Slike strani

one point the line is crossed by a vertical wall of sandstone, eight feet high. At the 85th mile the character of the soil improves greatly, although the country is very dry. The Bushnell Station meridian intersects the line 22 miles and 62 chains west of the 96th mile-post. Thence to the twenty-seventh meridian the soil is second and third rate, with poor grass, the surface being nearly level.

From the point of intersection of the forty-first parallel of north latitude with the twenty-seventh meridian the boundary line was run due north along the meridian, and posts established at the end of each mile. These posts, similar to those used for the forty-first parallel, were inscribed, on the north side, “270 W.L.," on the east side, “Nebraska,” on the west side, “ Wyoming,” and on the south side with the number of the mile. The first seven miles the surface of the country is nearly level and the soil is third-rate or worthless. From the seventh mile-post to Lodge Pole Creek Bottom and the Union Pacific Railroad track, between the 12th and 13th miles, the surface is rough, having an irregularly broken aspect, with bluffs of sandstone capped with limestone. The soil is quite inferior. On the 14th mile the line crosses Lodge Pole Creek, course southeast, three times. For the next few miles the line passes along a rough, rocky section, in many places under overhanging bluffs. As far as the 230 mile-post the soil is rocky and worthless, but at this point its character changes to good, and grass is found in abundance. Norway and pitch pine trees are scattered over the country as the line progresses to the northward, while small hills and ravines destroy the monotony of scenery along the first part of the line. Near the 46th mile-post a singular chimney-shaped rock was seen, in the midst of a rocky country, with sandy soil of fair quality. For the next six miles the country is a succession of rock walls, ledges, pinnacles, and bluffs, with a poor soil and scanty grass. Midway between the 63d and 64th miles the line crosses Horse Creek, an alkaline stream 40 links wide. The bank of the North Platte River was reached at 68 miles 31.50 chains. The river is here 29 chains in width, having an island in its center of 9 chains width. The bottom lauds are at this point nearly 2 miles in width. From these, as far north as the soth mile-post, the soil is inferior, being in many places sand, drifting with every wind. The line crosses Spoon Hill Creek, 4 links wide, often camped on by the Indians, as the soil on its banks is very good, and grass is abundant. The soil, continuing further north, again becomes poor, rocky, and productive of little vegetation except weeds and sunflowers. The surface becomes more and more broken till on the 1320 mile the country is rendered impassable for wagons by numerous sharp ravines. Here the soil changes into a yellowish clay, and a few miles further north into the “bad lands," destitute of vegetation. At 138 miles 22.67 chains, the position of the forty-third parallel of north latitude, as deduced by careful observations, a white limestone monument of the usual size and shape was erected, and marked, on the north side, “270 W. L.," on the east, "430 N. L.," on the south, “138 m. 22 ch. 67 lks.," and on the west, “Wyoming."

From this point the surveyor proceeded to the 9th mile-post of the forty-first parallel and completed the survey of that portion of the boundary east to the twenty-fifth meridian, the position of the Sth milepost west of which was found to be near the middle of the South Platte River, here 65 chaius across. The surface is gently rolling; soil, second and third rate.

From the monument at the intersection of the forty-first parallel with the twenty-fifth meridian, described before, the surveyor ran a transit

[ocr errors]

line south, erecting temporary mile-stakes, and at a point 67 miles south of the forty-first parallel, being approximately on the fortieth parallel, a search was instituted for marks of the base line surveyed on this parallel in 1859. Finding no traces, the transit line was prolonged several miles, and search made for marks of the Kansas boundary, which could not be found. The intersection of the twenty-fifth meridian with the fortieth parallel, as determined by 111 observations, was commemorated by a limestone shaft, of usual dimensions, planted in the usual manner, and marked, on the north side, “1869," on the east, “400 N. L.," on the south, “250 W. L.,” and on the west, “Colorado.” The soil is here clayey and of inferior quality. From this point the boundary line was surveyed due north on the twenty-fifth meridian, and the end of each mile marked with a post of the usual size, and inscribed, on the north side, 66 250 W. L.," on the east, “Nebraska," on the south the number of the mile, and on the west, Colorado.” At 68 miles 79.59 chains the line closes on the monument erected before at the point of intersection of the forty-first parallel with the twenty-fifth meridian. The entire length of this boundary line is 312 miles 14 chains and 33 links, surveyed and established at a cost to the United States of $7,804 48, being $195 52 less than the amount appropriated by Congress.


1. The Sisseton and Wahpeton and Cut Head bands of Yanktonais, of Dakota or Sioux Indian reservation, situated west of Big Stone and Travers Lakes, was subdivided into 40-acre tracts, by direction of the Secretary of the Interior, for the purpose of making allotments to the Indians, conformably to the provisions made in the third and fifth arti. cles of the treaty with the said Sissetons and Wahpetons, concluded February 19, 1867, (U. S. Laws, vol. 15, p. 506.) The returns of the survey were made to this office, consisting of the field-notes and triplicate plats thereof, comprising 918,352.70 acres.

