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That when the Indian title to all the lands lying between the State of Missouri and the Missouri river shall be extinguished, the jurisdiction over said lands shall be hereby ceded to the State of Missouri, and the western boundary of said State shall be then extended to the Missouri river.
The north boundary of Missouri was surveyed and marked in part in 1816 and the remainder in 1850 under the General Land Office. "4
The Territory remaining after the formation of the State bore the name of Missouri for many years thereafter. In 1834 the part north of the State of Missouri and east of Missouri and White Earth rivers was annexed to the Territory of Michigan. (For further history of this portion, see Michigan, pp. 172–174; Iowa, p. 179; Minnesota, p. 182; and Dakota, p. 183.) In 1854 Kansas and Nebraska Terri- . tories were formed, absorbing the remainder. (See Kansas, p. 190, and Nebraska, p. 186.)
The following are the boundaries of Missouri as at present established by statute: The east boundary is the mid-channel of the Mississippi from the mouth of the Des Moines to its point of intersection with the thirty-sixth parallel of latitude; the south boundary begins at the latter point and runs west on the parallel of 36 degrees of latitude to St. Francis River, thence up the mid-channel of that river to the parallel of latitude 36° 30', thence west on that parallel to its intersection by a meridian passing through the middle of the mouth of Kansas River; the west boundary is the last-mentioned meridian as far north as the mouth of Kansas River, thence it follows northwestward the mid-channel of Missouri River to the parallel of latitude passing through the rapids of the Des Moines River, which is approximately the parallel of 40° 35'; the north boundary is the last-mentioned parallel as far east as its point of intersection with Des Moines River, whence it follows the midchannel of Des Moines River southward to its mouth.
For the survey of the south boundary see Arkansas, pages 159–160, and for the north boundary see Iowa, pages 180–181.
The west boundary of Missouri south of the mouth of Kansas River was surveyed in 1823, and a large stone post was set to mark the southwest corner of the State, at a point which sextant observations showed to be in latitude 36° 30'. This position as determined by the Geological Survey in 1906 is latitude 36° 29' 58.0", longitude 94° 37' 02.9".05 The 1823 survey of the south boundary of the State was begun at this stone. In 1845 a mound of earth having a 10-foot base and 5 feet high was placed at a point 4.83 chains farther south.
** Nearly all the boundaries of States west of the Mississippi were surveyed under the direction of the General Land Office, most of them by contract surveyors. The field notes and plats for these surveys have been cataloged and are filed in Division L of the General Land Office, where they can be consulted by anyone wishing full details for any line. Copies of the notes and plats for many States have been filed with the surveyors general of the several States.
86 U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 440, p. 488, 1910.
The west boundary of the State was resurveyed and re-marked in 1844-45.
A dispute concerning the river boundary between Missouri and Nebraska was settled in 1904 by the Supreme Court,96 which reaffirmed the old rule that a sudden change in the course of a river does not affect a boundary line.
Iowa was organized as a Territory on July 3, 1838, from a portion of Wisconsin Territory. (See Pl. VII and fig. 15.) The limits were defined as follows in the act creating it: 97 all that part of the present Territory of Wisconsin which lies west of the Mississippi river, and west of a line drawn due north from the headwaters or sources of the Mississippi to the Territorial line.
The approximate position of the outlet of Lake Itasca, which is generally accepted as the source of the Mississippi (see footnote, p. 25), is latitude 47° 143', longitude 95° 13'. The river runs northwestward for about 6 miles before it turns east. The north and south boundary line across the western part of the Lake of the Woods is in longitude 95° 09' 11.6" (p. 12).
The lawmakers in Congress in writing the act creating the Territory of Iowa evidently had in mind their troubles over the Ohio-Michigan boundary, and to avoid any future question as to the power of Congress they reserved the right to divide the new Territory into two or more Territories or to attach any part of it to any other State or Territory.
The following clause from an act passed in 1839 is supplementary to the act above quoted : 88
That the middle or center of the main channel of the river Mississippi shall be deemed, and is hereby declared, to be the eastern boundary line of the Territory of Iowa, so far or to such extent as the said Territory is bounded Eastwardly by or upon said river.
On March 3, 1845, an act was approved for the admission of Iowa to the Union as a State, but the act required that the assent of the people of Iowa be given to it by popular vote. In this act the boundaries were given as follows:
That the following shall be the boundaries of the said State of Iowa, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Des Moines river, at the middle of the Mississippi, thence by the middle of the channel of that river to a parallel of latitode passing through the mouth of the Mankato or Blue-Earth river [latitude
son 196 U. S. 23 and 197 U. S. 577.
5 Stat. L. 235. * 5 Stat. L. 357. * 5 Stat. L. 742.
44° 10'), thence west along the said parallel of latitude to a point where it is intersected by a meridian line, seventeen degrees and thirty minutes west of the meridian of Washington city, thence due south to the northern boundary line of the State of Missouri, thence eastwardly following that boundary to the point at which the same intersects the Des Moines river, thence by the middle of the channel of that river to the place of beginning.
These boundaries were not acceptable to the people and by a popular vote were rejected.
Another constitutional convention was held in May, 1846, and Congress passed an act, approved August 4, 1846, fixing the boundaries in accordance with the wishes of the people and described as follows:
Beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River at point due east of the middle of the mouth of the main channel of the Des Moines River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines River to a point on said river where the northern boundary line of the State of Missouri, as established by the constitution of that State, adopted June twelfth, eighteen hundred and twenty, crosses the said middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines River; thence westwardly along the said northern boundary line of the State of Missouri, as established at the time aforesaid, until an extension of said line intersect the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River, thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Missouri River, to a point opposite the middle of the main channel of the Big Sioux River, according to Nicollet's map; thence up the main channel of the said Big Sioux River, according to said map, until it is intersected by the parallel of forty-three degrees and thirty minutes north latitude; thence east along said parallel of forty-three degrees and thirty minutes, until said parallel intersect the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence down the middle of the main channel of said Mississippi River to the place of bcginning.
