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The relative position of these points being thus definitely fixed in the section, commence at one of them and course to the other, noting the intersection, and thence to the place of beginning. The mode of proceeding must be fully set forth in the field book.

The meander notes must state particularly the corner from which they start, and the meanders of each fractional section are to be exhibited separately. All islands, rapids, and bars are to be noticed, and their exact situation indicated by intersections to their upper and lower points; also the head and mouth of all bayous.

The notes of meanders will be placed at the end of the notes of the township, and according to the dates when the work is performed, as illustrated in the specimen field notes. Following and composing a part of such notes will be given a description of the soil, timber, and depth to which the bottoms are subject to overflow.

The lakes, bayous, ponds, and so much of meanderable rivers as lie within the boundaries of a township are to be meandered at the time of subdividing the township, and the notes thereof will be annexed to and form a part of the field notes of such subdivisional survey.

No blazes or marks of any description are to be made on lines meandered between established corners.


By the act of Congress, approved September 28th, 1850, swamp and overflowed lands "unfit for cultivation " granted to the state in which they are situated. These lands are selected and approved to the state according to the predominating character of the smallest legal subdivision. If the larger part of such subdivision is swamp and overflowed, it goes to the state; if otherwise, it is excluded from the grant, and retained by the government.

In order therefore to determine what lands fall to the

state under the swamp grant, it is necessary that the field notes of surveys, in addition to the other objects of topography required to be noted, should indicate the points at which the public lines enter and leave all lands coming within the purview of said grant. The deputy surveyor is charged with the responsible duty of describing with care and fidelity the true character of all lands within the field of his surveying operations, which may come under the denomination of "swamp and overflowed," or "unfit for cultivation."

The grant aforesaid does not embrace tracts subject to casual inundations, but only those where the overflow would wholly prevent the raising of crops without the aid of artificial means, such as levees, etc.; hence the deputy should state whether such lands are continually and permanently wet or subject to overflow so frequently as to render them totally unfit for cultivation, giving the depth of inundation as determined from indications on the trees, etc. The frequency of overflow should be set forth as accurately as possible, from a knowledge of the character of the stream which causes the same, and the general contour of the country contiguous, aided by such reliable information as may be obtained from persons acquainted with the facts."

The character of the timber, shrubs, plants, etc. growing on such tracts, and the contiguity of the premises to rivers, water-courses, or lakes should be stated.

The words "unfit for cultivation" are to be employed in addition to the usual phraseology in regard to entering or leaving such swamp, marshy, or overflowed lands. It may be that sometimes the margin of bottom, swamp, or marsh, in which such uncultivable land exists, is not identical with the margin of the body of land "unfit for cultivation;" and in such cases a separate entry must be made for each opposite the marginal distance at which they respectively occur.

But in cases where lands are overflowed by artificial means, such as dams for milling, logging, etc., such overflow will not be officially regarded, but the lines of the public surveys will be continued across the same, without setting meander posts, stating particularly in the notes the depth of the water and how the overflow was caused.



In the preceding pages we have explained-1st, the system of dividing the public lands into rectangular tracts of convenient size to be disposed of for pastoral and agricultural purposes; 2d, the manner of coursing, measuring, and marking the lines of the public surveys; 3d, the mode of establishing and perpetuating the corner boundaries of the public lands; and 4th, how the field book, which is the permanent record of everything officially done or observed by the deputy surveyor and his assistants, is to be kept, with full instructions as to the objects and data required to be recorded therein.

We are now prepared to explain the order in which the public surveys are carried forward in the field. First, then, let us suppose for illustration, that it is required to commence operations in a new territory where no public surveys have been made.

Meridians and Base Lines.—It will be remembered that all government surveys are projected from previously established meridians and base lines, or standard parallels. Before proceeding to lay off townships, therefore, a meridian and base line must be surveyed and marked, unless the proposed surveys are in continuation of those already executed in an adjoining state or territory, from an existing base.

Meridians may be run either north or south as may be necessary to reach the locality desired. They must, however, be run on a due north or due south course, the half

mile, the mile, and the six mile corners being accurately measured and durably perpetuated according to the instructions in the preceding pages. Base lines may be run on either a due east or due west course from the meridian, planting the half mile, mile, and township corners at the prescribed intervals, FULL MEASURE.

Initial Point.-The first step in proceeding to establish a meridian and a base line, will be to select some prominent natural land-mark convenient to the locality where the earliest surveys will be needed, for an initial or starting-point. An isolated, well-defined mountain, or the point of confluence of two rivers, afford favorable objects for the purpose indicated. If these are not to be found, some other permanent natural object should be sought for.

Standard Parallels or Correction Lines.-It may also be necessary to run one or more standard lines in the early part of the surveying operations, for it will be borne in mind that all range lines are to be run north from base or standard lines. Standard parallels, like base lines, may be run on either a due east or due west course from the meridian, planting the half mile, mile, and township corners at the prescribed intervals, full measure.

These lines form the skeleton or framework upon which to hang or build up the public surveys. Having provided the proper basis for this operation as directed, the deputy surveyor will next proceed to survey

Principal Meridians.-As the public surveys progressed westward, six meridianal lines, denominated Principal Meridians, have been established and designated in numerical order from east to west, to wit:

The 1st Principal Meridian runs north from the mouth of the Great Miami river, between the States of Ohio and Indiana to the south boundary of Michigan.

The 2d Principal Meridian runs north from the mouth of the Little Blue river, through the center of the State of Indiana to its northern boundary.


Systematic order is observed in running township lines, and the perambulations of the deputy surveyor are fully illustrated by Diagram A, on page 54.

TOWNSHIPS WEST OF THE MERIDIAN.-Begin at the first pre-established township corner on the base line, west of the meridian, which will be the southwest corner of Township 1 N., Range 1 W., marked No. 1 on the diagram: thence north on a true meridian line 480 chains, establishing the section and quarter section corners thereon as per instructions, to No. 2, where establish the corner to Townships 1 and 2 N., Ranges 1 and 2 W.; thence east on a random line, setting temporary section and quarter section stakes to No. 3, where measure and note the distance at which the eastern boundary is intersected north or south of the true or established corner. Then, calculating a

The 3d Principal Meridian runs north from the mouth of the Ohio river through the center of the State of Illinois, terminating at its northern boundary.

The 4th Principal Meridian runs north from the Illinois river through the western part of Illinois and the center of Wisconsin to Lake Superior.

The 5th Principal Meridian runs north from the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers through the eastern portion of the States of Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa, and governs the surveys in Minnesota lying west of the Mississippi river, and also in Dakota lying east of the Missouri river.

The 6th Principal Meridian commences on the Arkansas river, in the State of Kansas, and runs north through the eastern part of Kansas and Nebraska, terminating at the Missouri river.

Independent Meridians. In addition to the six principal meridians above described, a number of Independent Meridians have been established in the newer states.

In New Mexico the surveys are reckoned from the Independent Meridian of New Mexico. In Utah, the Independent Meridian is styled the "Salt Lake Meridian." The surveys in Oregon and Washington Territory are governed by an Independent Meridian called the "Willamette Meridian," and in California there are three Independent Meridians governing the different surveys in that state, named respectively "Humboldt Meridian," Mt. Diablo Meridian," and "St. Bernardino Meridian." The surveys in Nevada are numbered from the "Mt. Diablo Meridian" in California.

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