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An act approved May 5, 1866, further enlarged the area of Nevada by the addition of territory taken from Utah and Arizona, described as follows: 76
That, as provided for and consented to in the constitution of the State of Nevada, all that territory and tract of land adjoining the present eastern boundary of the State of Nevada, and lying between the thirty-seventh and the fortysecond degrees of north latitude and west of the thirty-seventh degree of longirude west of Washington, is hereby added to and made a part of the State of Nevada.
That there is hereby added to and made a part of the State of Nevada all that extent of territory lying within the following boundaries, to wit: Cominencing on the thirty-seventh degree of north latitude at the thirty-seventh degree of longitude west from Washington, and running thence south on said degree of longitude to the middle of the river Colorado of the West; thence down the middle of said river to the eastern boundary of the State of California; thence northwesterly along said boundary of California to the thirty-seventh degree of north latitude; and thence east along said degree of latitude to the point of be. ginning.
The present State of Nevada according to statute is bounded on the east by the thirty-seventh meridian of longitude west of Washington, on the south by the middle of Colorado River to the thirty-fifth parallel, on the southwest by the California line, on the west by the one hundred and twentieth meridian of longitude, and on the north by the forty-second parallel.
The north boundary of Nevada was surveyed in 1873 from an initial point on the Utah-Nevada line, whose latitude had been carefully determined in 1871, westward to a post set in 1868 for the northeast corner of California. The measured distance was 310 miles 48 chains. The marks placed on the line were mounds of earth, wooden posts, or small stones. This line passed the meridian boundary between Idaho and Oregon at 152 miles 72 chains from the northeast corner of Nevada and 4 chains south of the terminal mark of the 1868 survey.
The east boundary of Nevada, which follows the thirty-seventh meridian west of Washington, was surveyed in 1870. The longitude for the initial point was found by direct measurement east from Pilot Peak, whose latitude and longitude had been determined by triangulation from the Salt City astronomic station. The assumed longitude of Pilot Peak was 114° 04' 55.4" west from Greenwich; the latest determination by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey is 114°04' 36.27" (North American datum). The initial point thus selected for the boundary was in the middle of the track of the Central Pacific Railroad (now the Southern Pacific). From this point the line was run northward a measured distance of 46 miles 40 chains to a position which sextant observations indicated was the forty-second parallel of latitude. In 1871 a long series of observations made with a zenith telescope showed that the mark at this point was too far north, consequently it was moved south 1 mile 12 chains in 1873.
70 14 Stat. L. 43.
From the initial point the line was then run south to Colorado River. At a point 1.16 chains south of the railroad track a granite shaft 8 feet high, with its top dressed to 1 foot square and suitably marked, was placed in a pile of rocks, and 298 miles 56 chains south of the railroad a mark was set for the southwest corner of Utah. This mark was later found to be too far north and in 1901 was moved 1 mile 31.51 chains south. (See p. 205.) The distance as then measured, from the initial point on the railroad track to Colorado River, was 356 miles 23.76 chains. This part of the line as well as that north of the railroad was marked with wooden posts, single stones, or mounds of earth and stones.
The following positions on the boundary line between Utah and Nevada have been determined by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey:"
The one hundred and twentieth meridian boundary between Nevada and California was first marked between 1860 and 1863. A new line farther west was surveyed and marked in 1868, when a point for the intersection of the meridian with the forty-second parallel (the south boundary of Oregon) was established. A third lino was run in 1872, and a wooden post in a large pile of stones as a mark for the intersection of the one hundred and twentieth meridian and the forty-second parallel was placed at a point more than 3 miles east of the 1868 corner. This line is the one which still governs, although it was found in 1889 to be considerably west of the true position of the one hundred and twentieth meridian where it intersects the shore of Lake Tahoe.
The following geographio positions on the California-Nevada meridian boundary on North American datum have been determined: 78
A G-foot cast-iron post on south side of road between Verdi, Nev., and
39 31 29. 51
120 00 04.05
Special Pub. 19, pp. 105–107. ** Idern, pp. 113–114.
Correct marking on the ground of the oblique boundary line between Nevada and California is very difficult. The south terminus is the intersection of the thirty-fifth parallel with the middle of Colorado River. The north terminus is the intersection of the one hundred and twentieth meridian of longitude and the thirty-ninth parallel of latitude, which falls in Lake Tahoe more than 2 miles from shore; furthermore several kinds of lines that will answer the definition of a “straight line” may be run on the earth's surface.79 The line actually adopted for the survey of 1893–1899 is a geodetic line, which is the shortest line between the two terminals.
Surveys for this boundary line or parts of it were made in 1852, 1855, 1861, 1865, 1873, 1889, and 1890. The present boundary, which was run by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1893– 1899, differs materially from the previous lines. It was accepted as the true boundary by California act of March 1, 1901, and by Nevada act of February 27, 1903, but has not yet been confirmed by Congress. The azimuth of this line from monument No. 1, at Lake Tahoe, is S. 48° 43' 20" E., and from the first monument at the Colorado it is N. 45° 31' 19'' W. Its total length is 405.146 miles, and 142 large stone or concrete marks were set on it at intervals of 1 to 5 miles.