Iowa was finally declared admitted to full statehood by act of December 28, 1846.2
The admission of Iowa appears to have left a large area to the north and west unattached, which so remained until Minnesota Territory was organized, in 1849.
The act of August 4, 1846, directed that a long-standing dispute between Missouri and Iowa Territory regarding their common boundary be refered to the United States Supreme Court for adjudication. The area claimed by both was a strip of land about 10 miles wide and 200 miles long, north of the present boundary. Missouri maintained that the clause in that State's enabling act, " the rapids of the river Des Moines," referred to rapids in the river of that name and not to rapids of a similar name in the Mississippi, also that the Indian boundary line run and marked in 1816 by authority of the United States, known as the Sullivan line, was erroneously established. A line claimed by Missouri was run by J. C. Brown in 1837 by order of the State legislature.
19 Stat. L. 52. 99 Stat. L. 117,
The United States Supreme Court decided in 1849 that the Sullivan line of 1816 is the correct boundary and ordered that it be resurveyed. The report of the commissioners appointed by the court to re-mark the line was accepted in 1851.6.
So many of the marks on this line as established in 1850 had become lost or destroyed that the United States Supreme Court in 1896 ordered that certain parts be reestablished, especially those between mileposts 50 and 55. Accordingly 20 miles of line was resurveyed by officers of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1896, and durable monuments of granite or iron were established thereon. The geographic position of milepost No. 40 was determined as latitude 40° 34.4', longitude 95° 51', and that of No. 60 as latitude 40° 34.6', longitude 93° 28'.
The survey of the north boundary of Iowa on the parallel of 43° 30', authorized by congressional act of March 3, 1849, was completed in 1852. The position for each end of the line and for several intermediate points was determined astronomically.
This is the first State thus far noted having a boundary referred to the Washington meridian. Congress by act approved September 28, 1850,7 ordered:
That hereafter the meridian of the observatory at Washington shall be adopted and used as the American meridian for all astronomic purposes and . Greenwich for nautical purposes.
This order was repealed August 22, 1912.8
The meridian passing through the center of the dome of the old Naval Observatory at Washington, on the grounds now occupied by the Naval Hospital, was the line referred to, which is 5 hours 8 minutes 12.15 seconds or 77° 03' 02.3" west of Greenwich. There is therefore a difference of 03' 02.3'' of longitude between even degrees of the two meridians, Washington and Greenwich. The linear value of this interval varies with the latitude: For southern Kansas (latitude 37°) it is 2.8 miles; for southern New Mexico it is 3 miles; for northern Montana it is 2.3 miles. The center of the clock house of the present Naval Observatory is 77° 03' 56.7" (astronomic) west of Greenwich.
. For a full discussion of the case see 7 Howard 660 (17 U. S. 337).
For a full report, which contains extracts from notes of previous surveys, see 165
*9 Stat. L. 515.
The Territory of Minnesota was organized on March 3, 1849. It comprised the portion of the former Territory of Iowa outside the limits of the present State of Iowa and extended east to the west boundary line of Wisconsin. (See fig. 15.) The terms of the act creating this Territory, so far as they relate to its boundary, are as follows:
all that part of the territory of the United States which lies within the following limits, to wit: Beginning in the Mississippi River, at the point where the line of forty-three degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude crosses the same; thence running due west on said line, which is the northern boundary of the State of Iowa, to the northwest corner of the said State of Iowa; thence southerly along the western boundary of said State to the point where said boundary strikes the Missouri River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River to the mouth of the White-earth river; thence up the middle of the main channel of the White-earth River to the boundary line between the possessions of the United States and Great Britain; thence east and south of east along the boundary line between the possessions of the United States and Great Britain to Lake Superior; thence in a straight line to the northernmost point of the State of Wisconsin in Lake Superior; thence along the western boundary line of said State of Wisconsin to the Mississippi River; thence down the main channel of said river to the place of beginning.
Minnesota was admitted as a State on May 11, 1858, with the same boundaries that it has at present.10 These are given in the enabling act, as follows: 11
Beginning at the point in the center of the main channel of the Red River of the North, where the boundary line between the United States and the British Possessions crosses the same; thence up the main channnel of said river to that of the Boix des Sioux River; thence [up] the main channel of said river to Lake Travers; thence up the center of said lake to the southern extremity thereof; thence in a direct line to the head of Big Stone Lake; thence through its center to its outlet; thence by a due south line to the north line of the State of Iowa; thence east along the northern boundary of said State to the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence up the main channel of said river, and following the boundary line of the State of Wisconsin, until the same intersects the Saint Louis River; thence down said river to and through Lake Superior, on the boundary line of Wisconsin and Michigan, until it intersects the dividing line between the United States and the British Possessions : thence up Pigeon River, and following said dividing line, to the place of beginning.
The western boundary line from Big Sioux River to Minnesota River was surveyed and marked in 1859-60 under the General Land Office. (See page 20 for the survey of the northern boundary, page 176 for the survey of the eastern boundary, and page 181 for the survey of the southern boundary.)
99 Stat. L. 403. 10 11 Stat. L. 285. 11 11 Stat. L. 166.