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proportionally divided between the two distances as stated in the field notes.

For example, suppose the line between sections 5 and 6, or 6 and 7, to be 81.25 ch. according to the field notes, but according to present measurement it is 80-85 ch. Then, as 81.25: 80·85:: 40=39.75, ch. The quarter section corner must therefore be placed at 39 chains and 75% links from the last interior section corner, and consequently 41 ch. and 09, links from the township boundary, according to present measurement. The same course should be pursued in the case of anomalous sections, where two or more corners occur at intervals of 20 chains, between the regular half-mile post and the township line.

3. Interior quarter section corners, except in the preceding cases, must be re-established equidistant between the section corners, and in a right line between the nearest noted station trees or section corners on either side of them.


1. When the missing township corner is common to four townships.

These township corners should be restored in accordance with the directions for re-establishing interior section corners.

2. When the missing corner is on a correction line and common to only two townships.

Both the correction line and the range line of the township to which the required corner belong, should be carefully retraced and measured to a sufficient distance to insure accuracy in the courses and distances; and if the range line should not intersect the correction parallel at the distance from the nearest township corner

stated in the field notes, the work should be further examined and rigidly tested.


1. These corners should be restored by retracing the lines which closed upon them in the direction that they were run by the government surveyor.

Fractional section lines closing on Indian boundary lines, reservations, private grants, etc. should be retraced in the

same manner.

2. It may not unfrequently happen that, after proceeding to restore a lost corner in the manner described in the foregoing pages, the surveyor may come upon some traces of the original corner; when such is the case, and the traces unmistakably indicate the original locality of the corner, the resurvey must of course be made to conform therewith.


The following brief synopsis of some of the early surveying laws may be of service to county surveyors in the regions of the old surveys.

The first enactment of the National Legislature in regard to surveying the public lands was an ordinance passed by the Congress of the Confederation, May 20th, 1785, which prescribed the mode for the survey of the "Western Territory." This ordinance provided that said territory should be divided "into townships of six miles square, by lines running due north and south, and others crossing them at right angles," as near as might be.

It was further provided that "the first line running north and south should begin on the Ohio river, at a point due north from the western termination of a line

run as the southern boundary of the State of Pennsylvania, and the first line running east and west should begin at the same point, and extend through the whole Territory."

The townships were to be designated by numbers from south to north, beginning each range with number one; and the ranges were to be distinguished by numbers from east to west, the first range extending from the Ohio river to Lake Erie. The first seven of these series of townships constitute what was called "the seven ranges."

The first law passed by the Federal Congress in regard to surveying the public domain was approved May 18th, 1796, and applied to "the territory northwest of the river Ohio and above the mouth of the Kentucky river."

The second section of said act provided for dividing such lands as had not already been surveyed or disposed of, "by north and south lines run according to the true meridian, and by others crossing them at right angles, so as to form townships of six miles square," etc. It was also provided that "one-half of said townships, taking them alternately, should be subdivided into sections containing, as nearly as may be, 640 acres each, by running parallel lines through the same each way at the end of every two miles, and marking a corner on each of said lines at the end of every mile."

An act amendatory of the above, approved May 10th, 1800, directed that "the interior lines of townships intersected by the Muskingum, and of all the townships lying east of that river, which had not before been actually subdivided into sections, should also be run and marked in the manner prescribed by the said act for running and marking the interior lines of townships directed to be sold in sections of six hundred and forty acres each." And in all cases where the exterior lines of the townships thus to be subdivided exceeded or fell short of six miles,

the excess or deficiency was to be added to or deducted from the western or northern tier of sections. Said act also provided that the northern and western tiers of sections should be sold as containing only the quantity expressed on the plats, and all others as containing the complete legal quantity.

The two acts last named form the original basis of the present system of subdivisional surveys, as illustrated in succeeding pages. Sundry modifications and additions have from time to time been incorporated by subsequent acts of Congress.

An act "regulating the grants of land appropriated for military purposes," etc., approved June 1st, 1796, provided for dividing the "Virginia military tract" in the State of Ohio into townships of five miles square, each to be subdivided into quarter townships containing 4000 acres. By the 6th section of an act amendatory of said act, approved March 1st, 1800, the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to subdivide said quarter townships (then called sections) into lots of 100 acres each, bounded as near as practicable by parallel lines, 160 perches in length and 100 perches in width.

It will be borne in mind that these subdivisions were made by protraction merely, upon the plats in the office of the Secretary of the Treasury; and afterwards, when a sufficient number of lots to warrant it had been located, an actual survey was made in the field. In some instances, when these lots came to be surveyed, they could not be made to correspond with the plats; fractional lots, which appeared on the plats, were crowded entirely out of the township by actual survey. A knowledge of this fact will explain difficulties which are sometimes met with in the districts thus divided.

The 1st section of the act, approved March 26th, 1804, made it the duty of the Surveyor-General to cause the public lands north of the river Ohio, and east of the

river Mississippi, to be surveyed in townships six miles square, and divided in the same manner as provided by law in relation to the lands northwest of the river Ohio and above the mouth of the Kentucky river.


The extent of the public domain to be divided into suitable tracts for settlers rendered some fixed laws necessary in regard to the boundaries and contents of the subdivisions. This subject early engaged the attention of Congress, and the following law relating thereto was passed and approved February 11th, 1805, to wit:

"AN ACT concerning the mode of surveying the public lands of the United States.

"SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the boundaries and contents of the several sections, half sections, and quarter sections of the public lands of the United States, shall be ascertained in conformity with the following principles, any act or acts to the contrary notwithstanding:

"1. All the corners marked in the surveys returned by the SurveyorGeneral, or by the surveyor of the land south of the State of Tennessee, respectively, shall be established as the proper corners of sections, or subdivisions of sections which they were intended to designate; and the corners of half and quarter sections not marked on the said surveys, shall be placed as nearly as possible equidistant from those two corners which stand on the same line.

"2. The boundary lines actually run and marked in the surveys returned by the Surveyor-General, or by the surveyor of the land south of the State of Tennessee, respectively, shall be established as the proper boundary lines of the sections, or subdivisions, for which they were intended; and the length of such lines, as returned by either of the surveyors aforesaid, shall be held and considered as the true length thereof. And the boundary lines which shall not have been actually run and marked as aforesaid, shall be ascertained by running straight lines from the established corners to the opposite corresponding corners; but in those portions of the fractional townships where no such opposite corresponding corners have been or can be fixed, the said boundary lines shall be ascertained by running from the established corners due north and south, or east and west, lines, as the case may be, to the watercourse, Indian boundary line, or other external boundary of such fractional township.

"3. Each section, or subdivision of section, the contents whereof shall have been, or by virtue of the first section of this act, shall be returned by the Surveyor-General, or by the surveyor of the public lands south of the State of Tennessee, respectively, shall be held and considered as con

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