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structions were so framed in conformity with the laws governing the survey of the public lands as to allow the largest portion of the limited appropriation then available, to be applied to the prosecution of the subdivisional surveys. The surveyor was required, while extending the guides, meridian, and standards parallel, to determine, by observation, localities best adapted to agricultural operations, and to establish thereon the intermediate corners from which to set off the smaller legal subdivisions.
The initial point of the survey is the intersection of the fourth guide meridian with the south boundary of Dakota, which is the northeast corner of fractional township 35 north, range 33 west, of the public land surveys of Nebraska.
Under the instructions, township lines which would embrace lands unsuitable for subdivision and allotment, in manner aforesaid, were not allowed to be run. It was also required that the usual practice in the disposal of excess or deficiency attending the closings of subdivisional surveys of the public lands should be adhered to, but that in all other cases the corners should be equidistant. The same regulations applied to the marking of corners for sixteenths of sections on the township lines, as have been herein described relative to the superior lines.
In marking corners upon all the lines, stones and pits were to be preferred to stakes or posts, and it was required that all stakes should be charred and surrounded by mounds and other evidences, in manner prescribed in the manual and supplement thereto. The surveyor was supplied with numerous diagrams illustrating the legal methods of projecting the various lines.
The areas of lands embraced within the limits of the two reservations suitable for subdivision and allotment can only be ascertained from the returns of the surveyor. As a consequence, the cost of a complete survey cannot as yet be accurately determined. The present estimates are as follows: 234 miles of standards parallel, at $10, $2,310; 106 miles of guides meridian, at $10, $1,060; 288 miles of township-lines, at $7, $2,016; and 4,320 miles of subdivisional lines, at $6, $25,920. Total estimated cost of the survey, $31,336.
Under the second appropriation of $10,000 mentioned herein, a subsequent contract bearing date May 13, 1879, was entered into with Mr. Major providing for further prosecution of the work under guidance of instructions previously issued. The surveys under these contracts have been in progress during the whole of the surveying season just closed.
Survey of the Colorado and Utah boundary.
By act of Congress of June 20, 1878, the sum of $15,000 was appropriated for the survey of, and the establishment of monuments upon, the boundary line between the State of Colorado and the Territory of Utah. This work having been intrusted to Rollin J. Reeves, esq., surveyor and astronomer, a contract was entered into and full instructions relative to details of the work were issued to the surveyor under date July 26, 1878.
The boundary line consists of that portion of the thirty-second degree of longitude included between the thirty-seventh and forty-first parallel north latitude. The initial point of the survey is at the intersection of the aforesaid meridian with the thirty-seventh parallel, a point common also to the boundaries of New Mexico and Arizona. The monument is situated upon a mesa, wlich rises abruptly from the valley of the Rio San Juan, and it is $1.66 chains south of the south or left bank of that stream. It was established in 1875 by Chandler Robbins, esq., in the survey of the New Mexico and Arizona boundary. From full descriptions furnished the surveyor, it was subsequently found and identified.
Among the requirements embodied in the instructions are the following:
Exercise of great care in the extension of the meridian and the em-' ployment of approved astronomical tests of alignment at the termination of each ten miles of the boundary, due corrections to be made thereat.
The line to be cleared of timber and brush wherever necessary, and the timber at certain specified distances therefrom, to be blazed and marked in a particular manner.
The establishment of mile posts or stones of durable material, marked with consecutive numbers, counting from the initial point, with inscriptions indicating the State or Territory on either side of the line. These points, wherever such is practicable to be witnessed by pits and other evidences required in the manual of instructions for the survey of public lands.
Except over stretches of country found to be totally impassable, all distances on the boundary to be determined by chain measurement.
The establishment of permanent astronomical monuments at each distance of 50 miles from initial point.
The establishment of a permanent monument at the intersection of the line with the fortieth parallel, and one also upon the boundary, 15 miles north of the same, to mark the northwest corner of the Ute Indian Reservation.
The use of new and approved field and astronomical instruments, and the boundary line to be twice chained throughout, by different chainmeni.
Angular bearings to be taken to such natural and artificial objects of note as can be seen from the boundary, and principal topographical features along the line to be carefully sketched.
Barometrical observations to be taken at each mile post, and at conspicuous points of elevation or depression on the boundary.
The establishment of a durable and conspicuous monument at the terminal point of the survey.
Full and complete returns embracing field-notes describing the manner of determining the measurements and alignments, and of establishing each monument on the boundary accompanied by map and profile illustrating the topography of the country. The returns to be made in triplicate.
