up settlement in the Western United States. This allowed any American including freedmen, to put up a claim. Their claim could be for up to 160 acres of federal land.
During this time, many people suffered hardships. The Homestead Act stated that any citizen with a mere ten dollars could claim up to 160 acres of land. Some of the hardships suffered were fierce Prairie winds, fires, and swarms of grasshoppers. Droughts destroyed entire crops. The lack of trees forced home to be built out of sod. Also living on a homestead without farming experience proved it very hard to make a living.