A plot with 40 acres and four sides of 1,320 feet each contains 40 acres. A square mile is 640 acres with a length of 5,280 feet on each side.
The United States government began parcelling up land in 40-acre portions, commonly known as “quarter-quarter-sections,” in 1832. A section is 1 square mile, and a township on a map is made up of 36 enumerated sections. This portion notion inspired the phrase “40 acres and a mule.”
A parcel, in general, is a section of something, such as a piece of land. The term parcel is derived from the 1400s French term “parcele.”
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