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3. You are also to meander, in manner aforesaid, all lakes and deep ponds of the area of twenty-five acres and upward; also navigable bayous; shallow ponds, readily to be drained, or likely to dry up, are not to be meandered.

You will notice all streams of water falling into the river, lake, or bayou you are surveying, stating the width of the same at their mouth; also all springs, noting the size thereof and depth, and whether the water be pure or mineral; also the head and mouth of all bayous; and all islands, rapids, and bars are to be noticed, with intersections to their upper and lower points to establish their exact situation. You will also note the elevation of the banks of rivers and streams, the heights of falls and cascades, and the length of rapids.

4. The precise relative position of islands, in a township made fractional by the river in which the same are situated, is to be determined trigonometrically; sighting to a flag or other fixed object on the island, from a special and carefully measured base line, connected with the surveyed lines, on or near the river bank, you are to form connection between the meander corners on the river to points corresponding thereto, in direct line, on the bank of the island, and there establish the proper meander corners, and calculate the distance across.

5. In meandering lakes, ponds, or bayous, you are to commence at a meander corner upon the township line, and proceed as above directed for the banks of a navigable stream. But where a lake, pond, or bayou lies entirely within the township boundaries, you will commence at a meander corner established in subdividing, and from thence take the courses and distances of the entire margin of the same, noting the intersection with all the meander corners previously established thereon.

6. To meander a pond lying entirely within the boundaries of a section, you will run and measure two lines thereunto from the nearest section or quarter-section corner on opposite sides of such pond, giving the courses of such lines. At each of the points where such lines shall intersect the margin of such pond, you will establish a witness point, by fixing a post in the ground, and taking bearings to any adjacent trees, or, if necessary, raising a mound.

The relative position of these points being thus definitely fixed in the section, the meandering will commence at one of them, and be continued to the other, noting the intersection, and thence to the beginning. The proceedings are to be fully entered in the field-book.

7. In taking the connection of an island with the main land, when there is no meander corner in line, opposite thereto, to sight from, you will measure a special base from the meander corner nearest to such island, and from such base you will triangulate to some fixed point on the shore of the island, ascertain the distance across, and there establish a special meander corner, wherefrom you will commence to meander the island.

8. The field notes of meanders will be set forth in the body of the field book according to the dates when the work is performed, as illustrated in the specimen notes annexed. They are to state and describe particularly the meander corner from which they commenced, each one with which they close, and are to exhibit the meanders of each fractional section separately; following, and composing a part of such notes, will be given a description of the land, timber, depth of inundation to which the bottom is subject, and the banks, current, and bottom of the stream or body of water you are meandering.

9. No blazes or marks of any description are to be made on the lines meandered between the established corners, but the utmost care must

be taken to pass no object of topography, or change therein, without giving a particular description thereof in its proper place in your meander notes.


The FIELD NOTES afford the elements from which the plats and calculations in relation to the public surveys are made. They are the source wherefrom the description and evidence of locations and boundaries are officially delineated and set forth. They therefore must be a faithful, distinct, and minute record of everything officially done and observed by the surveyor and his assistants, pursuant to instructions, in relation to running, measuring, and making lines, establishing boundary corners, &c.; and present, as far as possible, a full and complete topographical description of the country surveyed, as to every matter of useful information, or likely to gratify public curiosity.

There will be sundry separate and distinct field books of surveys, as follows:

Field notes of the MERIDIAN and BASE lines, showing the establishment of the township, section or mile, and quarter section or half mile, boundary corners thereon; with the crossings of streams, ravines, hills, and mountains; character of soil, timber, minerals, &c.

Field notes of the "STANDARD PARALLELS, or correction lines," will show the establishment of the township, section, and quarter section corners, besides exhibiting the topography of the country on line, as required on the base and meridian lines.

Field notes of the EXTERIOR lines of TOWNSHIPS, showing the estab lishment of corners on lines, and the topography, as aforesaid.

Field notes of the SUBDIVISIONS Of TOWNSHIPS into sections and quarter sections.

The field notes must in all cases be taken precisely in the order in which the work is done on the ground, and the date of each day's work must follow immediately after the notes thereof. The variation of the needle must always occupy a separate line preceding the notes of measurements on line.

