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10 townships surveyed since last report, 172,687.91 acres; adding 376 townships, 6,231,722.25 acres of public lands, and 37 townships of Indian reservations, 464,907.28 acres, previously reported, make the total area surveyed to date of present report, 6,869,317.44 acres. Two sulphur mining claims in Oneida County were surveyed during the past fiscal year.
The amount paid for surveys under contracts made in the year ending June 30, 1878, and not hitherto reported, is $5,660.61, leaving a balance of $779.81 to revert to the Treasury.
The appropriation of $5,000 for salaries of surveyor general and clerks during the past fiscal year was all expended except $2.28.
The $1,500 appropriated for incidental expenses were expended except forty-nine cents.
7. Louisiana.-Two contracts for surveys were made under the assignment of $17,500 of appropriation for fiscal year ending June 30, 1879. Estimated liability, $16,000; amount paid, $15,628.22; not reported for payment, $1,871.78; retained to meet excess of contracts, $1,500; excess on contracts, $5,861.66.
Work was confined to the pine timber region in the southwestern portion of the State, where 27 townships have been resurveyed. Large entries of timber lands are reported, that of one person exceeding 5,000 acres. The reports of deputy surveyors show a larger percentage of bona fide homestead entries than was anticipated.
Under the assignment of $14,000 for the current fiscal year five contracts have been let for the continuation of resurveys in the southwestern district. Contracts are contemplated for the survey of two townships in the William Conway portion of the Houmas grant under the order of the Secretary of the Interior, dated June 21, 1879. The surveyorgeneral regrets that the whole of each subdivision of said grant cannot, under the present allotment, be surveyed, as hundreds of new settlers are desirous of locating upon these lands under the homestead and other laws. A large number of original settlers and their descendants, who now occupy lands and who have made extensive improvements thereon, should be protected, as these lands were originally entered under the pre-emption acts of 1830 and amendments. But little work has been done in issuing certificates of location under the act of June 2, 1858, and only 11 claims acted upon and certificates issued during the fiscal year. Total number issued to close of fiscal year, 432 out of 1,524 unsatisfied claims, leaving 1,092 to be adjusted.
Some progress has been made in bringing up the arrears of office work. Transcripts of fieldnotes for 24 townships have been made, leaving 760 townships yet to be transcribed. Thirty-two patent plats of 16 claims have been made. There are about 6,000 claims which cannot be patented until the plats are prepared and forwarded.
The surveyor general's estimates for surveys during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, aggregate $62,050, subdivided as follows: For completing the resurveys in the southwestern district, 22 townships, embracing the timber lands now being despoiled, $17,400; for the resurvey of townships in the southeastern district on the Mississippi River, above New Orleans, as far as Donaldsonville, and for private land claims, $7,850; for original surveys in the southwestern district on the Gulf coast, south of old surveys of 1807 and 1830, $14,000; for original surveys on the southeast pass of the Mississippi River and Bayou Balize, contracted for in 1875 but not executed for lack of funds, $1,800; to traverse part of Sabine River, connect township and section lines, locate private land claims, and complete survey of townships 4 south,
ranges 1 and 2 east, S. W. D., contracted for in 1875 but unfinished by reason of deficient appropriations, $6,000; for the survey of the Houmas grants, embracing about 200,000 acres of sugar and rice lands, and ordered surveyed by the Secretary of the Interior under his decision of May 4, 1878, $15,000.
Estimates for salary of surveyor general and clerks, $6,800; 14 clerks for arrears of office work, plats, and field notes, $14,000; contingent expenses, $2,000.
8. Minnesota.-All the contracts for surveys not closed at date of last annual report have been completed.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879, four contracts for surveys were made out of the assignment of $15,000. The work under three contracts has been returned, examined, and approved, and the sum of $11,439.31 paid, leaving the sum of $3,560.69 to be applied to the payment of work to be returned by Deputy Hamilton, consisting of surveys adjacent to the Red Lake Indian reservation, the estimated cost of which will cover the balance of the assignment.
Number of acres surveyed since last report, 364,516.75, which, added to 39,689,123.08 acres previously surveyed, makes a total of 40,053,639.83 acres surveyed to date. Fifty-seven plats were made of 19 townships surveyed. Descriptive lists of all surveys were furnished to the local office, and transcripts of field notes to the General Land Office.
Owing to the small appropriation for clerk hire, but little was done on the arrears of office work. Record transcripts of 41 townships have been prepared and bound. A large amount of miscellaneous office work has been performed.
One contract was entered into in May, 1879, payable out of the appropriation for the year ending June 30, 1880, for the survey of lands adjacent to Pigeon River Indian Reservation. The appropriation of $7,000 for salaries of surveyor general and clerks was all expended except 49 cents. Of the appropriation of $1,500 for incidental expenses there was expended $1,160.58; balance remaining, $339.42.
The sums estimated for the surveying service for the year ending June 30, 1881, are as follows: For surveys, $49,900; for salaries, $10,500; for incidentals, $1,500.
