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ON TRIAL, OR RANDOM LINES, The trees are not to be blazed, unless occasionally from indispensable pecessity, and then it must be done so guardedly as to prevent the possibility of confounding the marks of the trial line with the true. But bushes and limbs of trees may be lopped, and stakes set on the trial, or random line, at every ten chains, to enable the surveyor on his return to follow and correct the trial line, and establish therefrom the true line. To prevent confusion, the temporary stakes set on the trial, or random lines, must be pulled up when the surveyor returns to establish the true line.


7. Under circumstances where your course is obstructed by impassable obstacles, such as ponds, swamps, marshes, lakes, rivers, creeks, &c., you will prolong the line across such obstacles by taking the necessary rightangle offsets; or, if such be inconvenient, by a traverse or trigonometrical operation, until you regain the line on the opposite side. And in case a north and south, or a true east and west, line is regained in advance of any such obstacle, you will prolong and mark the line back to the obstacle so passed, and state all the particulars in relation thereto in your field book. And at the intersection of lines with both margins of impassable obstacles, you will establish a Witness Point, (for the purpose of perpetuating the intersections therewith,) by setting a post, and giving in your field book the course and distance therefrom to two trees on opposite sides of the line, each of which trees you will mark with a blaze and notch facing the post; but on the margins of navigable water-courses, or navigable lakes, you will mark the trees with the proper number of the fractional section, township,

and range.

ver The best marking tools adapted to the purpose must be provided for marking neatly and distinctly all the letters and figures required to be made at corners; and the deputy is to have always at hand the necessary implements for keeping his marking irons in order; for which purpose a rat-tail file and a small whetstone will be found indispensable.


To procure the faithful execution of this portion of a surveyor's duty is a matter of the utmost importance. After a true coursing, and most exact measurements, the corner boundary is the consummation of the work, for which all the previous pains and expenditures have been incurred. If, therefore, the corner boundary be not perpetuated in a permanent and workmanlike manner, the great aim of the surveying service will not have been attained. A boundary corner, in a timbered country, is to be a tree, if one be found at the precise spot; and if not, a post is to be planted thereat; and the position of the corner post is to be indicated by trees adjacent, the angular bearings and distances of which from the corner are facts to be ascertained and registered in your field book. (See article, “Bearing Trees.")

In a region where stone abounds, the corner boundary will be a small monument of stones alongside of a single marked stone for a township corner, and a single stone for all other corners.

In a region where timber is not near, and stone not found, the corner will be a mound of earth, of prescribed size, varying to suit the case.

The following are the different points for perpetuating corners, viz:
1. For township boundaries, at intervals of every six miles.
2. For section boundaries, at intervals of every mile, or 80 chains.

3. For quarter section boundaries, at intervals of every half mile, or 40 chains. Exceptions, however, occur on east and west lines, as explained hereafter.

[The half quarter section boundary is not marked in the field, but is regarded by the law as a point intermediate between the half mile or quarter section corners. See Act of 24th April, 1820, entitled “An Act making further provision for the sale of the public lands,” which Act refers to the Act of Congress passed on the 11th of February, 1805, entitled “ An Act concerning the mode of surveying the public lands of the United States," for the manner of ascertaining the corners and contents of half quarter sections.]*

4. Meander Corner Posts are planted at all those points where the township or section lines intersect the banks of such rivers, bayous, lakes, or islands, as are by law directed to be meandered. The courses and distances on meandered navigable streams govern

the calculations wherefrom are ascertained the true areas of the tracts of land (sections, quarter sections, &c.,) known to the law as fractional, and binding on such streams.


Township, sectional, or mile corners, and quarter-sectional or half mile corners, will be perpetuated by planting a post at the place of the corner, to be formed of the most durable wood of the forest at hand.

