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the township, are run from south to north; true east and west lines, except base lines, correction parallels, and lines between the west tier of sections in the township, are run from east to west.


1. The chief purpose of the public surveys is to establish the corners of the public lands; and however true the coursings and accurate the measurements, the principal object will not be attained if the corners are not made permanent. The importance of perpetuating all corners of the public surveys in the most durable manner cannot be overrated.

2. The principal corners established in government surveys are of four kinds, to wit: 1, Township Corners; 2, Section Corners; 3, Quarter-Section Corners; and 4, Meander Corners; and four different modes are employed to perpetuate them, respectively, depending upon certain conditions, as follows:

(1) Corner Trees.-When a tree not less than five inches in diameter stands immediately in place, it is found to be the best means of perpetuating any description of corner that can be employed, and should be adopted in preference to all others.

(2) Stone Corners.—Where suitable stones can be readily procured, the deputy surveyor is required, in all cases except when a tree is found, to prefer them before either of the other modes of perpetuating corners, as constituting the most durable monument it is practicable to erect.

Stones used for corners must have a length of at least 14 inches, and contain not less than 500 cubic inches.

All corner stones 14 inches long or more, and less than 18 inches in length, should be set two-thirds of their length in the ground; if more than 18 inches long, they should be set three-quarters of their length in the ground.

(3) Posts and Witnesses.-It frequently happens in a timbered country that suitable stones cannot be obtained. When this is the case, and trees are at hand for "witnesses," posts may be planted at the corners, and evidenced as directed under the head of "bearing trees" on page 32. All posts must be made of the most durable wood of the forest at hand.

In loose or alluvial soil, section, quarter-section, or meander posts may be driven into the ground, instead of digging holes and planting them; but no posts should be so driven unless, from the nature of the soil, they will be thereby rendered more firm and enduring.

(4) Posts and Mounds.-Where neither stones nor witness trees are to be found, the corners must be marked by mounds of earth erected around posts. This is the common mode of perpetuating the corners on prairie lands.

3. MANNER OF CONSTRUCTING MOUNDS.-The mode of erecting posts and mounds is as follows: The post will

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be planted or driven into the ground to the depth of 12 inches at the precise corner point; and a marked

stone, a small quantity of charcoal or a charred stake must be deposited 12 inches below the surface-against the north side of the post, when the deputy is running north; against the west side, when he is running west, etc.- as witnesses in the future. It is optional with the surveyor to adopt either of these memorials; but one of them must in every case be employed, and the deputy must state in the field book which is used.

Having planted the post-which must be of the same dimensions as prescribed for the same kind of corner without the mound-dig four "pits" at least 12 inches deep, on opposite sides and 6 feet from the post, piling and closely packing the excavated earth around it in such a manner as to form a cone-shaped mound, leaving the post to project 12 inches above the apex. Where sod is to be had, the mound must be covered with it, grass side up; but sod must never be wrought up with the earth in forming the mound. (Fig. 3.)

The pits should be located at right angles, and at a uniform distance from the center point; but where it is found necessary, owing to the impracticable nature of the soil, to dig the pits or either of them at a greater distance than 6 feet, and in other directions, the course and distance to each pit so located must be noted in the fieldbook.

4. BEARING TREES.-The position of all corner posts or corner trees, of whatever description, must be witnessed by taking the courses and distances of two or more adjacent trees in opposite directions, as hereinafter directed. These bearing trees are distinguished by a smooth blaze facing the corner, with a notch at its lower end; and in the blaze is inscribed the number of the township, range and section. The letters "B. T."-bearing tree-are also cut upon a small blaze directly under the other, and as near the ground as practicable. If the tree should be a beech, or other smooth, firm bark, the

marks may be made on the bark and the blazes may be omitted.

Where a tree not less than 2 inches in diameter can be found for a bearing tree within 300 links of the corner, it should be used.

5. WITNESS PITS.-Whenever the requisite number of witness trees cannot be found, the deficiency must be supplied by digging pits 2 feet square and not less than 12 inches deep.


Two sets of corners are established on standard parallels and base lines; one when said lines are run, and the other when the exterior and subdivision lines on the south of them are closed thereon. These corners are separately explained below; instructions for perpetuating and marking them will be found in their appropriate place.

1. STANDARD CORNERS.-At the time the parallels and base lines are run, the township, section, and quarter section corners are established thereon. As the township and section lines north are run from them, it follows that these corners will be common to two townships, sections, or quarter sections north of the parallel or base line, and these are called Standard Corners.

2. CLOSING CORNERS.-North and south lines are required to be run on the true meridian. Hence, when the township and section lines below reach the parallels or base lines north, they will not close on the standard corners previously established, because of the convergency of the meridians, but will strike the line at a distance corresponding to the convergency; east of the standard corners if the field of operations be west of the governing meridian, and west of said corners if the surveys be east of the principal meridian. Another set of township and section corners is therefore established at

Closing corner.

the points of intersection with said standard or base line, and the distances of said corners from the corresponding standard corners previously set, are measured and noted in the field book. The corners so established are called Closing Corners, and will of course be common to two townships or sections south of said base or standard line. No closing quarter section corners are established. (Fig. 4.) (See Quar. Sec. Cor., p. 38.)

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Township corners are established at intervals of 6 miles each, and are perpetuated by the following modes, to wit:

1. TOWNSHIP CORNER POSTS.-The post is placed first in order because circumstances render its use most common in practice. Corner posts are required to be 4 feet in length, and at least 5 inches in diameter, and are to be planted to the depth of 2 feet, the part projecting above the ground being squared to receive the marks required to be cut upon them.

When the corner is common to four townships, the post is set cornerwise to the lines, presenting the angles to the

Standard corner.

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