The surveying party took the field as soon as practicable after the execution of the contract, and devoted the remainder of the surveying season of 1878 to the work, reaching a point about two miles beyond the crossing of Grand River, 150 miles from the initial point of the survey. Operations were then necessarily suspended for the winter. Returns of the season's work, as required, have been made to this office, and they have undergone careful scrutiny. The character of the country throughout the distance surveyed is mountainous and rocky, presenting a succession of peaks and ridges and deep cañons with steep slopes and rocky walls. The valleys are narrow, water scarce and difficult of access, and vegetation sparse. Varieties of the pine and cedar timbers in various stages of growth or decay were found upon the greater part of the first 100 miles of the boundary. Upon the last 50 miles scrub oaks and other deciduous trees were noted. The undergrowth consists mainly of juniper and sagebrush, greasewood and cactus. The rocky formations noted are of sand and limestone.
Ruins of habitations long abandoned, of which there is no reliable history, are found upon or near to many parts of the boundary. The most notable of these are to be seen east of and near the 28th mile post, consisting of a castle and tower and neighboring structures of less importance. They are constructed with double walls of limestone and mortar, and located in positions best suited to resist assault. They are usually rectangular in form, but in one case cylindrical.
Situated in Utah, near the 60th mile post, are the somewhat noted Rock Springs, the principal one of which is described as a natural rock tank, 30 by 6 feet, containing a constant supply of spring water 25 feet in depth, which overflows the sides of the basin.
The principal streams crossed were the San Juan, one mile from the initial point, the Dolores, near and north of the 121st mile post, and Grand River, between the 147th and 148th mile posts.
The country approaching the Dolores was extremely broken and mountainous in character, and regarded impassable, except by triangulation, for a distance of about 3 miles. A part of the line crossing the Rio Dolores and the cañons in its vicinity was so broken and precipi. tous that no suitable base for trigonometrical operations could be ob. tained, and the distance of nearly 11 miles of the boundary was determined astronomically. The valley of Grand River and its neighboring cañons were crossed by alternate chain measurements and triangulations.
The highest point noted in the record of barometrical observations is at the 103d mile post, where the elevation is shown to be 8,380 feet above sea level.
Work on the boundary was resumed by Mr. Reeves at the commencement of the surveying season just closed. As the surveyor has also the contract for the establishment of the north boundary of Wyoming, and operations thereon were commenced immediately upon the close of the former work, no opportunity has as yet been afforded him of preparing the official papers illustrating the closing portion of the Colorado and Utah boundary survey.
Abstracts of decisions affecting surveys.
C'ost of survey of prirate land claims, by whom paid.--The appropriation act approved March 3, 1875, repealing the third section of the act of May 30, 1802, requiring the claimants of private grants to pay the cost of survey before receiving patents for the same, also repeals section 2400 Revised Statutes of 1874.
Such repeal does not relieve claimants from the obligation to pay for surveys made prior to March 3, 1875, where the patents have not been issued.
The provisions of the appropriation act of July 31, 1876, that patents shall not issile to private claimants until they pay the costs of the survey, should be considered as a general and permanent rule.
The act of July 31, 1876, has a prospective rather than a retroactive effect, and in relation to surveys made between March 3, 1875, and July 31, 1876, where patents have not issued, the claimants cannot be required to make payment for such surveys and plattings.-(Secretary Schurz's decision, April 2, 1879.)
Surreys, augmented rates, dr.-Section 2405 Revised Statutes, authorizing the Commissioner to have surveys made of certain lands in California and Oregon at augmented rates, is in force.
No rates of surveys having been fixed in the appropriation act for the next fiscal year, the Commissioner is authorized to establish them.
When surveys in California cannot be made at the rates fixed by the Commissioner, the surveyor general will, before making any contract, report to the Commissioner the character of the lands as ascertained by a thorough examination, the kind and character of difficulties to be overcome, and the reasons why such surveys should be made, for instructions.
No survey should be made except at the minimum rates, unless for the most urgent reasons.-(Secretary Schurz's letter, June 16, 1879.)
Survey of fractional townships 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 north, range 10 west, Mount Diablo meridian, California.-The law fixes the exact location of deficiencies which occur in any township to be on the west and north sides thereof, and when, therefore, in establishing standard lines and township exterior lines, townships are found but five miles in width, the law requires that the lines must be so located and marked that the deficiency will fall on the west part of the township, and sections 6, 7, 18, 19, 30, and 31 will be omitted, instead of the eastern tier of sections 1, 12, 13, 24, 25, and 36.
The law requires that section lines shall be surveyed from south to north and from east to west, and it is a violation thereof to reverse the order of procedure.
A deputy surveyor should not obey the instructions issued by a surveyor general if they are in violation of the law and regulations.—(Secretary Schurz's decision, April 14, 1879.)
Time of filing township plats in district land offices. The practice of forwarding the triplicate plat to the district land office before the duplicate plat has been received at the General Land Office, and the approval of same communicated to the surveyor general, ordered discontinued, and hereafter the triplicate plat will be forwarded to the local office only after notice to the surveyor general of the approval of the survey. "The object of the order is to prevent complications of title, &c., which might arise from entries of lands and subsequent cancellation of survey.-(Or. der of Commissioner General Land Office, April 17, 1879.)
