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List of local land offices from 1800 to 1880— Continued.



Mar. 17, 1870......

To Tracy.
May 18, 1880.....
Sept., 1868 .... To Fergus Falls
Dec. 11, 1876...
Act Mar. 12, 1872.. To Detroit.

To Crookston.
July 15, 1878....
May 1, 1853 ... To Cambridge.
Dec. 15, 1958. To Sunrise City.
July 2, 1860

To Taylor's Falls.
Oct. 1, 1861...
Act Aug. 30, 1852.. To Saint Cloud.
Apr. 19, 1858
Act Apr. 12, 1854.. May 9, 1863.
July 8, 1856.. To Portland.
June 7, 1859...... Name changed to Duluth.
July 8, 1856........ To Otter Tail City.
May 2, 1859 ....... March 31, 1863.
Act May 21, 1872..
Act Apr. 25, 1812

and Mar. 3, 1819..To Paulding.
Jan. 2, 1860... January 12, 1867.
Act Mar. 3, 1803.. To Jackson, 1866.
Act Mar. 2, 1833... November 1, 1866.
Act May 6, 1822.. To Jackson.
Ang. 10, 1836...
Act Mar. 2, 1833... To Grenada.
July 4, 1840.... December 1, 1860.
Oct. 20, 1822... September 20, 1854.
Act Mar. 3, 1811. To Boonville, September 1, 1861.
Act Feb. 17, 1818.. To Fayette.
July 5, 1832..... To Boonville.



Act July 2, 1862
Oct. 15, 1867 .... To Eureka.
May 26, 1873...
Dec., 1869.... To Pioche.
Apr. 30, 1874..... September 14, 1877.
Aug., 1878 ........ To Independence, Cal., May 31,

May, 1873..... September 14, 1877.
Act May 24, 1858..
Act Mar. 3, 1874 ..
Act May 10, 1800.. Act June 12, 1840.
Act Mar. 3, 1803.. Act June 12, 1840.
Act May 10, 1800.. Act June 12, 1840.
Act May 10, 1800.. Act June 12. 1840.
Act May 10, 1800.. March 3, 1877.
Act Mar. 3, 1807... Act June 12, 1840.
Act Mar. 3, 1819... June 25, 1855.
Act Mar. 3, 1819... June 25, 1855.
Act Mar. 3, 1819... June 25, 1855.
Act Mar. 3, 1819... June 25, 1855.
Act Mar. 3, 1819... June 25, 155,
Act Mar. 3, 1819...Act June 12, 1840.
Act Mar. 3, 1819... Act June 12, 1840.
Act Mar. 3, 1819... Act June 12, 1840.
Apr. 23, 1236 ... ... February 27, 1845.

List of local land offices from 1800 to 1880—Continued.


List of existing local land offices (96 in number) and names of officers, November 10, 1880.


List of existing local land ofices and names of officers—Continued.


Louisiana.... New Orleans

Natchitoches .. Michigan .... Detroit ........

East Saginaw.. Marquette....

Reed City
Minnesota ...

Benson ...
Du Luth..
Fergus Falls.
Tracy ...
Redwood Falls
Saint Cloud ....
Taylor's Falls..

Mississippi .. Jackson
Missouri .....



Helena ....

Miles City.
Nebraska.... Beatrice ..

Bloomington Grand Island.. Lincoln....... Niobrara ... Norfolk

North Platte Nevada.... Carson City.

Eureka..... New Mexico .. La Mesilla.

Santa Fé...
Oregon.... Le Grand..

Lake View ...
Oregon City ...

The Dalles ..

Olympia ....
Vancouver ...
Walla Walla ..

Yakima .....
Wisconsin ... Bayfield...

Eau Claire .. Falls of Saint La Crosse ... Menasha......

Wausaw .... Wyoming.....


Evanston Utah...........

Salt Lake City.

Registers and receivers are paid an annual salary of $500 each, and are allowed fees up to and including $3,000 per annum each.

12 L 0-VOL III



The cessions of the several States were organized from time to time into geographical divisions by the laws creating them and the lands were ordered to be surveyed, including lands to which the Indian title had been or would be extinguished. The same proceeding took place with purchased territory in 1803, 1819, 1848, 1850, and 1853.

The extension of the surveys being authorized by Congress over a district of country, the Commissioner of the General Land Office directs the surveyor-general of the district, whose office is created by the law prior to extending the surveys, to begin the same.


