"Graduation refers to an Act of 1854 that reduced the price of public lands that had been
on the market for more than 10 years. Sales were to benefit bona fide
settlers and adjoining farm owners. There were no specific residence
and improvement requirements but [there was] a 320 acre limitation.
The law was repealed in 1862. Most lands were in Alabama, Arkansas
and Missouri. Nearly 26 million acres sold under the Act."