Adrances of funds to surveyors general. - The Secretary of the Interior decided on February 20, 1879, that advances of funds might be made to surveyors general on their requisition to enable them to pay the expenses of their offices monthly, instead of the quarterly payment practiced of late years by report from the General Land Office. Provision was therefore made to carry into effect this practice, which prevailed in former years, but had been discontinued for several years. The change of manner of payment went into effect July 1, 1879).
Circular in relation to assignment of certificates of deposit on account of
surveys. By the act of Congress approved March 3, 1879, section 2103 of the Revised Statutes of the United States was so amended as to allow the assignment of certificates of deposit by indorsement, such certificates to be received in payment for public lands entered under the pre-emption and homestead laws by settlers, and not otherwise.
The following circular instructions to surveyors general and registers and receivers were issued under the law:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., June 27, 1879. To Surveyors General, Registers, and Receivers •
GENTLEMEN: The act of Congress approved March 3, 1879, entitled “An act to amend section twenty-four hundred and three of the Revised Statutes of the United States in relation to deposits for surveys," necessitates some modifications in the previous instructions from this office on the subject.
The provisions of law governing such deposits are as follows:
“When the settlers in any township, not mineral, or reserved by government, desire a survey made of the same, under the authority of the surveyor general, and file an application therefor in writing, and deposit in a proper United States depository, to the credit of the United States, a sum sufficient to pay for such survey, together with all expenses incident thereto, without cost or claim for indemnity on the United States, it may be lawful for the surveyor general, under such instructions as may be given him by the Commissioner of the General Land Office, and in accordance with law, to survey such township and make return thereof to the general and proper local land office, provided the township so proposed to be surveyed is within the range of the regular progress of the public surveys embraced by existing standard lines or bases for the township and subdivisional surveys.”—(Sec. 2401, l'. S. Rer. Stats.)
"The deposit of money in a proper United States depository, under the provisions of the preceding section, shall le deemed an appropriation of the sums so deposited for the objects contemplated by that section, and the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to cause the sums so deposited to be placed to the credit of the proper appropriations for the surveying service; but any excesses over and above the actual cost of the surveys, comprising all expenses incident thereto, for which they were severally deposited, shall be repaid to the depositors respectively.”—(Sec. 2402, R. S.)
T. Where settlers make deposits in accordance with the provisions of section twentyfour hundred and one, the amount so deposited shall go in part payment for their lands situated in the townships the surveying of which is paid for out of such deposits; or the certificates issued for such deposits may be assigned by indorsement, and be received in payment for any public lands of the United States entered by settlers under the pre-emption and homestead laws of the United States and not otherwise."—(Sec. 2403, Rev. Stats., as amended by act of March 3, 1879.)
The following regulations are prescribed to carry into effect the above provisions of law:
1. When one or more settlers on public lands shall apply to the surveyor general of the district within which such lands are situated for the survey of a particular township at his or their expense, that officer shall furnish to said applicant or applicants two separate estimates, one being the cost of the subdivisional survey of the surveyable portion of the entire township, and the other to cover the expense of platting the survey.
2. Settlers availing themselves of the provisions of section 2401, Revised Statutes, shall deposit with a United States designated depositary, to the credit of the United States Treasurer, on account of surveying the public lands and clerk hire in the surveyor general's office, in the district in which their claims are situated, the sums estimated as aforesaid, as the cost of the field and office work.
3. The surveyor general will take precaution to estimate adequate sums, thereby preventing any deficiency in the payment of deputy surveyor, as well as for clerk hire involved in the service.
4. Where several settlers desire the survey of the same township, the necessary deposits to cover all expenses of the survey and platting may be so subdivided as to be proportionate to the amount of lands within the township claimed by each settler; this, however, is a matter to be regulated by parties applying for such surveys; but alí applicants should be informed that the law makes no provision for the refunding of any excess of the deposit over the value of the lands taken. The excess, however, if any, over and above the actual cost of the survey in the field and office work, will be refunded as heretofore. When from any cause the certificate of deposit is not used, no provision of law exists for the repayment of any portion of the amount deposited, except as stated in paragraph 10.
5. No certificate of deposit can be received in payment by the receiver for more than the cost of the land at government price, and when the certificate is for more than that amount the receiver will indorse the amount for which it is received, and will charge the United States with that sum only, not as cash, but in the manner prescribed in the last paragraph of these instructions, and not with the sum named on the face of the certificate.
6. Under section 2403, as amended, certificates of deposit for surveys issued before or subsequent to March 3, 1879, may be assigned; such assignments must be acknowledged before the register or receiver, or some person duly commissioned to acknowledge legal nstruments.