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

The description of the surface, soil, minerals, timber, undergrowth, &c., on each mile of line, is to follow the notes of survey of such line, and not be mixed up with them.

No abbreviations of words are allowable, except of such words as are constantly occurring, such as "sec." for "section;""in. diam," for "inches diameter;" ""chs." for "chains;" "lks." for "links;" "dist." for "distant,' &c. Proper names must never be abbreviated, however often their re



The nature of the subject-matter of the field book is to form its title page, showing the State or Territory where such survey lies, by whom surveyed, and the dates of commencement and completion of the work. The second page is to contain the names and duties of assistants. Whenever a new assistant is employed, or the duties of any one of them are changed, such facts, with the reason therefor, are to be stated in an appropriate entry immediately preceding the notes taken under such changed arrangements. With the notes of the exterior lines of townships, the deputy is to submit a plat of the lines run, on a scale of two


inches to the mile, on which are to be noted all the objects of topography on line necessary to illustrate the notes, viz, the distance on line at the crossings of streams, so far as such can be noted on the paper, and the direction of each by an arrow-head pointing down stream; also the intersection of line by prairies, marshes, swamps, ravines, ponds, lakes, hills, mountains, and all other matters indicated by the notes, to the fullest extent practicable.

With the instructions for making subdivisional surveys of townships Into sections, the deputy will be furnished by the surveyor general with a diagram of the exterior lines of the townships to be subdivided, (on the above-named scale,) upon which are carefully to be laid down the measurements of each of the section lines on such boundaries whereon he is to close, the magnetic variation of each mile, and the particular description of each corner. P. in M. signifies post in mound. And on such diagram the deputy who subdivides will make appropriate sketches of the various objects of topography as they occur on his lines, so as to exhibit not only the points on line at which the same occur, but also the direction and position of each between the lines, or within each section, so that every object of topography may be properly completed or connected in the showing.

These notes must be distinctly written out, in language precise and clear, and their figures, letters, words, and meaning are always to be unmistakable. No leaf is to be cut or mutilated, and none to 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 precise length of every line run, noting all necessary offsets therefrom, with the reason and mode thereof.

2. The kind and diameter of all "bearing trees," with the course and distance of the same from their respective corners; and the precise relative position of WITNESS CORNERS to the true corners.

3. The kind of materials (earth or stone) of which MOUNDS are constructed—the fact of their being conditioned according to instructions— with the course and distance of the "pits," from the center of the mound, where necessity exists for deviating from the general rule.

4. Trees on line. The name, diameter, and distance on line to all trees which it intersects.

5. Intersections by line of land objects. The distance at which the line first intersects and then leaves every settler's claim and improvement; prairie, river, creek, or other "bottom;" or swamp, marsh, grove, and wind fall, with the course of the same at both points of intersection; also the distances at which you begin to ascend, arrive at the top, begin to descend, and reach the foot of all remarkable hills and ridges, with their courses, and estimated height, in feet, above the level land of the surrounding country, or above the bottom lands, ravines, or waters near which they are situated.

6. Intersections by line of water objects. All rivers, creeks, and smaller streams of water which the line crosses; the distances on line at the points of intersection, and their widths on line. In cases of navigable streams, their width will be ascertained between the meander corners, as set forth under the proper head.

7. The land's surface-whether level, rolling, broken, or hilly.

8. The soil-whether first, second, or third rate.

9. Timber-the several kinds of timber and undergrowth, in the order in which they predominate.

10. Bottom lands-to be described as wet or dry, and if subject to inundation, state to what depth.

11. Springs of water-whether fresh, saline, or mineral, with the course of the stream flowing from them.

12. Lakes and ponds-describing their banks and giving their height, and also the depth of water, and whether it be pure or stagnant.

13. Improvements. Towns and villages; Indian towns and wigwams; houses or cabins; fields, or other improvements; sugar tree groves, sugar camps, mill seats, forges, and factories.

14. Coal banks or beds; peat or turf grounds; minerals and ores; with particular description of the same as to quality and extent, and all diggings therefor; also salt springs and licks. All reliable information you can obtain respecting these objects, whether they be on your immediate line or not, is to appear on the general description to be given at the end of the notes.