The Territory of Idaho was formed March 3, 1863, from parts of Washington, Dakota, and Nebraska. (See figs. 17 and 22.) Its original limits, which included the present States of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, were given as follows in the act organizing the Territory:80
That all that part of the territory of the United States included within the following limits, to wit: beginning at a point in the middle channel of the Snake River where the northern boundary of Oregon intersects the same; then follow down said channel of Snake River to a point opposite the mouth of the Kooskooskia, or Clearwater River; thence due north to the forty-ninth parallel of latitude; thence east along said parallel to the twenty-seventh degree of longitude west of Washington; thence south along said degree of longitude to the northern boundary of Colorado Territory; thence west along said boundary to the thirty-third degree of longitude west of Washington ; thence north along said degree to the forty-second parallel of latitude; thence west along said parallel to the eastern boundary of the State of Oregon ; thence north along said boundary to the place of beginning.
From this area Montana was formed in 1864 (see p. 195) and Wyoming in 1868, but part of the territory of Wyoming had been in the meantime restored to Dakota. These changes reduced the
79 See Coast and Geodetic Survey Rept. for 1900, appendix 3. 80 12 Stat. L. 808.
limits of Idaho to those described as follows in the act of admission to statehood, approved July 3, 1890: 81
Beginning at the intersection of the thirty-ninth meridian with the boundary line between the United States and the British Possessions, then following said meridian south until it reaches the summit of the Bitter Root Mountains; thence southeastward along the crest of the Bitter Root range and the continental divide until it intersects the meridian of thirty-four degrees of longitude; thence southward on this meridian to the forty-second parallel of latitude; thence west on this parallel of latitude to its intersection with a meridian drawn through the mouth of the Owyhee River; north on this meridian to the mouth of the Owyhee River; thence down the mid-channel of the Snake River to the mouth of the Clearwater River; and thence north on the meridian which passes through the mouth of the Clearwater to the boundary line between the United States and the British Possessions, ånd east on said boundary line to the place of beginning.
The west boundary of Idaho from the mouth of the Clearwater to the forty-ninth parallel was surveyed and marked in 1873 under the direction of the General Land Office. The surveyor who did this work spent several days in attempts to find the position of the mouth of the Clearwater and finally selected the point where empty casks set adrift in the channels of the Snake and the Clearwater bumped together. This line was retraced and 177 stone or iron posts were set on it by the United States Geological Survey in 1908.82
The meridian boundary between Idaho and Oregon from the middle of the main channel of Snake River at the mouth of the Owyhee southward to the calculated position of the forty-second parallel, was surveyed and marked in 1868 under the direction of the General Land Office. The latitude of the north end of this line was determined from more than 300 sextant observations as 43° 48' 41.1". The position for the south end was also determined from sextant observations. The measured length of the line was 124 miles 17.2 chains. The marks consisted of wooden posts, small stones, or mounds of stone.
The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1915 located a point on this line near its north end, the position of which is latitude 43° 43' 22.43", longitude 117° 01' 33.65" (North American datum).
The east meridian boundary, from the forty-second parallel northward a measured distance of 245 miles 564 chains, was surveyed in 1874 under the direction of the General Land Office, and a mark was set on the assumed crest of the Rocky Mountains (the Continental Divide) for the corner common to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. From this mark along the crest of the mountains to the intersection with the thirty-ninth Washington meridian the survey was made in 1904–1906 by the General Land Office. The surveyor who ran the line in 1906 found the tri-State mark about 6 miles too far north. He therefore replaced it with a new mark in the corrected position. (See p. 196.)
26 Stat. L. p. 215. & See U. S. Geol, Survey Bull. 466, 1911, for final report and plat of line.
The thirty-ninth meridian boundary (116° 03' 02.3'' west of Greenwich) was surveyed in 1874 and resurveyed by the United States Geological Survey in 1898–99, and 92 metal or stone marks were placed along a measured distance of 70.7 miles.83
For reference to the northern boundary see page 20, and for the southern boundary see pages 205 and 208.
The Territory of Washington was organized March 2, 1853, from a part of Oregon Territory. (See fig. 22.)
(See fig. 22.) Its original limits
FIGURÐ 22.-Historical diagram of Washington. (The heavy line below the word
“ Snake” does not mark a boundary and should be a light line.) were defined in the following clause from the act of Congress creat
ing it: 84
That from and after the passage of this act all that portion of Oregon Territory lying and being south of the forty-ninth degree of north latitude, and north of the middle of the main channel of the Columbia River from its mouth to where the forty-sixth degree of north latitude crosses said river, near Fort Walla Walla, thence with said forty-sixth degree of latitude to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, be organized into and constitute a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Washington.
83 See U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 170 for complete report and plat. 84 10 Stat. L, 172.