The posts must be set in the earth by digging a hole to admit them two feet deep, and must be very securely rammed in with earth, and also with stone, if any be found at hand. The portion of the post which protrudes above the earth must be squared off sufficiently smooth to admit of receiving the marks thereon, to be made with appropriate marking irons, indicating what it stands for. Thus the sides of township corner posts should square at least four inches, (the post itself being five inches in diameter,) and must protrude two feet at least above the ground; the sides of section corner posts must square at least three inches, (the post itself being four inches in diameter,) and protrude two feet from the ground; and the quarter section corner posts and meander corner posts must be three inches wide, presenting flattened surfaces, and protruding two feet from the ground.

Where a township post is a corner common to four townships, it is to be set in the earth dioganally, thus :



On each surface of the post is to be marked the number of the particular township, and its range, which it faces. Thus, if the post be a common boundary to four townships say one and two, south of the base line, of

range one, west of the meridian; also to townships one and two, south

* The subdivision of the half-quarter section into quarter-quarter sections is authorized by “An Act supplementary to the several laws for the sale of the public lands," approved, April 5, 1832.

of the base line, of range two, west of the meridian, it is to be marked thus : R. 1 W.

1 W. From N. to E. T. 1 s. from E. to S. 2 S. S. 31

6 2 W.

2 W. From N. to W.

1 s. from W. to s. 2 S. 36



These marks are not only to be distinctly but neatly cut into the wood, ous to the eye of the anxious explorer, the deputy must apply to all of them a streak of red chalk.

Section or mile posts, being corners of sections, and where such are common to four sections, are to be set diagonally in the earth, (in the manner provided for township corner posts ;) and on each side of the squared surfaces, (made smooth as aforesaid, to receive the marks,) is to be marked the appropriate number of the particular one of the four sections, respectively, which such side faces; also on one side thereof are to be marked the numbers of its township and range; and to make such marks yet more conspicuous, in manner aforesaid, a streak of red chalk is to be applied.

In every township, subdivided into thirty-six sections, there are twentyfive interior section corners, each of which will be common to four sections.

A quarter section, or half-mile post, is to have no other mark on it than * S., to indicate what it stands for.


Township corner posts, common to four townships, are to be notched with six notches on each of the four angles of the squared part set to the cardinal points.

All mile posts on township lines must have as many notches on them, on two opposite angles thereof, as they are miles distant from the township corners, respectively. Each of the posts at the corners of sections in the interior of a township must indicate, by a number of notches on each of its four corners directed to the cardinal points, the corresponding number of miles that it stands from the outlines of the township. The four sides of the post will indicate the number of the section they respectively face. Should a tree be found at the place of any corner, it will be marked and notched as aforesaid, and answer for the corner in lieu of a post, the kind of tree and its diameter being given in the field notes.


The position of all corner posts, or corner trees, of whatever description, that may be established, is to be evidenced in the following manner, viz : From such post or tree the courses must be taken and the distances measured to two or more adjacent trees in opposite directions, as nearly as may be, and these are called “ bearing trees.” Such are to be distinguished by a large smooth blaze, with a notch at its lower end, facing the corner, and in the blaze is to be marked the number of the range, township, and section ; but at quarter section corners nothing but I S. need be marked.

The letters B. T., (bearing tree,) are also to be marked upon a smaller blaze, directly under the large one, and as near the ground as practicable.

At all township corners, and at all section corners, on range or township lines, four bearing trees are to be marked in this manner, one in each of the adjoining sections.

At interior section corners four trees, one to stand within each of the four sections to which such corner is common, are to be marked in manner aforesaid, if such be found.

A tree supplying the place of a corner post is to be marked in the manner directed for posts; but if such tree should be a beach, or other smooth bark tree, the marks may be made in the bark, and the tree notched.

From quarter section and meander corners two bearing trees are to be marked, one within each of the adjoining sections.

Where the requisite number of “bearing trees” is not to be found at convenient and suitable distances, such as are found are to be marked as herein directed; but in all such cases of deficiency in the number of bearing trees, (unless, indeed, the boundary itself be a tree) a quadrangular trench, with sides of five feet, and with the angles to the cardinal points, must be spaded up outside the corner, as a centre, and the earth carefully thrown on the inside, so as to form a range of earth, which will become covered with grass, and present a small square elevation, which in aftertime will serve to mark, unmistakably, the spot of the corner.


