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At the points where township or section lines intersect large ponds, lakes, bayous, or navigable rivers, posts are established at the time of running the lines, which are called meander corners. Either of the four modes described for perpetuating corners may be employed for meander corners.

1. MEANDER POSTS.-No marking is required on meander posts, but they must be witnessed by two bearing trees or pits. They should also be firmly inserted in the ground.

2. MEANDER MOUNDS.-The mound and post at meander corners should be of the same dimensions as those for the section and quarter section corners. The pit should be directly on the line, and 8 links further from the water than the mound. When the pit cannot be so located, its course and distance from the corner should be stated in the field book.

3. STONES OF TREES may be employed to perpetuate meander corners, and when so used must be witnessed the same as meander posts.


The field notes of the deputy surveyor are the official and permanent record of the boundaries of the public lands. They afford the elements from which the plats of the public surveys are constructed, and are the original and only source from which authentic descriptions of established boundaries can be obtained. It is of the highest importance that deputy surveyors should keep a faithful, distinct and minute record of everything officially done and observed by them or their assistants in their field operations. Carelessness or a want of strict fidelity on the part of the surveyor, will impair the value of his notes, if not indeed render them worse than worthless.

Deputy surveyors are especially enjoined to make themselves perfectly familiar with the requirements in this regard, and with the printed specimen field notes which accompany these instructions. They will also note particularly the following requirements:

1. Separate and distinct field books are required to be kept for the different kinds of lines surveyed; thus, there must be a separate field book for meridian and base lines, another for standard parallels or correction lines, another for exterior or township lines, and another for subdivisional or sectional lines.

2. The title-page of each field book will designate the kind of lines run, and describe the particular surveys, giving the name of the state or territory in a prominent line. State also by whom the survey was made, the number and date of the contract, and in separate lines the date of commencing and completing the work.

3. An index upon the plan illustrated in the specimen field book, referring to the page of each mile and to each kind of survey, must accompany the field notes.

4. The exhibition of every mile of surveying, whether of township or subdivisional lines, must be complete in itself, and be separated by a black line drawn across the page.

5. The notes should in all cases be taken precisely in the order in which the work is done on the ground, and must show all the perambulations, calculations, and field operations.

6. The descriptions of the surface, soil, timber, undergrowth, etc., on each mile of line run, should follow the notes thereof, and not be mixed up with them.

7. No abbreviations of words are allowable, except such as are constantly recurring, as "sec." for section, "in. diam." for inches diameter, "chs." for chains, "lks." for links, "dist." for distance, "va." for variation, etc. For quarter section corner, "sec. cor." may be used, and for

14 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 3 inches thick, in describing a corner stone, “14 × 12 × 3," being particular to always preserve the same order of length, width, and thickness.

Proper names must never be abbreviated, however often their recurrence.

8. When surveys are commenced in one fiscal year and completed in another, the field book must be so kept as to show distinctly the amount of work done in each year separately. This requirement was adopted in 1863, and made imperative, in order that the General Land Office might be able to exhibit annually the amount of surveys actually executed in each fiscal year.

9. The notes must be written in precise and clear language, and the figures, letters, words, and meaning are always to be unmistakable. No leaf must be mutilated or obliterated, and none be taken out, whereby suspicion might be created that the missing leaf contained matter which the deputy believed it to be his interest to conceal.


1. The township and range, or a description of the particular locality of the operations, should precede the notes of the surveys, and be repeated at the top of each page.

2. VARIATION OF THE NEEDLE.-The variation of the needle must always be stated in a separate line preceding the notes of measurement. At all points in the lines where any material change in the variation is found, such changes, with the exact points where they occur, must be carefully noted.

3. COURSES AND MEASUREMENTS.-The course and exact length of every line run, noting all offsets therefrom, with the reasons and mode thereof.

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4. BEARING TREES.-The kind and diameter of all bearing trees, with their courses and distances from their respective corners, and the precise relative position of witness corners to the true ones.

5. MODE EMPLOYED TO PERPETUATE THE CORNERS.State if it be a post; if a tree in place, give the name and diameter; if a stone, the kind and dimensions; if a mound, the material (earth or stone) of which it is constructed, the kind of memorial buried at the side of the post, the fact that it is erected in accordance with instructions, and the courses and distances of the pits from the center of the mound where necessity exists for deviating from the general rule.

6. LINE TREES.-The name, diameter, and distance on line to all trees intersected.

7. INTERSECTION OF LAND OBJECTS.-The distances at which the lines intersect and leave any settlers' claim and improvement, prairie, river, creek, or other "bottom," swamp, marsh, grove and windfall; with the courses of the same at the points of intersecting and leaving them.

8. INTERSECTION OF HILLS, ETC.-The distances at which a line begins to ascend, reaches the top, begins to descend, and arrives at the foot of all remarkable hills and ridges, with their courses and estimated height in feet above the land of the surrounding country.

9. INTERSECTION OF WATER OBJECTS.-The distances on line to all rivers, creeks, and smaller streams of water, with their width at the points of intersection, and the course they bear; also, in the case of navigable waters, all the particulars of the mode by which the width is ascertained.

10. BOTTOM LANDS.-Wet or dry, and if subject to inundation, to what depth. (See Swamp Lands.)

11. LAKES AND PONDS.-Describe their banks and give their height; also the depth of water, and whether it be pure or stagnant.

12. SETTLEMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS.-Towns and villages, Indian towns and wigwams, houses and cabins, fields, fences, and other improvements; groves, mill-seats, forges, and factories.

13. SPRINGS.-Whether fresh, saline, or mineral, with the course of the streams flowing from them.

14. MINERALS AND COAL BEDS.-Note all coal banks or beds, with a particular description of the same, as to quality, extent, and diggings therefor; and designate the localities by the smallest legal subdivisions. A recent law of Congress makes the strict observance of this requirement essential.

15. ROADS AND TRAILS.-Whence and whither, with their directions.

16. RAPIDS, CASCADES, CATARACTS, or falls of water, with the height of their fall in feet.

17. PRECIPICES, CAVES, RAVINES, sink-holes, stone quarries, ledges of rocks, with the kind of stone they afford.

18. NATURAL CURIOSITIES.-Interesting fossils, petrifactions, organic remains, etc.; also all ancient works of art, such as mounds, fortifications, embankments, ditches, etc.

19. LAND SURFACE.-Whether level, broken, or hilly— 1st, 2d, or 3d rate on each mile-1st rate to indicate extra quality, 2d rate good average, and 3d rate inferior quality. 20. TIMBER.-Name the several kinds of timber and undergrowth in the order in which they predominate, on each mile of line.

21. DATES.-State the month and day of the month in a separate line, immediately following the notes of each day's work.

22. GENERAL DESCRIPTION.-In subdivisional work the deputy must subjoin at the conclusion of the ordinary notes taken on line a general description of the township in the aggregate, as regards the face of the country, its soil and geological features, timber, minerals, water, etc.; and should add any further description or information touch

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