2. The Navajo Indian reservation, provided for in the second article of the treaty with those Indians, concluded June 1, 1868, (vide U. S. Laws, vol. 15, p. 668,) was surveyed. This reservation is situated partly in the extreme northwest corner of New Mexico, and the northeast corner of Arizona, having for its eastern boundary the longitude of the old Fort Lyon in New Mexico, which constitutes special surveying meridian for the lands embraced in the reservation. Its southern bound. ary coincides with the latitude of old Fort Defiance, extending west 61 miles 40 chains; its western boundary lying in the Territory of Ari. zona, running north to the intersection of the southern boundary of Utah, a distance of 84 miles 65.75 chains, and its northern boundary the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude for the distance of 61 miles 18.07 chains. This reservation was surveyed and subdivided, in accordance with the public land system, to the extent considered necessary for Indian purposes, and consisting of lands suitable for agriculture. The returns of the Navajo reservation have been made to this office, consisting of the field-notes of the survey and triplicate township plats, em. bracing over 3,000,000 acres; the cost of the survey being $75,785 61.

3. In regard to the Nez Percé Indian reservation, in Idaho Territory, under the provisions of the first article of the treaty of August 13, 1868, (U. S. Laws, vol. 15, p. 693,) orders have been given for the same to be surveyed and subdivided into 20-acre tracts. The contract was entered into by the surveyor general of the Territory and one of his deputies, for the survey of portions of the extensive reservation containing arable lands, at a cost not to exceed $12,862 41, assigned by the Secretary of the Interior for that purpose. The surveyor is in the field executing the work.

4. In respect to the Yankton Indian reservation, in Dakota Territory, situated on the Missouri River, instructions have been given for the same to be surveyed into 80-acre tracts, to be assigned to individual Indians; the subdivisional lines running at right angles to the course of the river and extending back to the adjacent hills. Contract has been closed by the surveyor general with one of his deputies, who is pushing the work to an early completion, the expenses of the survey payable out of $5,000 set apart by the Secretary of the Interior from the appropriation of $2,000,000 inade by the fourth section of the Indian appropriation act of April 10, 1869, "to promote civilization" among the Indians.

5. The Chickasaw lands in the Indian Territory have been contracted for by this office for their survey into 160-acre tracts, as required by the eleventh article of treaty concluded with the Choctaws and Chickasaws, April 28, 1866, (U. S. Laws, vol. 14, p. 774.) The surveyors appointed by the Secretary of the Interior have left for the sphere of their operations. The expenses of the survey will be chargeable to the appropriation of $444,480 made by Congress July 15, 1870, "for surveys of exterior boundaries of Indian reservations, and subdividing portions of the same," (U. S. Laws, 1869–70, page 358.)


Pursuant to an order of the Honorable Secretary of the Interior, dated 12th August, 1869, instructions were issued by this office, in November of that year, to the surveyor general of Dakota Territory, to enter into contract with an experienced surveyor for the subdivision of so much of the Yankton Indian reservation in that Territory as could be executed for the sum of $5,000, set apart by the Secretary from the appropriation of $2,000,000 made by the fourth section of the Indian appropriation act, approved April 10, 1869, to promote civilization among the Indians.

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs having advised this office that it was desired that eighty acres be taken as the standard for the size of the smallest subdivisions of said reserve, the surveyor general was directed to cause the contemplated surveys to be executed at an early day, and to connect the same with the public lines north of the Missouri River, so that when the whole area of the reservation shall have been surveyed, the lines within the reservation may connect with those closing on the exterior limits of the reservation and form one series of surveys from the same principal base and meridian.

It haing been ascertained subsequently that the rectangular system of surveys was not adapted to the subdivision of the bottom lands along the Missouri, (the only portion of the reserve desired to be subdivided at present) in such a manner as to give each family of the tribe a portion of the river front, it became necessary to modlity our former instructions, and the surveyor general was directed to cause the survey of these lands into lots containing, as nearly as the contiguration of the river and blutt's would allow, eighty acres each, each lot to front upon the river and to extend back to the bluffs, with a width depending upon the distance between the bluffs and the river.

Under these modified instructions the surveyor proceeded to the field and surveyed and marked a series of lots, extending along the entire front of the reserve, a distance of more than thirty miles. These lots 187 in number, were inadequate to afford a lot for each head of a family, there being more than four hundred heads of families in the tribe. Under these circumstances the surveyor suggested that the most suitable place for the location of the remainder of the lots is a level tableland, extending northwesterly from the agency buildings some eight miles along the old stage road to Fort Randall; but as the Indian agent reported that this region is destitute of wood and water for the greater part of the yeas, also of grass in sufficient quantities for making hay, and the tract being from four to eight miles north of the Missouri, to which all who might be located there would have to go for fuel and water, it was determined by the Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs to make a further subdivision of the lots already surveyed. Therefore, upon his recommendation, this office, under date of 29th September, 1870, instructed the surveyor general to make a further subdivision of the lots in such a manner as to give to each person entitled a portion of the bottom lands on the river front, taking care, however, to incur no liabilities in excess of the $5,000 set apart for the purpose.