15. Roads and trails, with their directions, whence and whither.

16. Rapids, cataracts, cascades, or falls of water, with the height of their fall in feet.

17. Precipices, caves, sink-holes, ravines, stone quarries, ledges of rocks, with the kind of stone they afford.

18. Natural curiosities, interesting fossils, petrifactions, organic remains, &c.; also all of art, such as mounds, fortifications, embankments, ditches, or objects of like nature.

19. The variation of the needle must be noted at all points or places on the lines where there is found any material change of variation, and the position of such points must be perfectly identified in the notes.

20. Besides the ordinary notes taken on line, (and which must always be written down on the spot, leaving nothing to be supplied by memory.) the deputy will subjoin, at the conclusion of his book, such further description or information touching any matter or thing connected with the township (or other survey) which he may be able to afford, and may deem useful or necessary to be known-with a general description of the township in the aggregate, as respects the face of the country, its soil and geological features, timber, minerals, waters, &c.


By the act of Congress approved September 28, 1850, swamp and overflowed lands "unfit for cultivation" are granted to the State in which they are situated. In order clearly to define the quantity and locality of such lands, the field notes of surveys, in addition to the other objects of topography required to be noted, are to indicate the points at which you enter all lands which are evidently subject to such grant, and to show the distinctive character of the land so noted; whether it is a swamp or marsh, or otherwise subject to inundation to an extent that, without artificial means, would render it "unfit for cultivation." The depth of inundation is to be stated, as determined from indications on the trees where timber exists; and its frequency is to be set forth as accurately as may be, either from your own knowledge of the general character of the stream which overflows, or from reliable information to be obtained from others. The words "unfit for cultivation" are to be employed in addition to the usual phraseology in regard to entering or leaving such swamps, marshy, or overflowed lands. It may be that sometimes the margin of bottom, swamp, or marsh, in which such uncultivable land exists, is not identical with the margin of the body of land "unfit for cultivation;" and in such cases a separate entry must be

made for each opposite the marginal distance at which they respectively


But in cases where lands are overflowed by artificial means, (say by dams for milling, logging, or for other purposes,) you are not officially to regard such overflow, but will continue your lines across the same without setting meander posts, stating particularly in the notes the depth of the water, and how the overflow was caused.


The law requires that such claims should be laid down temporarily on the township plats; in order to do which, it is indispensably necessary to obtain, to some extent, connections of these claims with the lines of survey. Under the head of "intersection by line of land objects,” the deputy is required to note the points in line whereat it may be intersected by such claims; but, in addition thereto, there must be obtained at least one angle of each claim, with its course and distance either from the point of intersection, or from an established corner boundary, so that its connection with the regular survey will be legally determined. If the settler's dwelling or barn is visible from line, the bearings thereof should be carefully taken from two points noted on line, and set forth in the field notes.


At the close of the notes and the general description is to follow an affidavit, a form for which is given; and to enable the deputy surveyor fully to understand and appreciate the responsibility under which he is aoting, his attention is invited to the provisions of the second section of the act of Congress, approved August 8th, 1846, entitled "An act to equalize the compensation of the surveyors general of the public lands of the United States, and for other purposes," and which is as follows: "SEC. 2. That the surveyors general of the public lands of the United States, in addition to the oath now authorized by law to be administered to deputies on their appointment to office, shall require each of their deputies, on the return of his surveys, to take and subscribe an oath or affirmation that those surveys have been faithfully and correctly executed according to law and the instructions of the surveyor general; and on satisfactory evidence being presented to any court of competent jurisdiction that such surveys, or any part thereof, had not been thus executed, the deputy making such false oath or affirmation shall be deemed guilty of perjury, and shall suffer all the pains and penalties attached to that offense; and the district attorney of the United States for the time being, in whose district any such false, erroneous, or fraudulent surveys shall have been executed, shall, upon the application of the proper surveyor general, immediately institute suit upon the bond of such deputy; and the institution of such suit shall act as a lien upon any property owned or held by such deputy, or his sureties, at the time such suit was instituted."

Following the "general description" of the township is to be "A list of the names of the individuals employed to assist in running, measuring, and marking the lines and corners described in the foregoing field notes of township No. of the BASE LINE of range No. of the MERIDIAN, showing the respective capacities in which they


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