The land surveys under the United States are uniform and done under what is known as the “rectangular system.” This system of surveys was reported from a committee of Congress May 7, 1784. The committee consisted of Thomas Jefferson, chairman ; Messrs. Williamson, Howell, Gerry, and Reas.

This ordinance required the public lands to be divided into hundredsof ten geographical miles square, and those again to be subdivided into lots of one mile square each, to be numbered from 1 to 100, commencing in the northwestern corner and counting from west to east and from east to west continuously; and also that the lands thus subdivided should be first offered at public sale. This ordinance was considered, debated, and amended; and on the 3d of May, 1785, on motion of Mr. Grayson, of Virginia, seconded by Mr. Monroe, the size of the townships was reduced to six miles square. It was further discussed until the 20th of May, 1785, when it was finally passed.

The origin of this system is not known beyond the committee's report. There had been land surveys in the different colonies for more than a hundred years; still the method of granting land for settlements in vogue in all the colonies was in irregular tracts, except in the colony of Georgia, where, after 1733, eleven townships of 20,000 square acres each were divided into lots of 50 acres each.

The act of cession of the State of Virginia of her western territory provided for the formation of States from the same not less than one hundred nor more than one hundred and fifty miles square.

This square form of States may have infinenced Mr. Jefferson in favor of a square form of survey, and besides the even surface of the country was known, the lack of mountains and the prevalence of trees for marking it also favoring a latitudinal and longitudinal system. Certain east and west lines run with the parallels of latitude, and the north and south township lines with the meridians.

The system as adopted provided for sale in sections of 640 acres, one mile square. In 1820 a quarter-section, or 160 acres, could be purchased. In 1832 subdivisions were ordered by law into 40-acre tracts or quarter-quarter-sections to settlers, and in 1846 to all purchasers. On May 18, 1796, the ordinance of May 20, 1785, was amended; also on May 10, 1800, on the introduction of land offices and credit sales, and on February 11, 1805; April 24, 1820; April 5, 1832; and May 30, 1862. (For existing laws on surveys


see chapter IX, United States Revised Statutes, “Survey of the public lands," sections 2395 to 2413.)

Since the inauguration of the system it has undergone modification in regard to the establishment of standard lines and initial points, the system of parallels or correction lines, as also of guide meridians, having been instituted, contributing largely toward its completeness.


Surveys of boundary lines between States are done by special contract under special laws authorizing the same, the Secretary of the Interior awarding the contracts thereunder. Since 1862 the following boundary lines have been run at rates per mile as stated :

Total. Oregon and Washington, at $46 per mile ....

$4,500 Oregon and Idaho, $60 per mile, about.....

9, 600 North boundary of New Mexico, $60 per mile...

19, 000 California and Oregen, $60 per mile......

13,847 North boundary of Utah, $12 per mile .........

40,750 East boundary of Nevada, $40 per mile .......

17,000 West boundary of Kansas, $40 per mile........

8, 400 North boundary of Nevada, $50 per mile.......

15, 400 South boundary of Wyoming, $60 per mile..........

22, 056 West boundary of Wyoming, $50 per mile................

13,850 North boundary of Nebraska, $36 per mile..............

8, 069 Idaho and Washington line, $60 per mile ...........

10,590 North part of east boundary of New Mexico and part of east part of south boundary of Colorado, $40 per mile...

3, 662 Arizona and New Mexico, $70 per mile.......

27, 342 South part of the west boundary of Dakota, $50 per mile...

7,000 Colorado and Utah boundary, $53 per mile ...

15, 000 Arkansas and Indian Territory boundary...................

11, 880

Aggregate .......................................................... 254, 427

The boundary surveys were made by authority of various acts of Congress appropriating money for that purpose from year to year.


Surveys of islands and keys on the sea-coast are made by the Coast Survey, under special laws.

All other lands of the United States and classes of surveying are done by the surveyors-general and their contract or mineral deputies under direction of the Commissioner of the General Land Office.


Surveys of Indian reservations by the act of April 8, 1864, now devolve upon the General Laud once. Prior to that act the surveys of Indian lands under treaty stipulation were made by direction of the Indian Office.


Preliminary to surveying a district, a surveying meridian and base line must be established.


Since the adoption of the rectangular system of public surveys, May 20, 1785, twenty-four initial points, or the intersection of the principal bases with surveying meridians, have been brought into requisition to secure the certainty and brevity of description in the transfer of public lands to individual ownership. From the principal

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