The study of the natural resources of the public domain of the United States presents points of remarkable interest. The patriotic citizen will experience a feeling of profound satisfaction at the extent of that physical basis of our prosperity which is bere unfolded. The cosmopolitan philanthropist will find the theme scarcely less attractive, as opening up the noblest field for the expansion of civilization, and for the reorganization of society upon the broadest basis of democratic freedom.

But the question has also practical aspects. The masses of Europe and the settled populations of our own older States are especially interested in the grand openings to individual enterprise now developing in the Great West. In order to meet such wants, the following notices of the resources, development, and prospects of each of the public land States and Territories are presented. The demands for specific information upon all these points are numerous and pressing, and if answered in each case in extenso would seriously interfere with the regular business of the office.

In studying the natural features of the public domain, our knowledge is, as yet, too imperfect to enable us to give anything like an accurate topographical division of the country. The most obvious arrangement of the territory of the republic into the Atlantic slope, Mississippi basin, and Pacific slope is sufficiently exact for all the purposes of description.

THE ATLANTIC SLOPE, embracing the original thirteen States with Maine and Vermont, covers an aggregate area of 380,968 square miles.

The public-land States of this division, all of which are on the Gulf of Mexico, are Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The larger portion of the last mentioned' State lies in the second grand division of the republic, being west of the Mississippi River. These four States embrace an area of 198,192 miles, or 127,034,880 acres, nearly equal to the French Empire.

Their natural resources will be found in detail in the following papers. Their climate, soil, and productions, however, bear a general similarity, being of a semi-tropical type, but verging upon the more decided peculiarities of the temperate zone in the northern parts of Mississippi and Alabama. Their important staples are cotton, sugar, and rice, beside a great variety of delicious semi-tropical fruits. As a place of residence

they present many attractions, while, as a theater of industrial or cominercial enterprise, they will not yield the palın to any other portion of our country. They have partially recovered from the desolations of war, and are entering upon a career of great prosperity.

As a field of immigration they offer many advantages, especially to the southern population of Europe.


This, the southernmost political division of the federal Union, is situated between latitudes 21° 30' and 31° north, and longitudes 800 and 87° 45' west from Greenwich. Its greatest length from north to south is three hundred and eighty-five miles, and from east to west three hundred and thirty-three miles. It is bounded on the north by Alabama and Georgia, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, and on the west by that Gulf and by the State of Alabama; embracing an area of 59,268 sqnare miles, or 37,931,520



This portion of the continent was first discovered by Sebastian Cabot, who sailed under the English flag, but De Narvaez took possession of the country in the name of the Spanish sovereign in 1525. In 1564 a colony of Huguenots settled on the south bank of the St. John's, about eighteen miles above its mouth. This settlement, called Carolin, was completely destroyed by the Spaniards under Menendez in 1565, who in the same year established a Spanish colony at St. Augustine, the first permanent town on the continent of North America.

From this period Florida remained a Spanish colony until 1763, when the whole territory was ceded to Great Britain. It was retroceded in 1784. In 1819 Florida was purchased by the United States. A territorial government was established in 1822, and on the 3d of March, 1815, Florida was admitted to the Union.

The State has a coast line of more than eleven hundred and fifty miles, indented with a large number of spacious bays, harbors, and estuaries, affording great advantages for the development of trade, and safe and convenient retreats for vessels exposed to the violent gales which occasionally rage off this coast. On the Gulf coast the principal harbors are Pensacola, Appalachicola, St. Mark's, Cedar Keys, Tampa, Charlotte, and Key West; and on the Atlantic, St. Augustine, Fernandina, and Jacksonville on the St. John's River.

The numerous rivers of Florida afford great facilities for internal navigation, giving free access by steamers far into the interior, and rendering available extensive tracts of rich country which would otherwise remain unsettled for years to come. The St. John's, the principal river of the State, rises in the marshy lands of Brevard County, and flowing in a northerly direction nearly parallel with the Atlantic coast, through an exceedingly level country, empties into the ocean near the northeast corner of the State. For one hundred and fifty miles from its mouth it has an average width of nearly two miles, and is navigable for large sea-going steamers as far as Pilatka, and for smaller craft nearly to its source. Many of its tributaries are also navigable for considerable distances, and it is estimated that this river and its branches afford one thousand miles of water transportation. Indian River is a long lagoon stretching along the Atlantic coast for a distance of one hundred miles, and its general character is similar to the St. John's in the lower part of its course. It is now proposed to connect these rivers by a canal, which would secure continuous inland navigation from

« PrejšnjaNaprej »