Where it is deemed best to use stones for boundaries, in lieu of posts, you may, at any corner, insert endwise into the ground, to the depth of seven or eight inches, a stone, the number of cubic inches in which shall not be less than the number contained in a stone fourteen inches long, twelve inches wide, and three inches thick-equal to five hundred and four cubic inches—the edges of which must be set north and south, on north and south lines, and east and west, on east and west lines; the dimensions of each stone to be given in the field notes at the time of establishing the

The kind of stone should also be stated.



Stones at township corners, common to four townships, must have six notches, cut with a pick or chisel on each edge or side towards the cardinal points; and where used as section corners on the range and township lines, or as section corners in the interior of a township, they will also be notched, to correspond with the directions given for notching posts similarly situated.

Posts or stones at township corners on the base and standard lines, and which are common to two townships on the north side thereof, will have six notches on each of the west, north, and east sides or edges; and where such stones or posts are set for corners to two townships south of the base or standard, six notches will be cut on each of the west, south, and east sides or edges.

Stones, when used for quarter-section corners, will have 1 cut on themon the west side on north and south lines, and on the north side on east and west lines.


Whenever bearing trees are not found, mounds of earth, or stone, are to be raised around posts on which the corners are to be marked in the manner aforesaid. Wherever a mound of earth is adopted, the same will present a conical shape; but at its base, on the earth's surface, a quadrangular trench will be dug; by the “ trench” (here meant) is to be understood a spade deep of earth thrown up from the four sides of the line, outside the trench, so as to form a continuous elevation along its outer edge. In mounds of earth, common to four townships or to four sections, they will present the angles of the quadrangular trench (diagonally) towards the cardinal points. In mounds, common only to two townships or two sections, the sides of the quadrangular trench will face the cardinal points. The sides of the quadrangular trench at the base of a township mound are to be six feet, the height of mound three feet.

At section, quarter-section, and meander corners, the sides of the quadrangular trench at base of mounds are to be five feet, and the conical height two and a half feet.

Prior to piling up the earth to construct a mound, there is to be dug a spadeful or two of earth from the corner boundary point, and in the cavity so formed is to be deposited a marked stone, or a portion of charcoal, (the quantity whereof is to be noted in the field book ;) or in lieu of charcoal or marked stone, a charred stake is to be driven twelve inches down into such centre point: either of those will be a witness for the future, and whichever is adopted, the fact is to be noted in the field book.

When mounds are formed of earth, the spot from which the earth is taken is called the "pit," the centre of which ought to be, wherever practicable, at a uniform distance and in a uniform direction from the centre of the mound. There is to be a “pit on each side of every mound, distant eighteen inches outside of the trench. The trench

The trench may be expected hereafter to be covered by tufts of grass, and thus to indicate the place of the mound, when the mound itself may have become obliterated by time or accident.

At meander corners, the “ pit” is to be directly on the line, eight links further from the water than the mound. Wherever necessity is found for deviating from these rules in respect to the “pits,” the course and distance to each is to be stated in the field books.

Perpetuity in the mound is a great desideratum. In forming it with light alluvial soil the surveyor may find it necessary to make due allowance for the future settling of the earth, and thus making the mound more elevated than would be necessary in a more compact and tenacious soil, and increasing the base of it. In so doing, the relative proportions between the township mound and other mounds is to be preserved as nearly as may be.

The earth is to be pressed down with the shovel during the process of piling it up. Mounds are to be covered with sod, grass side up, where sod is to be had; but, in forming a mound, sod is never to be wrought up with the earth, because sod decays, and in the process of decomposing it will cause the mound to become porous, and therefore liable to premature destruction.


Must show above the top of the mound ten or twelve inches, and be notched and marked precisely as they would be for the same corver without the mound.


Besides the charcoal, marked stone or charred stake, one or the other of which must be lodged in the earth at the point of the corner, the deputy.

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