The estimates for surveys for said year contemplate the extension of the meridian and correction lines north of the present surveyed portion of the State, west to the 3d guide meridian, and the townships contiguous to Rainy Lake and Rainy Lake River; also pine lands on streams flowing north into said lake and river. This region, heretofore inaccessible for want of communication, is now being opened up through the Canadian Pacific Railroad, which, together with steamboat navigation from Rat Portage to Fort Saint Francis, near Rainy Lake, forms a route giving ready access to markets, and has greatly enhanced the demand for lands on the Canadian side, and the lands on this side being more desirable would soon be settled if they were surveyed. Frequent inquiries are now made concerning these lands. Large tracts of pine and hardwood timber lands are in that vicinity, upon which depredations are constantly being made by border settlers on either side of the line, and still greater waste is caused by fires.
A modification of the law for the disposal of timber lands is recommended, so that the lands should be appraised immediately after survey, and then sold for cash at valuation, which would prove valuable to the government, and save great expense in the detection and prosecution of trespassers.
9. Montana. Under the apportionment of $15,500 for surveys in this
Territory during the year ending June 30, 1879, five contracts were let, and the work has been done and accounts have been rendered to the amount of $15,662.80, being an excess of $162.80 over the apportionment. Surveys were made in 33 townships of 524,312 acres of agricultural, coal, and timber lands; also of 70 lode and placer claims with an area of 1,668 acres. Of the appropriation of $5,750 for salary of sur veyor general and clerks, only 83 cents remain unexpended. One thousand five hundred dollars were paid for contingent expenses. Total cost of surveys, $15,662.80; for inspection of same, $941.93; office expenses, including salaries, $7,249.13; cost of field work per acre, three cents; cost of inspection, two mills per acre; cost of office work per acre, one cent and four mills; total cost per acre to government, four cents and six mills. Much of the land surveyed was along the Yellowstone River. The exterior boundaries of 15 townships containing coal lands and other minerals were surveyed. The number of miles run was 4,194. The total expense of the surveying service was $23,358.86. Net cash receipts for entry and sale of lands in Montana, $22,491.18, during the year.
The sum of $2,000 was deposited during the year for office work on surveys of mines. Of this amount, $1,690.49 were paid out, leaving a balance of $309.51, which, applied to the deficiency of $853.93 existing from former years, reduced the deficiency to $544.42, it being overdrawn on special-deposit account. There were deposited for survey of a town site, $125; for office work, $25. Four hundred and sixty-one plats and diagrams were prepared. Of these, 288 were of mineral claims. Five hundred and eighty-nine letters were written. Surveys of 33 townships were platted, and transcripts of the field notes were prepared, also descriptive lists for the local offices.
The surveyor general's estimates for the surveying service for 1881 are as follows: For surveys, $45,800; for preliminary examination of the country, $3,000; salaries, $9,300; contingent expenses, $2,500. He states emphatically that his estimates only cover the actually neces sary expenses. A higher rate per mile for surveys is urged. If the surveyor met with no losses and delays, principally by the Indians, he could survey at the present rates allowed; but in view of the risks, losses, and delays, he should have $12 for standard, $10 for township, and $8 for section lines. Meander lines should be paid for the same as standard, in timbered lands. Base lines should be run through Indian reservations for the sake of uniformity in surveys. Exterior township lines should be run over the whole country, and topographical and other information be obtained in running the same. Mineral lands should be subdivided. Pastoral lands should also be surveyed and sold at reduced rates, in large bodies, to stock raisers already on them. Deputy surveyors should make four classes of lands: first rate, rich, agricultural lands, needing no irrigation; second rate, agricultural lands, needing irrigation; third, pastoral lands; fourth, worthless lands. Personal inspection of surveys in the field has proved quite beneficial. Estimated export of gold and silver, including bullion and ore, $5,000,000 during the year.
10. Nebraska.-The original assignment for surveys in this district for the year ending June 30, 1879, was $22,500, out of which two contracts were made, and the work has been completed and returned at a cost of $21,517.97, leaving a balance of $982.03, which, with $2,500, an additional assignment, is applicable to pay for work under a third contract, the work of which is not returned. Number of miles run in work returned, 3,256. Thirty-four townships subdivided, having an area of 777,764.13
acres. Field notes of these surveys have been examined, approved, and transcripts furnished to the General Land Office; also descriptive lists and plats to the local land offices, and plats to the General Land Office. The appropriation for salaries of surveyor general and clerks for the year ending June 30, 1879, was $5,000, and was all expended, except 38 cents. The balance of special deposit for office work by Union Pacific Railroad Company and Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Company on hand June 30, 1878, amounting to $9,799.35, still remains unexpended.
The appropriation of $1,500 for incidentals was all paid out. There remains unexpended a balance of $282.98 of deposits for field work by railroad companies left from former years.
Immigration has been very large during the year, and of an excellent class. Abundant crops have been yielded, and the extension of railroads has increased the means of transportation. The railroad companies offer great inducements to settlers to take their lands.
The surveyor general recommends, as an economical measure, an appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, sufficient to complete the public surveys in Nebraska. He estimates $115,000 as a maximum amount. Estimates for the surveying service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, aggregate $48,594, and are for surveys in the extreme northern and western portions of the State, embracing agricultural and grazing lands which are well watered and of superior quality to much under cultivation in the southern and eastern sections.
There is a large and increasing demand for lands in the northwestern portion of the State, which will be increased by the early construction of a railroad through that section to the Black Hills.
Estimates for salaries and office expenses are as follows: For surveyor general, $2,000; clerical force, $6,300; rent, messenger, and incidentals, $3,000; total, $11,300.
Under the apportionments of appropriation for the year ending June 30, 1880, $17,500, contracts for surveys amounting to $15,500 have been made, leaving a balance uncontracted for of $2,000.
11. Nerada. For the year ending June 30, 1879, the sum of $2,500 was paid for salary of surveyor general and $2,998.62 for clerk hire out of the regular appropriation. The sum of $1,558.34 was paid out of special deposits by the Central Pacific Railroad Company for surveys, and $135.64 were paid out of the deposits by same company for office work. Out of the appropriation for public surveys for the year ending June 30, 1879, the sum of $10,352.93 was paid for work performed under six contracts. Out of the appropriation for the year ending June 30, 1878, there were paid $9,856.46. The number of acres surveyed during the year was 923,334.90, of which 28,719.87 acres were mineral lands, and the balance were agricultural and grazing lands. The number of miles surveyed was nineteen hundred. There were also surveyed ninety-nine mineral claims, with an area of 1,091.85 acres, and one town site, Eureka, containing 227 acres.
The sum of $2,955 was deposited for office work on mineral claims. Six hundred and ninety plats were made, of which four hundred and three were of mineral claims. The mineral productions for the past fiscal year have materially decreased, especially in and around the Comstock, owing to the "Bonanzas" and other mines awaiting the completion of the Sutro tunnel. The mining districts of Bodie and Lake, in California, near the State line, have not only attracted many miners, but millions of capital. The Sutro tunnel drain having been completed, the various mines have recommenced operations. The agricultural outlook
is cheerful, and the crops an average, notwithstanding the drought, &c., of the past two seasons.
The surveyor general desires an increase in the appropriation for contingent expenses from $1,500 to $2,500, so as to supply the office with needed stationery, books, &c., and he also asks an appropriation to liquidate deficiencies for office expenses now outstanding. The estimates for the surveying service in Nevada for the year ending June 30, 1881, are as follows: For surveys, $23,500; for salaries, $8,000; for incidentals, $2,700.
12. New Mexico.-The surveyor general, under date of August 27, 1879, states that the public surveys made under the appropriation for the year ending June 30, 1878, not hitherto reported, amount to 220 miles run and marked at a cost of $2,298.91; also twenty-seven private land claims surveyed out of the apportionment for year ending June 30, 1878, being incomplete at date of last annual report. The area of these claims is 4,536,750.05 acres; the number of miles run in surveying them was 1,400, at a cost of $23,571.82.
Of the assignment of $15,600 for survey of public lands during the year ending June 30, 1878, the sum of $15,026.47 was expended; balance reverting, $573.53. Amount of individual deposits, $3,150; expended, $2,946.24; refunded to depositors, $203.76. Of the assignment of $33,500 for the survey of private land claims, $32,880.36 were expended; balance reverting, $619.64. There were deposited for office work on public surveys for that year $415, of which $327.49 were paid out, and the remainder was refunded to the depositors.
For the year ending June 30, 1879, the amount apportioned for surveys of public lands was $6,000, and for survey of private land claims $8,000. The public surveys under the apportionment show 1,775 miles run and marked, the cost of which was not acertained at the close of the fiscal year, owing to the late return of the work. Surveys were made in 28 townships, payable out of special deposits by settlers to the amount of $6,155. Of this amount $5,995.98 were paid out, leaving a balance of $159.02. The sum of $620 was deposited for office work, of which $600.50 were paid out, leaving $19.50 undrawn. The number of miles surveyed under special deposits was 969. The area of public lands surveyed during the year was 375,519.21, which added to 7,862,276.94, the amount previously surveyed, makes a total of 8,237,796.15 acres surveyed up to June 30, 1879. Three contracts for the survey of private land claims were made. Fifteen claims were surveyed, only part of which have been examined and platted. Nine mineral and mill site claims were surveyed. Deposits for office work were made in five cases only, amounting to $200. Of this amount $29.64 are reported as refundable to depositors.
Of the $8,500 appropriated for salaries of surveyor general and his clerks, all was expended except 27 cents.
The appropriation of $1,500 for contingent expenses, increased by receipts from subrent of office building to the extent of $240, was expended, except $4.20. The current work of the office has been pretty well kept up, but an increase in the clerical force of the office is asked for in order to bring up arrears of office work of several years' standing. Request is made for an appropriation to buy a safe for the deposit of valuable archives; also an appropriation of $61.97 to pay for services of a messenger from April 28 to June 30, 1878. The reimbursement to deputy surveyors of $1,500, expended by them in platting and transcribing their work outside the office, is recommended, the government having received the benefit of their work.
The estimates for the surveying service in New Mexico for the year